Know What to Do in a Car Accident

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At DeFouw Collision Center, we want to make sure you know what to do in a car accident. You can’t predict everything that happens on the Lafayette streets, but with a few tips, you’ll be prepared for the unpredictable. Here’s how to handle the aftermath of a collision. Be sure to learn about our repair process after an accident as well!

Stay at the Scene

The first step to dealing with a West Lafayette collision is staying at the scene of the accident. Follow these steps in those crucial first minutes:

  • Turn Off Your Vehicle: This action disengages the engine and conserves power for future use. If your vehicle is damaged, this can minimize the risk of further damage.

  • Leave Your Vehicle: If possible, exit your vehicle. This removes you from harm’s way should the vehicle be critically damaged.

  • Assess Your Situation: Are you in a safe location? While you should stay at the scene, moving is advisable if you are in a precarious location.

  • Consider Personal Safety: Check yourself for signs of injury. Take note of any minor or major injuries.

  • Check on Others: Check on others involved in the incident, including your passengers and the other vehicle’s passengers.

Inform the Police

Once you’ve checked on the health and well-being of all involved, call the police to inform them of the accident and begin the official documentation process:

  • Minor Accidents: Even for minor fender benders, it is best to inform the authorities to provide your insurance company with necessary claims documents later.

  • Never Admit Fault: When speaking with other motorists, witnesses, and the police, do not admit fault. Additionally, don’t sign documents unless the police or your insurance company asks you to do so.

  • Cooperation: Thoroughly answer all police questions, and provide an accurate account of the events leading up to the incident.

  • Accident Reports: For minor accidents, police may not make it out to the scene. In this case, be sure to file an accident repot with your state’s DMV.

Gather and Exchange Information

In the immediate aftermath of a collision, it’s important to have the right information from all involved, including eyewitnesses and police:

  • Information of Involved Parties: If there are other vehicles or motorists involved, take note of their names, license plates, and insurance information.

  • Responding Officer Information: When police arrive at the scene, be sure to record their names and badge numbers for your records. This information may be needed when speaking with your insurance company or filing an accident report.

  • Accident Information: While at the scene, take pictures to document any noticeable damage to the involved vehicles. Record the exact location of the incident and any important details about the scene.

  • Eyewitness Information: If there are witnesses available, ask them for their contact information and record their statements regarding the accident details.

Contact Your Insurance

Once you’ve handled the initial aftermath, you’ll need to contact your insurance company as soon as possible. Inform them about the accident, and start the process of transferring details about the event:

  • File a Claim: Make an appointment with your insurance agent to file a claim regarding your accident. A prompt filing will ensure you get proper coverage for your expenses in a timely fashion.

  • Property Damage Valuation: Part of collision repair is evaluating the total cost of the damage done to your car. Additionally, it may be important to evaluate the cost of any incidental property damage.

  • Transfer Information: Be sure to tell your agent about the information you collected after the accident, including the photos and accident report number.

Keep Track of Expenses

When you pay for any repairs or other expenses related to your accident, make sure to keep the receipts for possible court proceedings and the insurance claims process:

  • Vehicle Repairs: Collision repair services are offered through DeFouw whether you are in a mild fender bender or a more serious collision. Be sure to keep your receipts for compensation later.

  • Medical Expenses: If you have any medical expenses as a direct result of the accident, be sure to keep records of your overall expenses, including over-the-counter medications.

  • Speak With an Attorney: If you believe you weren’t at fault or need to appear in court, speak with a lawyer about your legal options and the best courses of action.

Get Full Service and Repairs at DeFouw Collision Center

Now, you’ll know what to do in a car accident to ensure you’re interests are protected. Are you ready for repair services after a recent collision? Contact DeFouw Collision Center to learn about our full list of services.