In 2019 alone, over 6.7 million people were involved in a car accident. Getting in a crash, in the moment, is terrifying enough, but the effects last long past the actual incident.
Depending on the severity of the accident, you might find yourself dealing with physical injuries or psychological trauma in the days and weeks following the crash. And, on top of all of that, you have to figure out what to do with your crashed car.
If you find yourself in a car accident, remember these tips for what to do.
What to Do Following a Car Accident
Before you figure out what to do with your car, there are a few things you need to do first.
Exchange Information With the Other Party
If you’re not injured, you’ll need to get out of the car and talk with the driver of the other vehicle to exchange information. This will make the logistics following the accident much easier.
Make sure you exchange contact information, like names, phone numbers, and insurance information. If there were witnesses to the crash, you might also want to get their contact information, just in case you end up opening a court case for the accident.
File an Insurance Claim
You’ll want to contact your insurance agent immediately following the accident, to get the ball rolling on filing a claim. Your agent will collect all of the facts regarding the accident and walk you through the process of how to file a claim.
Some insurance companies may even ask you to take photos of the accident using your smartphone to help the process move along faster.
Contact a Lawyer
Depending on the nature of the accident, it’s not always necessary to contact a car accident lawyer, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
By talking to a lawyer following the accident, you can get a better idea of your rights and ensure you’re protected.
What to Do with Your Crashed Car
Once you’ve worked through those logistics, you’re left with a damaged car. So, what should you do with it?
Get It Towed to a Repair Shop
Even if your car looks like it can be driven, it’s best to just err on the side of caution and get it towed to a mechanic. There could be damage that you can’t initially see and you don’t want to put yourself – or others – at risk.
From there, you’ll get a better idea of if it can be repaired and how much the work might cost.
Weigh All of Your Options
After getting the car thoroughly checked out, you have a few options for what to do with it. If the repairs are minor, you can have the mechanic do the work for you. Or, if you’re handy, you might do the repairs yourself.
If your car only suffered minimal damage, you might even just leave it as is and keep driving it for the time being.
If the car is totaled, on the other hand, you can either take the insurance payout, sell the car to a salvage yard, or consider donating it for a tax deduction.
Protect Your Best Interests
Car accidents are stressful, even in the best of circumstances. When you’re dealing with a crashed car, it’s easy to get caught up in the stress of it all.
But don’t let the shock of the accident distract you from protecting your best interests. Following the tips above can give you peace of mind that you’re not forgetting anything crucial.