What To Do After an Accident

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Damaged vehicle/Image Credit: Netto Figueiredo from Pixabay 

Being in a car accident can be a scary, stressful event. There’s a lot going on, and the number of things to do can seem overwhelming. You’ll likely have to deal with insurance companies and law enforcement, and medical assistance and lawyers may also be necessary. This guide is here to help you figure out what needs to be done after a collision and will provide you with peace of mind. 

Immediately After the Accident 

The first thing you should do after the accident has occurred is ensure the safety of everyone involved. If damage is minor and your vehicle can move, pull off to the side of the road or a safe place. If your vehicle is immobile, put it in park and turn on your hazard lights. 

Once you are clear of the vehicle, it’s important to call 911 as soon as possible. Anyone who is injured or stuck in their vehicle due to damage will require assistance from the fire department or paramedics. Your local police or law enforcement department will take an accident report and help direct traffic around the scene. 

As soon as you’re out of your vehicle and in a safe spot, be sure to exchange insurance information with all other drivers involved. If you can, take pictures of the damage to all vehicles and make a note of what street you’re on and the nearest crossroads. Your insurance company may require these photos and information later when you’re filing your claim. 

The First Few Days 

The most important step to take within a few days of the accident is making sure you’re okay. If you need any follow-up medical attention for injuries, schedule a doctor’s appointment ASAP and keep a record of all doctor visits for insurance and legal purposes. 

Now it’s time to start the insurance process. If you are going to use your own insurance company, file a claim and get in contact with your agent as soon as possible. Depending on how the accident occurred, you may also choose to work with the other driver’s insurance company. 

The insurance company will then ask you to schedule a vehicle inspection so that the claims adjuster can take a look at the damage and make a repair estimate. If the damage sustained to your vehicle is deemed too expensive to repair safely, it will be declared a total loss. If you own your vehicle, you will be sent a check equaling its value by your insurance company. However, the check will go to your lienholder if you have a car loan.

Down the Road 

Once the insurance process is underway, it’s time to take a breather. It’s completely normal to experience stress, anxiety, or even trauma after an accident. If you aren’t feeling like yourself, take time to speak with someone about the incident. Whether you choose a professional or a close confidant is up to you. 

Eventually, life may require you to get behind the wheel again. If the thought of this makes you nervous, that feeling is totally normal and extremely common. To help ease any anxiety you’re experiencing, take your first drive with someone you trust. If you become too overwhelmed, the other person can take over driving duties. 

If it comes to the point that you need to purchase a new vehicle, BestRide is here to help. We know how difficult car shopping can be, especially after an accident. Our website makes it easy for you to find the new, used, or certified vehicle you’re looking for. We offer one of the largest online inventories of vehicles, and our search features can help you find vehicles with the best features to keep you safe. No matter the circumstances of your vehicle search, we’ll help you find your BestRide. 

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Kasey McNerney

Kasey McNerney

Kasey McNerney is a native of Phoenix, Arizona, and inherited her interest in cars from her dad. She previously worked at Phoenix Raceway, where she assisted with communications for NASCAR events. Currently, Kasey writes automotive content for BestRide and works with auto and auto-adjacent businesses to strengthen their social media presence.

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