Knowing what to do after a car accident is a key part of being a responsible Virginia-area driver and helps keep you calm in these kinds of stressful situations. Whether you’re reading this because you need help or because you’re trying to be prepared, rest assured that the Land Rover Princeton team is here to help. Read our guide, and contact us if you have any questions.
Checklist for What to Do After a Car Accident
First things first, you should determine whether you’ve been in a minor or major accident. Minor accidents include fender-benders at an intersection or when you back into another car in a parking lot. Major accidents are accidents where someone has been severely injured or even killed. We’ve listed the steps for what you and other Virginia-area residents can do in either of these situations.
If it’s a Minor Accident
- Immediately check to see if you, your passengers, or the passengers in the other vehicle need medical attention. If so, call an ambulance as soon as possible.
- If you’re in a stable condition and the car can be moved, pull it over to a safe spot. Don’t go too far from the scene of the accident, but blocking traffic can often result in a ticket.
- Call the police. An official police report may be required by your insurance company, and it’s always best to have one. You should call even if the other driver suggests it’s not necessary or needed.
- Exchange contact information with the other driver(s). This means names, phone numbers, email addresses, car make and model, and insurance policy information. Get a photo of everyone’s driver’s licenses, license plate numbers, and insurance cards. If there are witnesses, ask for their contact information as well. This is all useful for the insurance claim, and for any potential court case.
- Photograph the damage to the vehicles. Detailed photos of the damage to your vehicle and any other vehicles involved in the accident may be useful for your insurance company or any kind of legal action. If you can, take a photo of the accident scene as well.
- Now that you’re prepared, call your insurance provider. It’s better to call them as soon as possible. That way the claims process can begin right away, or they can help contact a tow truck to get your vehicle safely home or to our service center.
If it’s a Major Accident
- Immediately call 911. If you, one of your passengers, or a passenger in the other vehicle have been seriously injured, you should alert emergency personnel or have someone call on your behalf right away. The police will most likely come along with the ambulance to assess the scene and damage. If you can’t document important information on your own because you need immediate medical attention, don’t worry. The police will likely have considered this and will document the information for you. Just in case, follow up and ensure you have the information you need.
- Contact your insurance provider. Someone may have already filed the claim on your behalf while you were receiving medical attention, but you should still contact your insurance provider to follow up. They’ll likely have questions for you, and by providing more information about the accident, you can ensure everyone is properly compensated.
- Contact your physician. If after the accident and receiving treatment you’re still feeling any pain, visit your regular physician and inform them of the situation. They can provide additional help.
How to File a Car Insurance Claim in Virginia
Your insurance company knows that car accidents are stressful, so they will help you through the process as much as possible. However, it’s still good to be informed on how to file a car insurance claim in Virginia ahead of time. The process will differ slightly depending on your provider and coverage, but otherwise it’s mostly universal. You’ll need to have the following information:
- Your insurance policy number
- Detailed description of how the accident occurred
- Date, time, and location of the accident
- All the collected contact and insurance information of the involved parties
- Name of the police department involved, and the police report number (if applicable)
After you first contact them, your insurance company will walk you through the rest of the process of how to file a car accident insurance claim in Virginia. Your vehicle will be evaluated by an insurance adjuster who will help you estimate the cost of your repairs, coverage, and more. You may need to plan an in person inspection if the photos and police report are not enough to make an estimate.
Land Rover Princeton Can Help You Get Back on the Road!
After an accident, your car will probably need some significant work. Schedule service with us in Princeton, and we’ll help you get back on the road as soon as possible. Our service specials may even be able to help you get a better deal on your repairs!