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What to Do After a Car Accident

Car Accident on Highway

Automobile accidents can be traumatic and stressful. Not only can people get severely injured — or even pass away — from a car accident, but these events are typically charged with an assumption of fault. Of course, there’s also the monetary aspect of getting into an accident and figuring out how it’ll all be paid for. Holiday Automotive is here to make the post-collision period safer and less of a hassle. Ready to learn more? Read on to learn what to do after a car accident, or contact us anytime!

What to Do After a Car Accident Checklist

Steps to Take After Minor Accidents

Parking lot grazes, driveway bumper taps, and intersection fender-benders are just a few types of minor accidents. So, what do you do after a minor accident? Follow our handy checklist:

    1. See if anyone requires medical attention. If anyone is injured or there’s a chance they could be, call an ambulance right away. If the injuries are more minor, you can call a family member and have them bring you to the hospital. But remember, insurance policies generally pay for both both bodily and property damage, and often, after an accident, passengers are in shock. It’s better to call an ambulance ASAP than to wait.
  • If you’re in stable condition, take photos of the vehicle. Then pull over to a safe location. You don’t want to get too far from the scene, but you also don’t want to block traffic or put yourself in harm’s way further.
  • Call the police. Even if the other driver mentions not needing the police for a minor collision, you should still call them. It’s best to have an official report documented, and your insurance company or leasing company (if leasing your vehicle) may actually mandate it.
  • Exchange contact information. Exchange phone numbers, email addresses, and the insurance policy information of the other driver(s) involved in the accident. Be sure to also get a picture of everyone’s driver’s licenses, license plate numbers, and insurance cards. If you can obtain any witness information as well, you should.
  • Document your vehicle’s damage. Take detailed photographs of the damage to both your vehicle and the other vehicle(s) involved. If you can, you should also get a picture of the accident scene.
  • Call your insurance provider. The sooner you tell them the details of the accident, the sooner the claims process can begin.

Steps to Take After Major Accidents

Major accidents differ from minor accidents in that they result in serious injuries or even fatalities. Here’s what to do after a potentially life-threatening collision:

  • Call 911. If you’re seriously injured, or anyone else appears to be, then you should alert the police or have someone call on your behalf as soon as possible. The police should come along with an ambulance to assess the scene and damage. If you need immediate medical attention and cannot document important information on your own, the police will likely have considered this. That said, you should always follow up to ensure you have all the information you need.
  • Contact your insurance provider. Even if someone already filed the claim on your behalf while you were receiving medical attention, you should follow up with your insurance provider. To be sure that everyone involved is properly compensated, following up with additional information will very likely be required. The sooner you call the smoother the process is.
  • Follow up with your physician. If you’re still feeling any pain after the accident and after being treated by emergency personnel, you should visit your regular physician for additional assistance.

What to Do After a Leased Car Accident

What happens if you get into an accident in your leased car? Well, the process of reporting an accident and filing a claim is pretty much the same as it would be had you owned the vehicle. That said, you do generally have the option to avoid reporting the accident, legally speaking, if both parties own their vehicles and agree on that as the preferred course of action. We do not recommend going this route ever, but it is sometimes legally an option if all parties want to pay out of pocket for accident-related damages and nobody is hurt.

On the other hand, when you lease a car, you must comply with all laws surrounding reporting an accident to the police. Usually, you must also alert your leasing company to the fact that you’ve been involved in a collision. Note: if the vehicle is totaled, you’ll still owe the leasing company for the vehicle’s value, unless, of course, you purchased GAP protection. If the vehicle requires repairs, some lease contracts stipulate that they must be conducted at (a) specified and/or approved location(s).

How to File a Car Accident Insurance Claim

Filing an insurance claim may differ slightly based on which insurance provider you have and what coverage you’ve chosen. Still, the process of how to file a car insurance claim is generally similar, requiring you to provide the following information:

  • Your insurance policy number
  • Detailed description of how the accident occurred
  • Date, time, and location of the accident
  • All the collected contact and insurance information from other involved parties
  • Name of the police department involved, as well as the police report number (if applicable)

After you’ve given your insurance company all of the above, it’ll be time to have your vehicle evaluated by an insurance adjuster. They’ll work to estimate the cost of your repairs, coverage, and more. Sometimes, you’ll also need to set up an additional appointment to have your vehicle appraised after an accident, but not always.

Holiday Automotive Can Help You After an Accident!

Now that you’re well aware of how to file a car accident insurance claim, who to alert and when, and how a car accident affects a car lease, we’re more than happy to answer your additional collision-related questions here at Holiday Automotive! Give us a call at 920-266-4693 or book an appointment online at our collision center in Fond du Lac.

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