I’ve Just Been in an Accident — Now What?
In the moments after an accident, you may feel a mix of confusion, fear and even anger. Your next thought may be about whether everyone is okay and how much the repairs to your vehicle are going to set you back with the auto body repair shop.
It is important that you take the right steps after an accident to preserve your legal rights and the future compensation for your injuries and the damages to your vehicle. Here are a few things you need to do after you’ve been in an accident in Apache Junction:
Check for Injuries
Your health and safety are the most important things to consider after you’ve been in an accident. The damages to your car can be repaired, but the injuries to you or other passengers could be life-threatening. Check yourself over for injuries, and then ask everyone in your car and the other cars involved in the accident if they are injured. Keep in mind, numerous additional physical issues occur 24-48 hours after the accident.
If anyone needs medical assistance, call 911 for immediate help. Tending to injuries is the first priority after an accident, even if they don’t seem critical.
While you are waiting for the authorities to arrive, you should exchange information with the other driver. Get the person’s name, address, telephone number, vehicle information and insurance information. Make sure you also collect the personal information for any witnesses to the accident. You will then be able to contact these witnesses later if they are not able to remain on the scene.
File a Report
Once the police arrive, you should provide all the information you can about the accident. Explain exactly what happened in as much detail as possible. This information will be used for the official report, which will also be used to determine fault and compensation from the insurance companies.
Be calm and clear when dealing with the police. You don’t want to make an emotional situation even more tense.
The police or an insurance adjuster will likely take photos of the scene of the accident, but it is important that you do so, as well. You may document the damage from another angle, or you may have an extra set of photos in case anything happens to the official snaps. You’ll also have photos for yourself to keep your own record of the crash.
Contact the Insurance Company
The insurance company will likely reach out to you within a few days of the accident, but it won’t hurt to make the first move. The sooner you call, the sooner things can get put into motion so you can get reimbursed for damages — even if the accident was your fault.
If you are at fault, you will be filing a claim with your own insurance company. If the other driver is at fault, you may work with their insurance company directly, or your insurance company may act as an intermediary to get you reimbursed. In either scenario, you will likely have to talk with both insurance companies to provide your version of events.
Get the Damage Repaired
In many cases the insurance company may give you specific instructions where to go to get your vehicle estimated and repaired. In all cases, you have the right to choose your own repair center, and the insurance company will send out an in-house adjuster to appraise the damage or send an assignment to the repair facility so they can write and photo the damage and upload to the insurance for repair authorization. You’ll then likely get a check for the estimated damages, or the insurance company will work directly with the body shop Mesa to pay for the repairs.
Make sure that you have your vehicle repaired at a facility that is trained and certified to work on your specific type of vehicle. In today’s market most shops will tell you that they work on all types of vehicles, but training, certification and repetition is imperative to repair the vehicle properly and guarantee that the new technology components of today are repaired, calibrated and adjusted properly to avoid future damage or even loss of Manufacturer warranties.
Once you have worked out the initial details after your auto accident, Excel Collision and Glass Centers is here to help you get your car back into top shape. Our Apache Junction auto body repair shop will work with your insurance company or the other driver’s insurance company to get the repairs approved and the bill paid. Call us today if you’ve been in an accident, and let us get your car back on the road.
Excel Collision and Glass Centers – Tim Stone
1135 S. Center Street
Mesa, AZ 85210
6343 E. Test Drive
Mesa, AZ 85206
Apache Junction Repair Facility
610 E. 39th Ave.
Apache Junction, AZ 85119
Apache Junction Satellite Location
3400 S. Tomahawk Road
Apache Junction, AZ 85119