Fact: Folks who don’t wear their seat belt are 30X more likely to be ejected from their vehicle during a crash. Despite those odds, and despite the fact that wearing one drastically reduces your risk of death by 45% and serious injury by 50%, amazingly 1 out of 7 drivers or passengers still don’t wear one.
As reflected by the numbers above, accidents happen quite frequently. Odds are if you drive or ride in a vehicle daily, you will find out first hand! There are a number of things you should know to do after a car accident.
A quick list to help you might look something like this:
- Make sure everyone in your vehicle is safe, and check on the extent of their injuries.
- Turn you hazards lights on. Approaching vehicles are likely not expecting to encounter an accident, so flashing lights can alert them ahead of time and keep you safe from a second event.
- Call 911 asap to get the proper responders in motion as quickly as possible.
- For safety’s sake, if possible, you should move your vehicle out of the path of traffic, provided your injuries do not prevent you from being able to do so, and your vehicle can be moved. If this isn’t possible, YOU MAY BE SAFER STAYING IN YOUR VEHICLE UNTIL EMERGENCY RESPONDERS ARRIVE ON SCENE!
- DO NOT DEBATE WHO WAS AT FAULT WITH THE OTHER DRIVER!
- Take plenty of pictures. Jot down some notes. This will help keep your thoughts straight later, when it’s time to file your claim and tell your side of the story!
- Finally, it goes without saying that you should report the incident in a timely manner.
After Things Settle Down
So, now you have a vehicle that needs to be repaired. You have a number of rights as a consumer and knowing (and exercising) these rights can be vital to making sure your vehicle is repaired safely and properly. For instance, did you know that in almost all cases, you are not bound to use the suggested repair facility? That’s right, you have the right to have your vehicle repaired wherever you prefer! Don’t get me wrong, the suggested facility could be just what you need. But if you already have a place in mind, you almost certainly can use them**.
You also have the right to request that only Original Equipment (known as O.E.) collision replacement parts be used. This doesn’t guarantee that your request will be honored though, so check your specific state’s laws regarding collision repair, as well as your policy’s limitations**.
**Consult your policy for details. If you have any questions at all, you should check with your agent