There’s never a good time to have an accident or need a repair. Here’s some tips on what to do when the unsuspected happens.
What to do After an Auto Accident:
1. If you are able to drive your vehicle and it is safe to do so, move it safely out of traffic.
2. You must call the police if there are injuries, if the damage exceeds the amount of the chart below or if you’re in doubt.
3. Complete a glove box accident report form.
4. Report the claim as soon as possible to your insurance agent.
If Your Vehicle is not Driveable:
Safeguard any valuables by locking the doors of your vehicle. Do not let unscrupulous tow truck operators intimidate you into authorizing any repair work. Some operators are paid cash to tow your vehicle to a shop that will repair your vehicle in a careless manner. We can help you arrange for safe storage of your vehicle while you take the time to collect your thoughts and make an informed choice on repairs.
If Your Vehicle is Damaged:
If your vehicle is damaged, your insurance claim representative can assist you in finding a reputable repair firm. If you choose to have the work done at Star Body Works, we’ll guarantee the repair for as long as you own the vehicle.
Some Other Useful Tips:
If you have the misfortune of being involved in an auto accident, don’t make an unfortunate situation worse. Keep a cool head and remember some basic rules:
• Stop. Never drive away from an accident, even a minor one, without stopping to see whether there is damages or injuries. Most state laws require this.
• Protect the Scene. Prevent further accidents by warning approaching vehicles. Use a flashlight at night. Set out flashers or reflectors, if available.
• Help Injured Persons. Request an ambulance and medical assistance if there are injured persons. Do not move the injured party unless there is immediate danger from explosion of fire or traffic.
• Call the Police. Call the local police on secondary roads or state police on major highways. Report your location accurately. Even if there are no serious injuries, it is best to summon the police. An official police report may be of crucial importance to protect your rights in possible future liability claims. Make sure that the facts on the official police report are accurately reported. Before the police arrive, carefully examine the damage to all cars. Also, ensure that all motor vehicles and other objects at the scene are not moved after the accident. No automobiles or other objects should be moved unless they interfere with traffic.
• Obtain Names and Addresses and Record Important Observations. Get the name, address, driver’s license number and home phone number of the other driver, and the name and addresses of all witnesses to the accident. If any persons refuse to provide information, jot down their license number. Make a note of the license number, year, make and color of all vehicles involved in the accident. If possible, get the name of insurance companies and policy numbers covering other vehicles in the accident. For future reference, write down details of the accident, including date, and time, exact location, road conditions, traffic controls and weather conditions. Draw a rough diagram of the scene that contains the position and directions of vehicles immediately before the collision and where they finally came to rest.
• Furnish Information. Give the other driver your name, address, home phone number and your driver’s license number. Do not admit fault or offer to settle the matter. Anything you say will be used against you in possible subsequent legal proceedings and may violate the terms of your insurance policy. Do not exchange accusations. There is nothing to be gained by roadside arguments.
• Report the Accident. Notify your insurance company immediately. Consult your attorney or insurance agent. If you hit a parked car, domestic animal, a deer or other property, notify the owner and/or the local or state police. If you must depart from the scene, leave a note in order to notify the owner.
• Protect Your Rights. Immediately refer all persons making claims against you and any legal papers served upon you to your family attorney and your insurance company. Do not attempt to negotiate or settle on your own.
If you are injured in an auto collision, consult your physician as soon as possible. There is often a time lag between the collision and the full extent of physical injuries sustained. Potentially serious injuries which may seem trivial at first can have severs after effects. Consult an attorney for any questions that you have about your right to sue for either personal injury or property damage.
The simple, so-called “fender bender” may become a real hassle unless you are alert to following these few rules. Be sure to inform your insurance agent and your lawyer immediately and put the facts on record. These days there is no such thing as a simple auto accident.