Being in an accident for the first time can be confusing and difficult to deal with. There’s likely a lot of worries over who will pay for the repairs and how to prove who is at fault if there was more than one vehicle involved. In accidents like these, it’s a good idea to start by exchanging insurance information with the other driver at the scene as well as getting a police report that can show fault. Then, it’s time to have the vehicle repaired.
Insurance Information and Police Report
At the scene, if it’s possible, get the insurance information for the other driver. It may be necessary to contact the police for a report as well. Some places mandate this for any accident while others let the drivers decide if the police should be involved. When possible, it is a good idea to have a police report completed, because the report can help show who is at fault for the accident. Once the police leave, it’s time to deal with the damaged vehicle.
Drive or Tow the Vehicle to a Shop
If the vehicle is still drivable, take it directly to a shop to have the repairs started. If it’s not drivable, it can be towed to the shop instead. The shop will inspect the vehicle carefully to determine the extent of the damage. Even if the vehicle looks okay, there could be hidden damage underneath the body panels that will need to be fixed. The goal here is to find out what needs to be done to restore the vehicle to the condition it was in before the accident occurred.
Have the Car Repaired
Once they are approved to begin the repairs, the body shop will start working on the car. They’ll repair or replace damaged panels, ensure everything underneath is in good condition, and make sure everything looks good when the vehicle is done. If possible, request OEM parts for anything that needs to be replaced. OEM, or original equipment manufacturer, parts are those designed and built by the manufacturer, so they’ll work properly and fit the vehicle correctly.
Work with Your Insurance Company
The repair work done needs to be paid for and, when possible, it should be covered by the at-fault party. This often requires going through the insurance companies and proving fault, then requesting compensation for the work done. It’s better to let your insurance company handle the negotiations, as they’re skilled at knowing how to get the other insurance company to pay. In some cases, it may require going to court to prove liability and receive payment, which the insurance company will help with.
If you’ve been in an accident and your vehicle is damaged, you may need to take it to be repaired. Follow these steps starting while you’re still at the accident scene to make sure you have everything needed to get compensation if the accident was not your fault. This way, you can have the vehicle restored to the condition it was in before the accident and won’t have to cover the cost of repairs on your own.