Help! I Just Had A Car Accident!

Accidents are the main reason you got car insurance. Instead of losing your automobile because of a moment’s inattention, it’ll be repaired or replaced. Instead of facing a battery of lawyers yourself, you’ve got an experienced insurance company to represent you. Instead of searching for an auto body shop to handle a repair, you’ve got experts in collision damage supervising the process.

You might move quickly from gratitude to worry when you realize there is a price to be paid. An auto accident in Oakville, Chesterfield, Bridgeton, or St. Louis, MO can leave your rates unaffected, or it could lead to a surcharge that inflates your car insurance bill for years to come.

Here are answers to some of the common questions about car accidents and the kinds of car insurance required to make everything right from Car Craft Auto Body in St. Louis, Missouri.

What do I need to do after an accident? What facts should I exchange?

State laws vary, but in general the steps to take after an accident include the following:

Stop immediately. Position your vehicle so that you do not needlessly block or endanger other people. If you drive off from the scene, it will be considered a hit-and-run, which is a significant infraction in most states.

Check to see if anybody is injured. Some states require that you give reasonable aid if anybody is injured, but don’t do something that could cause additional injuries.

Call the authorities for a report. Insurers like to have a police report if possible, and it is required in many states. If you have a small parking lot accident, the authorities might not have time to come to the scene, but you’ll be able to inform your insurer that you did make the call.

Exchange information. The standard rule of thumb is to exchange the following information with the other driver:

  • Name
  • Name of the owner if not the same as the driver
  • Names of any passengers
  • Vehicle’s make, model, and license plate number
  • Insurance information – company name, policy number, and phone number to call for claims

You aren’t required to show your driver’s license, proof of insurance, or your contact info to anyone but the police. You don’t need to inquire about that info from anybody else.

We’d also suggest that you:

Locate witnesses. Make sure that you acquire their names and phone numbers. Tell them that they should stay to give the police statements. Insurance companies show favorability to independent witnesses because usually give unbiased descriptions on how the accident happened.

Take lots of photographs. Make sure that you get pictures of the damage to both vehicles and the entire scene of the accident. You can use your cell phone if it takes photos with good quality. Otherwise, have a digital camera close by. When it comes to insurance claims, a picture really can be worth a thousand words.

Ask the DMV to figure out what you have to do when you have an accident. You have to submit an accident report if there was property damage and/or personal injury costing a certain amount in certain states.

There are plenty of decisions that need to be made when you get into a car accident. To ease your burden, you should pick out an auto body shop before that takes place. When you do, consider Car Craft Auto Body in St. Louis, MO. They have lots of experience restoring automobiles to pre-accident condition and getting their customers back on the road.