Post-Car Crash To Do List And Money Saving Tips
Your car may be a wreck, but your finances don’t have to be. As long as you follow certain steps immediately after the crash, you should come out fine.
The weekend had officially started, and I was going back home to my parents’ farm. I packed the car and got ready for another uneventful drive through Nebraska.
I like keeping my car presentable, so I shook out the floor mats before departure. Approximately ten minutes later, the floor mats still looked good, but the driver’s side of the car looked like the side of the Titanic.
As I was passing through an intersection, a driver in the left lane attempted a right turn. She ended up turning her SUV into my door and she continued to scrape down the side of the car.
CRASHES HAPPEN SUDDENLY. THAT’S WHY IT’S BEST TO KNOW WHAT TO DO BEFORE THEY HAPPEN.
Otherwise, you could get into big financial trouble. So what should be done in the moments after a crash?
Many people suggest you follow a basic checklist like this:
Call the Police
Even if there wasn’t much damage done, it’s a good idea to report the accident. After my accident, I got on my phone right away. It’s calming to know the police are on their way. And since I knew it was the other driver’s fault, I wanted the cops to handcuff her, stat. J/K.
PROOF IS PROOF. YOU WANT AS MUCH OF IT AS POSSIBLE. BEGIN SNAPPING PICTURES AS SOON AS IT’S SAFE TO DO SO.
It’s best to be discrete. Better yet, if you’re reading this prior to a crash, get a dash cam. You can get one for under $100. Put one or two in your car, and you’re covered.
Keep Calm and Don’t Drive On
I wanted to add this tip because, for my situation, it was the most important thing to remember. The driver of the other car was foreign. She didn’t exactly understand the situation. Rather than explain to her what she did, I left it up in the air whose fault it was. That way, she wouldn’t freak out and run when she realized she was in the wrong. A hit-and-run had happened to me once before.
Understand What Happened
When the police come, they will ask what happened. State facts. No need to elaborate or pass judgment on the other driver.
Collect Insurance Information
It’s important to report the accident to your insurance company, as well as that of others involved in the crash. Getting everybody’s insurance information should be a top priority.
Be Careful What You Say
In my case, the other person’s insurance company called me early Monday morning wanting my side of the story. Be prepared for this. What they would like is for you to say that you’re not hurt and quickly settle. Or for you to say the accident was your fault.
Seek Medical Help
The adrenaline may have you feeling invincible, but you could actually be hurt. If you have the slightest feeling that you’re hurt, have a doctor take a look.
Clean Your Car
If you’re up for it, clean the car before getting it appraised. I actually took a few hours off work the following week to wash and detail the car. That’s because when the car is appraised, it will appraise for more if it looks good.
I even printed out a list detailing information about the car, such as mileage, service history, and how many owners it’s had. The car appraised really high, so I believe this stuff worked.
If anything, I’m sure the appraiser appreciated my effort.
You may also want to have a mechanic examine the car. Be sure to ask for a hard copy of their estimate for the cost of repairs.
Don’t Settle Right Away If It Wasn’t Your Fault
It took me a few months to settle, and I’m glad I was patient. It allowed me to review everything and make sure that I was justly compensated.
You are entitled to a lot: getting paid for missed time from work, the time you spent getting your case settled, sales tax, license and title of a replacement vehicle if yours is totaled, current and future medical bills, and emotional pain and discomfort.