What to Do After a Car Accident
How to Appropriately Respond to a Car Accident
To ensure the safety of yourself and others. If you are involved in an accident, it is important to stay calm and assess the situation. If anyone is injured, call 911 immediately. Even if there are no obvious injuries, it is important to seek medical attention to be checked out for any hidden injuries.
Ensure Safety First:
The immediate priority after an accident is safety. If possible, move your vehicle to a safe location, turn on hazard lights, and check for injuries among yourself, passengers, and others involved. Call 911 for medical assistance if necessary.
Notify Law Enforcement:
Contact law enforcement as soon as possible. It's crucial to report the accident to the police as they will create an official accident report, which can be valuable for insurance claims and legal purposes later on.
Exchange contact and insurance information with the other parties involved in the accident. Gather names, phone numbers, license plate numbers, and insurance details. It would be ideal to be polite and cooperative during this process. Also, make sure to get information from any witnesses as well.
Document the Accident:
Take photos and videos of the accident scene, including vehicle damage, license plates, road conditions, and traffic signs. This visual evidence can be essential for insurance claims. Write down details such as where the accident took place, what the weather was like, etc.
Seek Medical Attention:
Even if you don't feel injured immediately, it's advisable to seek medical attention. Some injuries may not show symptoms right away, and a medical evaluation can help in documenting any injuries related to the accident.
Notify Your Insurance Company:
Report the accident to your insurance company as soon as possible. Provide them with all the necessary details, including the other driver's information and the accident report number.
Avoid Placing Fault:
While it's essential to cooperate with the authorities and share information, avoid admitting fault or making accusations towards anyone involved. Fault determination is often handled by the insurance companies and legal processes.
Contact an Attorney:
If the accident involves significant injuries or complex liability issues, consider consulting an attorney experienced in personal injury cases. They can provide guidance on your legal rights and potential claims.
Maintain detailed records of all accident-related expenses, such as medical bills, repair costs, and any missed workdays due to injuries. This documentation will be crucial for insurance claims and potential lawsuits.
Follow Up with Insurance:
Stay in communication with your insurance company throughout the claims process. Cooperate with their investigations, provide requested documents promptly, and keep track of claim progress.
When you're using a body shop to get repairs to your vehicle, be aware that the insurance company can recommend a shop, but you are under no legal obligation to use its services. You have the legal right to choose the shop to do your repairs.
Also be aware that insurance companies sometimes try to dictate what type of parts are used in a vehicle's repair. They might insist that a shop not use Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts, as they are more expensive.
Ken Fisk, 06/21/2022
I had just converted my 2020 Hyundai Elantra from a lease to a purchase and now owned a car I thought I was going to turn in. I had not done any of the maintenance except for oil changes as I thought Hyundai would be taking care of that. With the car over 40K miles and due to experience with other prior purchases, I figured I was in need of a transmission oil change, Radiator flush and a engine oil change. The nice people at Cottin's made an appointment and we got together on the appointed date and time. They had the car on the rack about 15 minutes and came out to tell me my transmission oil was nowhere close to being due. Per Hyundai, that was a 120K service and they had a tamper sticker over the plug as it probably should be done at Hyundai direct. I asked them about the radiator. Again, due at approx 80k and my car was only 40k. They offered to still do the service if I really wanted to waste the money, but said it was not necessary. All I really needed was an engine oil change, air/cabin filters and some wiper blades. They took care of those items quickly and efficiently and the cost was very reasonable. Most other shops I know would have done the work I originally requested and not said a word, happy to make the quick buck without me being the wiser. Cottin's on the other hand only did what was needed and did it well. I am very pleased with the services done and will be back in the event I do have a break-down or when I do hit the mileage for the other services. Thank you for being SO honest and transparent. You have earned a customer for life!
Up to 5 qts, regular filter. Plus tax and disposal.
Cannot combine with other offers. Must present coupon. Certain restrictions apply.
Cannot be combined with any other offer Must present coupon. Certain restrictions may apply.