What to do after a minor accident?

Address: 1701 Piner Road, Suite C, Santa Rosa, CA 95403

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For many of us, getting into an accident is unexpected and inconvenient. Even a minor accident can leave you shaken. Our team is here to help soothe and assist you through the entire process. We offer after hour and weekend drop-offs as well as evening appointments, so you have one less thing to worry about. While it is unpleasant to get in an accident, following these steps will help.


1.) Move to a safe place

If you can, move your vehicle out of the way of traffic. If you can’t move your vehicle, turn the hazards on so that other drivers see your car. Most importantly, move yourself and your passengers to safe spot out of harm’s way

2.) Check for Injuries

Check yourself and your passengers to ensure that everyone is OK. If possible, check in on the driver and passengers of the other vehicle. If anyone appears injured and in need of an ambulance, call 911.

3.) Call the Police

Even in minor accidents, calling the police is important. Having police on the scene can also protect you from fraud and help keep emotions calm. If the police come to the scene, describe what happened without admitting fault. The police report will be a useful and credible resource when dealing with insurance companies and other drivers.

Depending on the severity of the accident, police may not be dispatched to the accident. Ensure that you record everything including the make, year, and model of the other vehicle as well as how the accident happened. In California, an accident must be reported to the DMV within 10 days if someone was killed, injured, or the property damage exceeded $1000. Usually, your insurance company will handle this for you, but be sure to check.

4.) Exchange Information

Exchange information with the other driver including:

An easy way to gather this information is by taking a photo with your cellphone of their driver’s license and their insurance card.

5.) Connect with Eyewitnesses

If there are eyewitnesses on the scene, ask them for their contact information including name, phone number, and address. Their observations can be useful when the insurance companies are assigning liability for the accident.

6.) Use your Camera

Most people have a cellphone with a camera. Now is the time to use that camera to photograph the accident. Here’s what you need to photograph:

  • The other vehicle’s license plate
  • Any damage to the other vehicle
  • The front, rear, and sides of the other vehicle (so the other driver cannot claim additional damages)
  • Any damage to your vehicle
  • Any skid marks on the road
  • The accident scene

7.) Call your Insurance Company

Regardless of who caused the accident, call your insurance company to let them know. They will take down the information about the accident and send an adjuster to inspect your vehicle for damage. Your insurance company may recommend an auto body shop for repairs but know that you legally have the right to choose your auto body repair facility. Your insurance company will work out with the other driver’s insurance company who is at fault, and who will pay for repairs. Once you bring your vehicle in for repairs, it can be fixed and returned to you!

Accidents are never fun. Following these simple and straightforward steps takes the hassle out of accidents. Cline Collision Center offers convenient, reliable, and high-quality auto body repairs that will get you back on the road in no time! We even offer evening appointments as well as after hours and weekend drop-offs!