If you get in a car accident, you’ll have a million things going through your mind. At the very least, you’ll be stressed and inconvenienced and if the accident was bad enough, you could be injured, shaken or traumatized.
Assuming everything is OK and nobody on site needs emergency medical attention, you can start to think about what needs to be done about your car, your insurance and the other driver.
If you get into a car accident in Missouri, this guide can help you get the necessary steps out of the way on the scene and shortly afterward. The most important step, after making sure everyone is OK, is to make sure you collect the information you need to be protected against insurance disputes.
At the scene of an accident, it can be hard to think logically about all of the information you need to collect. Once you’ve made sure everyone in the accident is OK, you can start to think about what to do next:
Once you are safely away from the scene of the accident and any pressing injuries have been taken care of, you need to contact your insurance company to file a claim. Most insurance companies require you to report the incident to them and file a claim “promptly” or “within a reasonable amount of time.”
Regardless of whether or not the accident was your fault, you need to contact your insurance company as soon as possible. This will help maximize your chances of getting an insurance company to accept your claim and gives you the most protection after an accident.
Chances are the insurer will send out a surveyor to assess the damage of the car and to give you an estimated cost for collision repairs. Generally speaking, the insurance company will issue you that amount of money for you to use to repair your car.
Missouri, like any state, has something called a “statute of limitations” which impacts the amount of time you have to rightfully bring a lawsuit to court.
The statute of limitations for a car accident is different for car accidents in Missouri depending on whether or not the accident caused an injury or death.
In Missouri, you have three to five years to report an accident that resulted in an injury or the death of another person, including a cyclist, pedestrian, passenger or another motorist (five for an accident that resulted in an injury, three for an accident that resulted in a death.)
Keep in mind that if you are involved in a very minor accident that does not meet the requirements above and you choose not to report it to the police or your insurance company, you are taking a risk that you will legally be able to seek repairs or retribution for the event.
Generally speaking, it is in your best interest to always report an accident to within 30 days of the incident, even minor fender bender accidents, especially if you are hoping to get some form of an insurance payout for the incident.
After an insurance company has accepted your claim and has approved certain repairs, you can take your car to a trusted body shop that specializes in collision repair.
At Galen’s Auto Body, we understand that stress. We pride ourselves on creating a customer-friendly environment that makes your auto body repair process as easy as possible.
Our certified technicians use the latest collision-repair technology to restore your vehicle to its pre-accident state. Our auto body shop meets the highest standards in the industry. We can make crunched fenders, broken windshields, paint scratches, bent frames, and dented doors look like they never happened.
If there is one thing we know other than repairing cars, it is that people need their car repaired. Our philosophy is simple: we serve people, not cars. We know the stress that makes you bring your car into our shop, and that is why we approach every situation with you in mind. If your car needs auto body repair, call or visit Galen’s Auto Body in Columbia, MO!