Determine whether you and anyone else involved are okay. If you are:
1. CALL THE POLICE
No matter how small the accident, contact the police and make a report. Even if there appears to be no dents or scratches. You never know if there is hidden damage to your car. Without a report, insurance companies make it difficult to cover any repairs. Many times the other driver will try to convince you to avoid going through insurance, however, they often do so themselves after the fact. You may be accused of leaving the scene of an accident, simply for being courteous so protect yourself, get that police report! It is the most important first step you can take.
2. CONTACT YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY
3. CHOOSE A LICENSED AUTO BODY SHOP WITH GOOD REVIEWS
Insurance companies will try to force you to go to auto body shops affiliated with them. Insurance companies do everything they can to save money so they associate themselves with shops that are willing to help them do that. This means subpar work that does not last. This is not always the case but do your research. You are NOT obligated to to have your car repaired by shops provided by your insurance company, YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO TAKE YOUR CAR WHEREVER YOU WANT.
4. TAKE YOUR CAR TO THE AUTO BODY SHOP (OF YOUR CHOICE) TO BE INSPECTED BY INSURANCE
Insurance companies might persuade you to inspect the car at your home. DO NOT LET THEM. They WILL lowball your estimate which will not cover all the cost of the repairs. Auto body shops will provide towing if the car is immobile so let the professional body shop handle the assessment of the damage along with your insurance inspector to allow your damages to be properly assessed. It's very common to find further damage as the car is being taken apart for repairs and a reputable shop will fight the insurance companies to cover those repairs on your behalf.
Your body shop should be headache-free. Do your research, find a reputable place and you won't have to worry, your car will be good as new!
-Jay's Freeway Collision
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