Accident Checklist: What You Need to Know After a Vehicle Collision

No matter how careful you are behind the wheel, accidents can and do happen all the time. Yes, even the most conscientious drivers can be in a collision, from minor fender benders to more serious car wrecks.

After such a crash, an accident checklist will help you prepare for whatever the road ahead may bring. Besides seeking a collision repair expert, here’s a quick rundown of what you should consider doing after a vehicle collision.

Post-Collision Checklist

What you do in the direct aftermath of a collision matters. Even if a car crash involves solely property damage, our informative post-collision checklist contains actions to keep in mind.

Ensure Safety

In the moments following a collision, safety should be first and foremost on your mind — yours, your passengers, and other road users. This means moving yourself and any vehicle occupants out of harm’s way.

It could also mean steering your car out of the way if operable. Moving your vehicle is especially crucial if leaving it at the accident scene poses a risk to others on the roadway.

Finally, it’s best to flip on your hazard lights to alert others around you to the collision so they can be cautious as they approach.

Call 911

Anyone injured during the collision should seek medical help, so call 911 immediately. Even if there are no severe injuries, you’ll need to get the police involved to have proper documentation for your insurance company.

Responding officers will gather information about the accident from you and any other drivers involved, as well as any witnesses or bystanders. The officers may also perform field sobriety tests if drunk driving is suspected.

Get the 411

Obtain as much information as possible about the other parties involved before leaving the collision scene. This includes the other drivers’ names, phone numbers, driver’s license numbers, and license plate numbers.

Also, consider collecting specific car descriptors such as the vehicle’s make, year, and model. Obtain the other drivers’ insurance info and policy number, if possible. Get the contact information for any witnesses or bystanders.

Avoid Admitting Fault

Never admit fault for the collision, even if you are at fault. Avoid answering any questions at the scene when possible. Instead, consult an experienced car accident attorney immediately. Also, do not talk to the insurance adjustors without a legal expert present.

Document Everything

At the scene, take photos and videos to give insurance companies and others a better understanding of what caused the accident and who is to blame. Use your camera to capture vital visual information, such as:

  • Signs that highlight speed limit or stop sign
  • Dents, scratches, dings, and other damages to the vehicle
  • Visible bodily injuries
  • Skid marks, shattered glass, and other debris on the road

Make thorough notes about what occurred, the location, the direction of your vehicle, and other cars involved.

Contact Your Insurer

Contacting your insurance company is essential, whether or not you are at fault in the collision. This is particularly true if you or someone involved in the accident has been injured or your vehicle sustained damage.

Your insurance company will want a detailed account of what happened and the information for all involved parties.

Obtain a Police Report

Consider acquiring a copy of the official police report regarding your collision because your insurance company will need it during the claims process. Also, obtain the case officer’s contact information for when you or your insurer need additional clarification.

Repairing Collision Damages

Once your car, truck, van, or SUV has been in a collision, it’s best to get an expert in collision repair to assess its condition. Even drivable cars may have hidden damage — such as a computer malfunction — that can only be detected by a professional. For example, a collision could harm essential Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS), which include:

  • Lane departure warning system
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Blind spot detection
  • The automatic emergency braking system
  • Pedestrian detection and avoidance

The good news is part of Caliber Collision services, if indicated necessary by your vehicle make/model, involves performing an ADAS calibration check to confirm your vehicle’s safety sensors are calibrated.

So, whether it’s a cracked windshield needing replacement and calibration or extensive body damage, trust the pros at Caliber Collision to get the job done right. Our technicians deliver precision collision repair services you can count on. Trust us for paintless dent repair, glass repair and replacement, and auto body repair by expert mechanics with industry-leading training and the highest certifications in collision repair.

That completes our rundown on what you need to know after a vehicle collision. Reach out to Caliber Collision as soon as possible following your accident to get started on your auto body work and collision repair. Our expert technicians use the best and most technologically advanced equipment to ensure your car is quickly returned to you safely and in pre-accident condition.