Steps To Take After An Accident - Service Research from Carr Chevrolet

Getting in a car accident can be a frightening, stressful situation, especially if you're not familiar with the process. When do you get the police involved? How does the insurance work? And how will you get to work tomorrow morning?! All these questions and more will be running through your mind.

At Carr Chevrolet, we put together this article to help you understand what to do about your car in the aftermath of an accident. Here are six important things to know! Take a look at this article so you're prepared if you ever find yourself in a fender-bender. Have additional questions? Feel free to give us a call. One of our friendly, knowledgeable service advisors can answer most questions you have about automotive repair, working with your insurance and even getting your car towed to our service center.

A duo of drivers assess the damage of their accident.

6. Receive Proper Medical Attention

Of course, the most important thing to check after a wreck is the well-being of everyone involved. Even a small fender-bender can cause soreness and whiplash symptoms. Days and even weeks after the accident, you could experience back and joint stiffness. If you've hit your head, you could develop symptoms of a concussion, such as dizziness and nausea. These kinds of injuries can take days to develop symptoms, so don't hesitate to get the medical care you need, even long after the accident has occurred.

5. Proceed With The Insurance Process

At the scene of the accident, you'll want to take photos of the damage and exchange insurance information with the other party or parties involved, regardless of who seems to be "at fault." Try to remain calm and cordial during this phase of the process, and avoid taking the blame for the accident. Even a well-meaning "I'm sorry" could be interpreted as admitting fault down the line.

The claims process can be a long and complex one that we won't explore too deeply on this page. For now, just remember to get the information you need to get the process started.

An insurance adjustor evaluates the accident damage sustained by this vehicle.

4. File Police Report

If the accident is serious enough, you may need to file a police report. Here in the state of Oregon, the law requires that you file a police report for any accident that results in injury, or from which a vehicle must be towed. If all parties can drive away from the accident safely, just exchange insurance info. Filing a police report may not always be necessary, but, when in doubt, file one. The police report may be used as part of the insurance claims process, too.

3. Understand Diminished Value

Now you know what's required of you during the days and weeks following a car accident -- but what's going on with your car? Well, after a wreck, it'll probably need some repairs. You might just need some body work, but there may be more damage underneath the sheet metal that you can't see.

Because of the possibility of hidden, unseen damage, your car is worth less after an accident. Even in an accident that wasn't your fault, and for which your insurance covered all repairs, you may have lost money in the form of diminished value of your car. When you go to sell or trade-in your car, a vehicle with an accident in its history is worth less than an equivalent vehicle with no accident history. You can file a diminished value claim with your insurer to recoup some of this value.

A flatbed trailer prepares to take this vehicle to the collision repair ship.

2. Getting A New Car

After the accident, your insurer will evaluate the value of your car and compare it to the cost of repairs. If the cost to repair the vehicle exceeds the value of the car, your insurance company may declare your car a total loss. In that event, you'll receive a check for the fair market value of your car (minus any applicable deductibles). At that point, it's probably time for a new ride.

1. Getting An Old Car Repaired

However, if the cost of repairs is less than the value of your car, you'll probably be able to have your car repaired.

While the repairs are in progress, most insurers will pay for (or defer the cost of) a temporary rental car. You may want to check the terms of your insurance policy to see if coverage applies to the rental car, too -- otherwise you might choose to invest in an insurance policy for the rental from the rental agency.

You can choose where to have your car repaired. While most insurers have a network of preferred auto repair shops, it often pays to have repairs carried out by dealership professionals using OEM parts. Drive or have your car towed to the Carr Chevrolet service center for the highest quality repairs!

Once repairs are finished, keep a close eye on how your car drives. If it behaves differently on the road, or you notice unusual noises, there may be more unseen damage that didn't get repaired. If that's the case, bring this to the attention of your insurance adjustor.

It can be a complicated process, but most insurance companies will work hard to keep you on the road so your life carries on after an accident.

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    15005 SW Tualatin Valley Highway
    Beaverton, OR 97006

    • Sales: (866) 970-1590

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