The Dos and Don'ts of Car Crash Etiquette

Etiquette is probably the last thing on your mind after someone rear-ends your car. Do try to remember, however, that handling a car wreck inappropriately can make the situation worse. Plus, using the right etiquette can preserve your ability to collect compensation for your collision repairs.

Do check for injuries and call the police.

As soon as the car has stopped, carefully check yourself for injuries. Your body will release a surge of adrenaline when something traumatic happens, such as a car accident, and the adrenaline can mask the initial symptoms of injuries. In other words, you might not realize you’re injured unless you see or feel it. Run your hands over your face and scalp to check for broken glass and bleeding. Check your passengers too, if applicable. If your car is in the path of oncoming traffic, move it to the shoulder if it is still operable. Then, call the police. Let the dispatcher know if an ambulance is needed.

Do stay calm and collect essential information.

Take a deep breath and collect yourself before getting out of the car and walking over to the other driver. Exchange important information, such as full names, addresses, phone numbers, and driver’s license numbers. You should also collect and provide the following:

  • Insurance company’s name and contact information
  • Insurance policy number
  • License plate number
  • Make and model of the vehicle

Don’t apologize or admit fault.

It’s natural to say “I’m sorry” after something bad happens, even if you clearly didn’t cause it to happen. Resist this temptation after a car crash. The other driver might remember it, and tell the police or insurance company that you admitted fault for the crash. It’s best to avoid discussing the specifics of how the crash happened while speaking with the other driver.

Don’t forget to call your insurance company.

Provide the basic facts your insurance adjuster needs, and ask any questions you may have, such as how long it will be until you can get a check. Have your car towed to the auto collision center. Make sure your insurance adjuster gets the estimate in a timely manner to avoid any delays.

Our customers turn to Michael J’s Body Shop because of our reputation for expert craftsmanship and our unmatched commitment to courteous customer service. We’re so confident in our auto body repair abilities that we offer a customer satisfaction guarantee. Call our auto body shop in San Jose at (408) 279-2070 to request a fast and honest estimate.

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