What Should You Do After a Car Accident?

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Car accidents can be extremely traumatic and inconvenient, not to mention life-threatening. But knowing what to do after a collision is an extremely important part of being a responsible driver, let alone knowing how to best protect yourself. Let the expert team at Sacramento Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram help recommend what to know and what to do after a car accident, up to and including learning how to file a car accident insurance claim! Have questions? Just reach out to us!

What to Do After a Car Accident: A Step-by-Step Checklist

What to Do After A Minor Accident

Some examples of minor car accidents include a fender-bender at an intersection or someone backing into your car in a parking lot. Here’s what you should do after a minor car accident:

  • First and foremost, check to see if you or your passengers need medical attention. If so, call an ambulance right away.
  • If you’re in stable condition, pull your vehicle over to a safe spot. You don’t want to stray too far from the scene of the accident, but you also don’t want to block traffic.
  • Call the police. Even if the other driver suggests that you don’t need the police for a minor accident, you should still call. It’s best to have an official report documented, and your insurance company may require it. 
  • Exchange contact information. Exchange phone numbers, email addresses, and the insurance policy information of the other driver(s) involved. It’s also important to get a photo of everyone’s driver’s licenses, license plate numbers, and insurance cards. If there were any witnesses to the accident, you should also ask for their contact information.
  • Document your vehicle’s damage. Take detailed photos of the damage to both your vehicle and the other vehicle or vehicles involved. If possible, you should also get a photo 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.

What to Do After a Major Accident

Major accidents differ from minor accidents in that they result in serious injuries or even possibly fatalities. The steps to take following a major accident are a bit different:

  • Call 911 right away. If you’re seriously injured, you should alert emergency personnel or have someone call on your behalf immediately. 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. However, it’s always important to 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. You’ll need to give them more information about the accident to ensure everyone is properly compensated.
  • 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 help.

How to File a Car Accident Insurance Claim

Filing an insurance claim should be relatively straightforward. While the process may differ slightly depending on your provider and coverage, learning how to file a car insurance claim is mostly universal. When you file a claim with your insurance provider, you’ll need to provide the following:

  • 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)

From here, you’ll have your vehicle evaluated by an insurance adjuster who will help you estimate the cost of your repairs, coverage, and more. If the photos and police report are not sufficient, you may have to plan a meeting to have your vehicle inspected in person.

Let Sacramento Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Help You Get Back on the Road

When it’s time to get back to the streets of Elk Grove and Roseville, you can trust Sacramento Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram’s body shop and service center! From body damage to mechanical issues, we’ll have you back up and running in no time. And because we’re a factory-certified auto repair shop, we can work seamlessly with most insurance companies. Contact us with any questions you may have today!

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