Car accidents can happen in the blink of an eye. According to Car-Accidents.net, they occur approximately 6.4 million times each year.
Although being involved in a car accident can be overwhelming, knowing what to do in the moments following a fender-bender can help alleviate some of the stress and confusion of the situation.
The service specialists at Chrysler, Jeep and Dodge offer the following tips on how to handle a car accident:
Don’t leave the vehicle. Following an accident, most drivers will want to exit their vehicles to check for damage or speak with others involved. Ideally, drivers should call the police and remain in their cars until the authorities arrive. Drivers can protect themselves – both physically and legally – by remaining in their vehicles and allowing the police to process the scene.
Carry a disposable camera. Although the police report should capture the details of the accident, it is always helpful to take photos for your own documentation.
After police are notified, call a towing service. You should know exactly who is towing your vehicle and where it will be taken. For easy access, keep a small business card in your wallet that contains the numbers of several tow-truck companies and your dealership’s service department.
Call your insurance company. Most people think of this as something to do later, but calling from the scene will help to expedite the processing and administering of your claim. And, you will be able to relay accurate information in real time instead of relying on memory.
Get an estimate on vehicle damage. Insurance companies may require only one estimate on vehicle damage. However, it behooves the driver to get several estimates, which may vary greatly. Review these reports carefully to understand what you are paying and what the insurance company will cover. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Reputable repair shops will gladly address questions regarding the required repairs.