WHEN ACCIDENTS HAPPEN
How to Respond in a Tough Situation
Being in a car accident is the last thing anyone wants - but when it does happen, there are ways of making sure that the legal and insurance issues are handled with as little stress as possible.
- First of all - stay calm.
- If someone is injured, be sure to call for medical help.
- Make sure you call the police.
- Don't publicly make any statements where you either accuse the other person of causing the accident or take all the blame yourself. It could open you up to legal problems.
- Whatever you do, don't leave the scene until you've had a chance to talk with the officer and you've gotten their name. It's important to make sure that your side of the story goes on the record. Afterward, it's a good idea to get a copy of the police report.
- Make sure you have a pre-printed copy of your insurance information in the glove compartment, along with a camera you can use to provide pictures for the insurance company. A disposable camera with a flash for nighttime or interior shooting is usually best for this.
- In dealing with the other driver, make sure you get their name, address, driver's license number and insurance information - and that they get the same information from you.
- Also, make sure to get information from any witnesses as well.
- Make sure you get pictures of any physical evidence of what could have caused the accident.
- Write down pertinent details such as where the accident took place, what the weather was like, etc.
- Once the information's exchanged, report the accident to the insurance company immediately, even if it's not your fault.
- Make sure you understand how you're covered, and don't be afraid to ask the insurance company to explain the conditions of your coverage and payments.
- Don't be afraid to seek legal advice - and don't sign anything if you don't understand it.
- When you're using a body shop to get repairs to your vehicle, be aware that the insurance company can recommend a shop, but you are under no legal obligation to use its services. You have the legal right to choose the shop to do your repairs.
- Also be aware that insurance companies sometimes try to
dictate what type of parts are used in a vehicle's repair. They might
insist that a shop not use Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) parts, as
they are more expensive.
You have a right to know what kind of parts are being used on your vehicle, and to know if your insurance policy dictates what kind of parts can be used in your car. If your policy lets you choose, you have the right to decide for yourself.
- An insurance company also has the right to inspect your vehicle, but it is not required to do so. In addition, they cannot require you to visit one of their own claim centers.
- And finally: Make sure you learn from this accident, but also let yourself move on from what happened. Everyone has an accident once in a while - it's just something that happens.
Remember - Drive Safely!
Want more information on your rights? To make an appointment, call us at 605-938-5559 or make an appointment online!
J Stee, 05/25/2023
I must've gotten bad fuel and out of nowhere at 4:00am about 5 hours from home with 4 hours till our destination my truck went in limp mode due to clogged fuel filters. Eventually the truck wouldn't even stay running and it was about -8° actual temp and it was extremely windy. I called Route 15 Body Works for a tow hoping to just get towed somewhere we were able to get warm. The gentleman that showed up to tow us was very professional and efficient and worked with a sense of urgency considering the extremely cold conditions. I couldn't have broken down in a better location since I was a short distance from the Route 15 shop where my truck was towed. After arriving at their shop all the employees and owner made us and the repairs to my truck priority putting all other projects on hold. They were able to acquire all the parts necessary to repair my truck and have my wife and I back on the road in a very short period of time. They were very welcoming and hospitable and our experience couldn't have been any better. They had a rental car that they offered for us to use so we didn't have to wait for the repairs and could still make it to my kids birthday at a reasonable time as well which ended up not being necessary since they operated so quickly. Before we left they gave us a couple of shirts one for my son and one for my daughter for their birthdays. (Twins) Which I'm pretty sure my son told me is one of his favorite shirts. The truck ran well and I haven't had any issues since that day. We also received a text checking in with us to make sure we made it to our destination and home and wishing the twins a happy birthday! They turned a miserable situation into a great experience we will never forget where we met good honest people who were there to help us any way they could. Thanks Route 15 Body Works!