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Vehicle Accident Checklist

Keep this form in your vehicle should you need it!

What to Do When You Are Involved In an Accident

Wham! The average person will need a body shop every seven years. When you do, follow these convenient, time-saving steps to facilitate the repair of your vehicle.

Now that you have become involved in an accident, the first thing to do is to get hold of your emotions and do not panic. Try to keep a calm demeanor at all times so you can get a better control of the things around you.

Immediately activate the hazard lights on your vehicle, and pull out of the lane of traffic, if possible, so that oncoming traffic can easily identify that there has been an accident and a hazard situation exists.

1. Put First Things First? Check to see if anyone is injured!

Make sure that you (and your passengers and the other parties involved in the accident) are all medically well. Seek immediate medical treatment for even the smallest of injuries or potential injuries. Instead of worrying how you are going file your insurance claims, make sure all passengers with you during the time of the crash are safe and sound. See if anyone is injured and needs medical attention right away; monetary reasons should not take precedence over the precious life of humans.

If anyone is unconscious, it is best not to move them unless absolutely necessary as moving them could make their injuries worse. If you must move injured people, make sure to keep their head and neck supported the entire time.

2. Keep a Safe Distance from the Crash Site

Get everyone out of the vehicles and keep a safe distance between you and the crash site. The vehicle could easily have suffered serious damage and could possibly ignite into a fire at any time.

3. Alert the Authorities

Always! Call the police and inform the police of the accident. Call 911 and ask for help.

Provide accurate details and stick to the facts when reporting. Provide details of the location of the crash so help can be dispatched immediately. Take photos when possible (even if the photos are taken only with a cell phone camera).

The police department should provide an accident report that will be beneficial in getting your claim handled correctly.

4. Obtain information? from the all other drivers and witnesses involved in the automobile accident, including:

  • Name: _______________________________________
  • Address: ________________________________________________________
  • City: ___________________________
  • Telephone Numbers (mobile, home & work): _______________________________________________________________
  • Email: ________________________________________
  • Insurance Company: ____________________________
  • Policy Number: ________________________________
  • Coverage Limits (liability): ___________________________________

5. Obtain police officers information:

  • Name: _________________________________ Phone:____________________
  • Badge Number: _____________________________________
  • City: ___________________________

6. Write down the car accident information:

  • Date: _______________
  • Time: ______________
  • Other car description:
  • Make: ________________
  • Model: ________________
  • Year: _________________
  • Color: ________________
  • State: ________________

7. Take pictures of everything involved in the car accident(even if it is only with a cell phone), as long as it can be done safely. These pictures should include each vehicle's driver, each vehicle in the accident showing any property damage, skid marks, any other damage to property, as well as the location of the automobile accident. The more pictures the better. When in doubt, take pictures.

8. Create an auto accident diagram.

9. Call Your Insurance Company

Call your insurance company to let them know that your vehicle was involved in an accident. The faster you send a report to your insurance company, the faster your claims will be fulfilled and your car repaired or replaced. Most insurance companies have a "24 Hour" emergency telephone number to report accidents.

10. Do Not Admit Fault

Never ever admit fault for the accident. In far too many claims, the wrong parties are assigned liability because of admittance of fault. Let the authorities perform a thorough investigation and determine fault and liability.

11. Schedule an appointment with your doctor.

Sometimes there are injuries right after an accident takes place, but many people who are injured do not realize it right after an accident. Therefore, it is always wise to see your doctor to make sure that you are okay.

12. Complete the Claims Form

Most insurance companies will follow-up with you and perform an investigation of the claim. This process will usually start within 24 hours of the initial notification of the accident. Complete the claims form that they provide and provide details of the accident to your insurance company. The sooner you do this, the faster your claims will be attended. Have all of your accident documentation present when you speak to the representative of your insurance company.

13. Prepare for Calls from the Insurance Company

Now that you have filed the claims, be prepared for telephone calls from the insurance company. It is important that you cooperate with the investigators and claims personnel by giving exact details as it happened and stick to the facts. Do not give out opinions as it could possibly be used against you in evaluating the claims.

14. Getting Your Vehicle Repaired

Your insurance company may send an insurance adjuster to estimate the damage to your vehicle prior to having the vehicle repaired. This can also be performed at a body shop like ours, or at another location your insurance company utilizes.

Regardless of where the estimate is written, you have the right to have your vehicle repaired at the Body Shop of your choosing. At Hansel Collision Center, we simply input the insurance companies estimate and information, working directly with both them and with you throughout the repair process.

15. Towing

If your vehicle is un-drivable, you have the choice to have your vehicle towed to a body shop or collision repair facility of your choice. Instruct the driver to tow your vehicle to:

Hansel Collision Center
2966 Coors Court
Santa Rosa, CA 95407
(707) 566-8730