Farris & Farris, P.A.

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You survived a crash, but what about the damage to your car?

Following a car crash, your first responsibility is to check yourself and your passengers for injuries. If everyone is all right, you can then check your car for damage.

Even if the accident was a relatively minor rear-end collision, your car could sustain hundreds or thousands of dollars' worth of damage. What are your next steps?

Determine eligibility

When you are the victim of a vehicle crash, you are eligible to receive insurance compensation to cover your medical expenses, loss of income and more—but what about your car? You must first contact your own insurance company, report the accident and confirm you are eligible to file a property damage claim.

Gather information

Having the appropriate information about the crash will be quite helpful, especially when it is time to file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. Collect as much information about the other motorist as possible: name, address, phone number, driver’s license number and the name and contact information of his or her insurance company.

Take photos

Your cell phone will come in handy for taking pictures of the crash scene, the damage to all vehicles involved and evidence of the accident such as skid marks on the pavement. Take your photos from several different angles.

Get reports

When law enforcement officers arrive, they will write up a report about the accident. Request a copy of the police report and note the weather for the day and time of the crash. Provide both copies to your attorney. Along with the photos you take, these reports will be useful in forthcoming negotiations with the other driver’s insurance agency.

Moving forward

After filing your property damage claim, you and your attorney can work with the claims adjuster on repairs to your vehicle. You can choose the auto repair shop, and you can also ask for a rental car to use while yours is being fixed. One final thought: Property damage is not just about vehicles. Claims can extend to any property inside your car damaged in the accident—like the laptop that ended up smashed on the floor of your vehicle.

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