Things To Do After a Car Crash - Capitol Chevrolet Service Information

Action movies make everything look so simple. After a car crash, the hero jumps out, ready to face the villains head-on. In real life, things are a bit different. Even people who are normally calm and level-headed can find that they don't know quite what to do in a car accident. Even if there aren't any injuries, the shock alone can disrupt the normal thought process. That's why knowing what to do beforehand can really help. At Capitol Chevrolet, we want to make sure you have access to vital information, which is why we've put together this page. We hope you're never in an accident--but, if you are, be sure to follow these five steps.

An accident can be jarring, but it's important to remember the steps you need to take

5. Make Sure Everyone Is Safe

The first thing to do is to check yourself and any passengers for injuries. If someone is seriously hurt, call 911 for an ambulance immediately. If nobody has any serious injuries, it's time to make the scene of the crash itself safer. If the accident was minor, move all cars involved out of the way of traffic. If your car can't move, we recommend setting up safety triangles to make sure other vehicles know to be watchful.

4. Call the Police and Gather Information

Even if nobody is injured, it's still a good idea to call the police, especially if the accident is more than just a minor fender bender. If there's more than just minor cosmetic damage or if there's a personal injury, you should automatically call the authorities. However, it may still be a good idea to file a police report even if these haven't been met. Failing to do so may leave you open to litigation later.

Though you should exchange information with the other driver, avoid saying much else

Whether you've decided to call the police or not, there are some important steps you should also take. First, exchange information with the other driver. Second, take photographs of the scene (though, if the police are coming, don't move anything). However, don't talk to the other driver beyond simply exchanging information. Discussing the accident may lead you to accidentally say something that can be used to place fault on you.

3. Get Medical Attention

After an accident, it's a good idea to get checked out by a medical professional. If you've been injured, a trip to the emergency room might be in order. But if your injuries are minor or you're just a little sore, it may still be worth going to see a doctor or visiting an urgent care center. Often, the adrenaline that comes from having been in a crash can mask injuries. It's only later, when things have calmed down, that the effects of things like whiplash may set in. Visiting a professional as soon as it's convenient in order to get checked out can help your health, and it can also provide documentation if it's needed at some point.

If you file a claim, an adjustor may look over your car to see if it's damaged enough to be totaled

2. File a Claim with Your Insurance

There are some collisions where it doesn't make sense to file an insurance claim. If the damage is minor enough that repairs wouldn't be more expensive than your deductible, you may end up paying out of pocket anyway--but with the possibility of increased premiums. However, it's best to check your insurance policy before following this advice. Some policies state that you must file a claim; failing to do so could land you in trouble.

1. Bring Your Vehicle to an Authorized Service Center or Body Shop

Whether your car has a simple bent fender or more serious damage to components like the doors or quarter panels, you should have it repaired. Even damage that appears simply cosmetic may actually more serious, so it's best to have professionals look at it. We recommend using the Capitol Auto Group Collision Center, which is staffed by experts who know their way around your vehicle.