It’s a beautiful day, and you and your family are on the way to Geneva Lake for a day in the sun. Suddenly, as you pull out at an intersection, another vehicle T-bones your car, sending you spinning out in the middle of the intersection.
Do you know what to do?
You need to check the safety of your family members. Your car may be totaled. Is there still oncoming traffic? Has anyone called the police?
These things happen, and unfortunately, many drivers aren’t prepared. Below, we’ll go over what to do immediately after a car accident and how to successfully file an insurance claim.
Staying Safe After a Vehicle Collision
Before we delve into how to settle your car insurance claim after an accident, let’s discuss what to do immediately after the event takes place.
Your first goal is to get your vehicle to a safe place as soon as possible. Never leave your vehicle in the middle of an intersection or on the highway unless it won’t turn on at all. Move your car away from traffic, put it into park, and turn it off. Finally, put on your hazard lights.
At this point, take a quick look over your entire body to check for any injuries. Check for scratching, bruising, scrapes, blood, or severe pain. Check any other passengers as well by calling out their names and asking them how they feel. Give everyone a visual scan. If you have warning triangles, cones, our flares, now is the time to use them for additional safety.
You’ll want to collect as much information and evidence from the accident as possible. This goes for any vehicle collision.
Take pictures of your car, any injuries you or others have, the other car(s) or vehicles involved, the accident site overall, and anything else that seems pertinent. Ask the other driver and passengers for their names and contact information. Get drivers license numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance information (including the insurance company names and the policy numbers).
Get a copy of the police report and the attending police officer’s name and badge number. It is important that you are polite and calm in these situations, but never express that the accident was your fault. Never sign any documents unless they are for your insurance agent or for the police.
How to Settle Your Claim and Get Back on the Road
Settling an insurance claim isn’t as complicated as it may seem. The first step you should take after the steps above is to give your insurance agency a call and let them know what happened. They’ll begin the claim process.
How Can You Obtain a Rental Vehicle?
Clearly, you’ll need a replacement vehicle if your car is too damaged to drive. If you have rental car insurance, your agent can help you arrange for a rental car right away.
Should You Repair or Replace?
You’ll need to get estimates on your car damage as soon as possible. Decide whether to go forward with repairs or whether to replace your vehicle. The latter is recommended if the cost of repair is more than about 70% of the vehicle’s value.
If you decide to get repairs, make sure you get repair approval before moving forward.
Always Work With a Reputable Agent
The best way to have a positive outcome after a vehicle collision is always to choose a policy that offers maximum coverage for you, your family, and your vehicle. When you work with the right insurance agency, like Glass Insurance Center in Lake Geneva, WI, any claims you need to make will be sure to go smooth and easy.