What You Need to Know if You’re in a Car Accident  | Scott's Fort Collins Auto

What You Need to Know if You’re in a Car Accident 

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Unfortunately, accidents happen each and every day. If you drive a car, are you informed on what to do in case of an accident? Our Scott’s Auto team is here to provide you with information that you need to know if you ever find yourself involved in a car accident. 

When an accident happens, you can easily become flustered, which can make it hard to think straight about what you need to do — especially if you haven’t read about it beforehand. The most critical thing to remember after an accident is to stay calm. Staying calm will allow you to be able to help others involved in the accident, and it will also allow you to more clearly assess the situation. 

Steps to Take After a Car Accident

  1. Make sure everyone is safe 

First and foremost, once the accident happens, you should make sure that you and others in your car are free from injury. If there is an injury, immediately dial 911 to get help to the accident site as soon as possible. In fact, it is recommended to always get authorities to the scene so you have an accurate, official report for insurance purposes. 

  1. Get your car to a secure spot 

Once you know that everyone is safe and/or you’ve called the authorities, the next step is to make sure your car is off the road. While you won’t always be able to do this, it’s important to do if you can. Reading up on your own state’s laws will help you be better prepared, as it is illegal in some states to move your car after an accident. If you are able to move your vehicle, be sure it is completely off the road, preferably on the shoulder, to prevent you and whoever else was involved in the accident from being struck by other vehicles. IDrivesSafely.com recommends turning on your hazard lights and checking the risk of staying in your car. If you notice signs of smoke or can smell gas, you will need to have everyone exit the vehicle immediately and move a good distance away from the car. Further, you should set up cones or reflectors if you have them to warn other drivers and keep you safe at the scene. 

  1. Get information from everyone involved 

Again, it’s dependent state-to-state on how much information you should exchange after an accident. In most cases, usually giving your name and insurance information to the other driver is all that is needed. While it can be tempting to discuss the crash with the other driver, it’s best practice to wait for authorities so you don’t admit guilt or place blame unknowingly. Nerdwallet explains to at least collect the following information at the accident scene:

  • Name and insurance information of the other driver
  • The phone number of the other driver
  • Witness contact information
  • Photos of the damage
  • Police report number
  • Police officer’s name and contact information
  • Personal notes and details about what happened 
  1. Talk with your insurance agent

Figuring out what your insurance will cover, and what the other driver’s insurance will cover, is often the most difficult part after a minor accident. You’ll need to talk to your insurance agent to get a clear view on what is covered from your recent accident. From here, if needed, you will need to file a claim. 

  1. Take your car in for an inspection and repairs

If your car suffered any damage in the accident, you will need to take your car in for a thorough inspection and needed repairs to keep it operating as it should. In some instances, your insurance plan might cover an inspection after an accident. However, whether covered by your insurance or not, you will want to ensure you’re safe to continue driving the car that was involved in the accident. 

Call Scott’s Auto

If you were involved in a car accident don’t hesitate to stop by one of our Scott’s Auto locations to get your car thoroughly inspected and repaired if need be. With three convenient locations, we are here for you!

Fort Collins – (970)-682-4204

Loveland – (970)-541-4404

Montrose – (970)-615-5150 


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