Even the most cautious drivers cannot always prevent vehicular accidents, which can ruin your day. A serious car accident is also difficult to recover from. Good thing, a lot of modern vehicles today, including the BMW, have installed systems that are designed to protect both the occupants and the driver. Nevertheless, it goes a long way if we are prepared in case the unexpected occurs. Regardless of how minor or small the car accident is, it is still traumatizing and frightening! That is why it is important that we understand what to do in the aftermath of a collision, for it will help us maintain our composure and concentrate on the safety and well-being of everyone affected, which is what matters most.
What should you do if your BMW is involved in an accident, even if you weren’t at fault?
Things to Observe After a Car Crash
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, as cited by Helfenbaum (2021), estimates that over 6 million car accidents occur in the United States each year. Having yourself prepared a little in advance is therefore necessary as you might not be able to think straight after an accident. Below are some steps you can do both on the scene and afterward. These will also be of huge help in simplifying the insurance claim process.
1. Keep it cool and prioritize safety.
It should always be “safety first.” However, it will be much easier to focus on safety and handle the accident and its aftermath if you maintain your composure. Before you even step out of your car after an accident, take a moment to calm yourself and then evaluate your situation. Consider these questions: Are you seemingly hurt? Is someone needing medical attention? Is your car situated in a dangerous spot or blocking traffic? Is your car emitting smoke, and flames, or causing another potentially dangerous situation? If you think you need to call 911, do it. Also, even if the collision seems minor, you should never leave the site. Make sure everyone is okay; the rest can wait.
2. Move your BMW to a safe spot off the road.
It is ideal that you clear the road, and if you can, pull your BMW over to the side of the road so it is not in the way of oncoming traffic. To ensure that other drivers can see you in the event of a nighttime collision, turn your hazard lights on. Again, prioritize safety. If you are unable to relocate your car away from the road, take everyone involved, including yourself, somewhere safe away.
3. Examine the Damage to the Vehicles.
Take some time to examine the vehicles’ damage provided that you are unharmed and capable of doing so. If the automobiles haven’t been moved, try to snap images of the damage to each car as well as their current location, or you might want to consider doing a sketch or drawing of the accident. If the incident took place in Houston, Texas, you can take your BMW to a reliable collision repair center in Houston.
4. Call the police.
While it’s possible that the police may not cater to your circumstance, especially if it’s just a minor accident, at least you have to try to file a report to law enforcement about what happened. Remember that some insurance companies would really require you to provide a police report before they will process your insurance claim. Hence, the important thing to do, if the police show up, is to take note of pertinent details such as the police officer’s name, contact info, and badge number. Also, make sure to ask the police for a copy of the accident report. In the event that the police are not called, you can ask the police department or the insurance agent assigned to you for a copy of the report.
5. Gather other relevant information.
You need to get hold of the names, addresses, contact information, and license plate numbers of all those who were in the collision. Also, you must determine how the driver is related to the owner of the vehicle if the driver’s name and the insurance or registration documents don’t match. Then, compile all relevant car data (i.e. VIN, license plate number, color, make and model, and year). In case the other party doesn’t report the collision, then you must obtain the insurance company’s phone number and policy number. To collect more evidence as to what really happened, you can ask any witnesses whether they would be willing to testify.
6. Call your insurance company.
Your next step should be to call your insurance provider to alert them that you’ve been in an accident and to provide them with your side of the story. You must also ask about the specific coverage provided by your insurance. It’s possible that the real cost of repairing your car will be affordable enough to prevent you from going through your insurance and paying a higher premium.
Recover Yourself and Your BMW
Once you have completed all the necessary documentation and had your BMW towed, you should consider getting both you and your car fixed. See your doctor for proper advice regarding your injuries, if any. As for your vehicle, you should choose the safest and most trusted collision repair in Houston. Depending on how bad the accident was, BMW repair can be more difficult. Some BMWs experience issues that materialize years after the collision and after the repairs have been made. So again, have your car taken care of by the experts in collision repair in Houston.