Thursday, July 20, 2017

What to Do If You Get in an Accident

PEKIN, Ill.,–– Getting into a car accident can be a very stressful situation. The Illinois Department of Transportation estimates that at least 1,055 deaths occurred on Illinois roads due to car accidents, the highest it's been since 2008. Keeping alert and aware on the road can reduce or altogether prevent accidents from occurring in most situations, although it's impossible to predict the behaviors of other drivers. If you find yourself in a collision, no matter how big or small the damage is, knowing what to do if you get in an accident will keep you prepared for any situation.

What to Do If You Get in an Accident

Step 1: Get to Safety

The moment you get into an accident can put you into shock, but getting to safety is one of the most important steps in ensuring you and your passengers are not further hurt. If you're able to move your vehicle, pull over on the shoulder or a safe area to get away from oncoming traffic. However, if the damages to your vehicle are too severe to move your vehicle, turn on your hazard lights to inform other drivers of your inability to move. This will prevent further damage from occurring and can potentially prevent the accident from getting any worse. 

Step 2: Make Sure Everyone is Okay

Your next step is making sure that everyone involved in the accident is okay. Ask your passengers, if you have any, if they feel fine or if they have any pain. If any of your passengers or other parties involved in the accident require medical attention, call 911 immediately. Sometimes, even minor symptoms like dizziness can lead to worse symptoms if left untreated, so it's better to be safe than sorry in accident-related situations. 

Step 3: Call the Police

After ensuring that everyone involved in the accident is okay, it's time to call the police to the scene. No matter how minor the accident may be, a police report is needed to provide proof to your insurance company when filing a claim. After the police provides their report, call the station the officer responded from to receive a copy for yourself to give to your insurance company, if the officer didn't already provide you with one. You can also file an accident report with your DMV if the police are unable to arrive on scene.

Step 4: Exchange Insurance Information

While you're waiting for the police to arrive, it's best to gather as much information as you can on the scene. In order to help file a claim with your insurance company, we recommend gathering these items:
  • Insurance information from any other parties involved
  • License plate numbers
  • Vehicle registration of other parties involved
  • Pictures of the accident
  • Eyewitness testimonials and contact information
  • The name of the police officer responding
Having this information on hand will improve your chances of receiving a beneficial insurance claim. Making sure you obtain as much proof as possible can make a huge difference when you finally file for your claim, so keep a record of your accident on hand for quick reference!

Step 5: File an Insurance Claim

Once you've obtained all of the proof in order to file the claim, it's time to call your insurance company. Before you make the call, make sure you have these three items on hand to reference:

  1. A copy of the police report
  2. The insurance information, license plate number, and a copy of the vehicle registration of any other parties involved
  3. Any additional evidence to benefit your case (eyewitness testimonials, pictures of the accident, etc.)
If you aren't sure what to do when you file an insurance claim, we can help too! After you schedule your appointment to get your vehicle repaired, we can help you through the entire process of filing your claim, from start to finish! Our knowledgable Finance Team can work with you directly to file the claim, or they can save you the stress and file the claim for you! Whether you file your insurance claim on your own or with us, make sure you write down your claim number - you'll need it!

Step 6: Schedule an Appointment

Now that you have your insurance claim number, police report, and all of the information regarding your accident, it's time to schedule your appointment for service. While every accident is different and there is no definitive timetable for any collision repair, we are happy to make arrangements for you if needed. If you're in need of a temporary vehicle while we repair yours, we can provide you with a rental to help you get back on the road right away!

Whether it's a mild accident or something more severe, we at Velde Ford Pekin are here to help you through every step of the way. Staying apprehensive and focused on the road is key to avoiding car accidents. However, making sure you know what to do if you get in an accident will prepare you in the event that one actually occurs. You can further prepare yourself by learning about the different types of accidents and how to avoid them. Learning the ins and outs of insurance claims will also give you an advantage when you go to file one, and it can better help you communicate with your insurance company as you navigate through this stressful process. We hope that our guide on what to do in the event of an accident prepares you for anything, should it occur in the future.

At Velde Ford, we're committed to providing our customers with an unbeatable level of service and a great car buying experience. Stop by the dealership located at 2200 North 8th Street, Pekin, IL 61554 or visit our website: for more information.

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