Being involved in a car accident is a scary event. There are many things to think about after. Is everyone okay? Are there any witnesses? If the accident is serious enough that your vehicle is a total loss, it can magnify the scariness and confusion, so here are some things to think about if you find yourself in this unfortunate situation.
After you have made sure everyone is okay and you’ve spoken with the police, you’ll want to remove your personal belongings from your vehicle. Since your vehicle is a possible total loss, it will most likely be towed away so you don’t want to leave any important items in your vehicle. Some things you would want to remove include your vehicle registration, vehicle title, phone charger, checkbook, medicine, and anything else of value.
If you are fairly certain the vehicle is a total loss, you will also want to take the license plate off of your vehicle. Some states allow you to transfer your license plate from one vehicle to the next, so it would be a good idea to take this with you.
Some things you do not want to take are any items that are attached to the vehicle such as the radio or wheels. If you do want these items for any reason, you’ll want to contact your insurance company to make sure removing them won’t lower the value you’ll receive for your vehicle if it’s deemed a total loss.
Get a business card from the tow company taking your vehicle. In all the confusion of an accident it’s easy to forget details like this, but you likely won’t want to wait for the police report to find out where your vehicle was taken. You’ll also need to leave a key with the tow truck company so your vehicle can be turned on if needed.
Possibly most important is to stay as calm as possible. There is no doubt that an event like this can be traumatic but if you stay calm, you will be able to think more clearly and make sure that you do what is needed to assure a smooth claims process. If you are ever in doubt, contact your insurance company to find out the best way to proceed.
Watch our video above for more tips on what to do after a car accident.