5 Steps After an Accident
After an Accident… Do You Panic?
At some point or another, most people will be involved in an automobile accident. Whether they are driving, as a passenger, or the victim of a hit-and-run; statistically speaking we are all going to be in this unpleasant situation. So after an accident, what are you supposed to do? Most people know the basics, many don’t know what exactly to do.
Big Sky Collision Center wants to make sure that you’re safe on the roads. If you are involved in an accident (anything from a fender bender to a major crash), keep these points in mind.
Ensure that Everyone is Un-injured
The first thing you want to do is to make sure there are no injuries. Many accidents are mere fender benders, and the biggest injury is a damaged ego. But this goes beyond ensuring the safety of yourself and your passengers.
Get out and make sure that the occupants of the other vehicle are safe. Likely they will be getting out of their vehicle, so a quick “Are you hurt?” is all that is needed. If there are injuries, or if the accident is severe and the potential for injuries is there, call 911 immediately.
Get Out of the Way
If the accident isn’t severe, and the vehicles are still functional, move them out of the way. A common misconception is that you have to leave the vehicle as it is until the police arrive. If you’re worried about insurance, or the person who hit you making up a story, hop out, and take some pictures as you check on people.
Most accidents happen in an intersection. And too often traffic heading in 4 directions is disrupted because the damaged vehicles are left in place. Move into a nearby parking lot, or at least to the side of the road. This helps clear up congestion, and reduces the risk of you being hit by another vehicle that isn’t paying attention.
Even if the vehicle has no visible damage, and it looks like you can part ways with just a handshake, exchange information. If you are the victim, get insurance and contact information from the other person. If you aren’t the victim, then get the contact information from the other person.
There are times when the visible damage looks menial, but the underlying damage is extensive. Have your vehicle checked out to ensure that major repairs aren’t needed. If you didn’t get the other person’s insurance information, it is a logistical nightmare to get it after the fact.
Get Police Involved if Necessary
After a wreck, the police don’t have to get involved. In fact, most of the time they would prefer it if you handle the situation like mature adults without law enforcement present. Unless the other person is causing a scene, there is damage to someone else’s property (not your vehicle or the other party), or there are injuries, you can skip law enforcement involvement.
Chances are if you are taking care of the wreck, the police will show up and not do anything anyway. At most, they will write the at-fault driver a ticket for whatever infraction he or she incurred.
You Get to Pick the Auto Body Shop
If you’re involved in an accident, you will want to get your car repaired. You never know what underlying damage is out there, and you don’t want to drive an unsafe vehicle. When you speak with your insurance company, they will likely have a list of their “preferred” repair shops. These are merely suggestions.
It is illegal for your insurance company to refuse repairs if you don’t use their preferred collision repair center. You get the choice of who you want to have fix your vehicle. It doesn’t matter if you are at fault, or you were the one that got hit: the consumer gets the choice.
We hope that choice is Big Sky Collision Center in Billings.
Big Sky Collision Center wants no Crashes
In an ideal world, the only business that we would get is people who need a little help restoring classic vehicles. Collisions would be a thing of the past, deer would no longer be smashed into, and icy roads wouldn’t claim any victims. But until that time, we are here to serve you and to let you know what to do after an accident.
If your vehicle has been dinged, dented, smashed, or damaged, we can repair it! We have the most state-of-the-art equipment around, and we strive for perfection. When the repair is complete, we detail your vehicle so you get a car that is clean and safe to drive home.
Call us at 406-259-6328 for more details.