The nightmare has happened and you’ve been in a car accident. You’ve determined it’s a small fender bender and you’ve pull over to the side of the road with the other driver. You’re now standing next to each other with your insurance cars out. You exchange information and the other driver has gotten back in their car and driven away. Now what do you do? Here’s a few things to do before you decide to drive home.
Inspect your vehicle carefully
Accidents can cause damage that you can’t see. Inspect your vehicle carefully. Going over the whole thing. You may see cracks in the rear quarter panels that will need repairs. You’ll also want to inspect your tires, making sure none of them are leaking. If you can, look under the vehicle and see if there are any fluids leaking that weren’t there before. Finally, check all your windshields for any cracks. This inspection is important because you want to be sure to note any damage, however small, immediately for insurance. Write them down on a piece of paper or notebook. If you have a smart phone take photographs of any damage you see.
Inspect your vehicle from the inside.
This is something a lot of people don’t think about. If the outside seems okay, then the inside must be also. This isn’t about inspecting your seats for tears or stains. No, this inspection entails making sure everything works as you’re sitting in the drivers seat. Put the key into the slot and turn on the engine. Do you hear anything different? Can you turn your steering wheel easily. When you press the brake pedal, does it work the way it did before the accident? Do the same with your accelerator pedal. Does it move easily? If it sticks anywhere, make a note and don’t drive it anywhere. An accelerator pedal that sticks is highly dangerous. Just don’t take a chance.
Next, put the care in gear. Does it move easily into that gear? Now put it back into park. Does it move easily still? Look through the windshield on all sides. Are there any cracks you didn’t notice while inspecting the outside? The light reflects differently from the inside and cracks can show that you didn’t see when you were looking in.
Search for vehicle repair shops carefully
Once you’ve inspected your vehicle to your satisfaction, head home and get on the internet. You’ll want to get quotes from repair shops before you contact your insurance so you’ll have an idea of what it will cost and who you’d like to use to have any repairs done. Below are some search terms you can use.
These are just a few search terms you can use to find what you’re looking for. When you’re talking to companies, be as specific as possible to get the best quote that includes as much as you know about what’s wrong.
If you’ve been a serious accident, don’t hesitate to call your insurance before you do any of these steps so they can help you through the process, but if it’s not a serious accident and you’re able to drive your car, you can do the above things to help the process along.