As a mom, you are constantly on the go and your car really is “mom’s taxi”. So, when an accident strikes it can be a massive inconvenience. Not only do you need to figure out how to get the kids to and from school, soccer practice, jujitsu, etc. In addition, there is grocery shopping – after all husbands are no help – and getting to work. No surprise, there is no time for mom, so how can you overcome a car accident?
First Things First
You’ve been in an accident. The first thing to stay calm and make sure that everyone in the car is safer. Let’s face it, this is your first instinct or you wouldn’t be a mom in the first place.
The next thing you will want to do is to turn off the car and get everyone who can get out of the car to a safe place. There is a good reason for this as the accident might have punctured one of the vehicle’s fuel tank and this increases the risk of fire or even worse.
Once everyone is safe, you want to call the police and other emergency services. This is important as you will need a police report for the insurance company, or maybe you will need emergency medical services.
In addition, you will want to take notes and pictures as this will help you when it is time for the police to complete the accident report – especially if you don’t agree with the conclusion of the report.
Once all of this is in place, you will want to call your insurance company. Give them your information and the details about the accident, including the other driver’s insurance information.
This brings up a key point – don’t say too much to the other driver. Just ask for their insurance card and make sure you record everything. Be mindful of anything you say as it might be used against you later.
After the Accident
The accident is over, the police have given you the details of the accident report and now it is time to complete your claim. Fortunately, most insurance companies allow for claims filing online or via an app. The downside is that insurance companies also make money by not paying claims.
As such, you will want to reach out to your insurance agent to help walk you through the process and importantly to make sure they will cover towing rental cars and even medical expenses. In addition, if your car is totaled, then what is the process for determining the ‘totaled car value’ of your vehicle and how will this be paid out.
If your insurance company is not too helpful, then you will want to reach out an advocate who will help you to get the best possible deal from your insurance company. Granted, they won’t do this for free, but having someone on your side can really help with the heavy lifting associated with dealing with an auto insurance claim.
Fix or Buy
While more and more cars are totaled right away, there are also instances where it might make sense to just fix a car. This is the case if the damage is minor or cosmetic. However, you might not know a good garage to handle the repairs.
The best, and often most expensive, bet is your local dealer. However, you might not have enough money from the insurance settlement to cover the costs. Another option is to check online reviews from sites such as CarWise, Consumer Reports, or Angie’s List. All three are a great way to get unbiased reviews on the best auto body repair shops in your area.
Another option is to take the insurance money and sell the car. In this case, you want to make sure you know if there are any strings attached to the insurance settlement and you want to make sure you can get a fair price for your car.
That being said, this might be the best way to upgrade to a newer model, especially if there is some trade-in value in your old car and you can afford the payments. The one trap with buying would be if your old car loan is not paid off. You might want to consider getting the car totaled so the insurance company will pay off your old loan and you can start the over again. The only thing to be cautious of is whether your insurance does not pay off your loan.
As such, you will need to work with your bank to figure out how to handle the balance due. Options include paying it off or depending on the amount, you might be able to roll it into a new loan.
There you have it, how successful mom’s handle car accidents. Remember, you’re a mom, you can handle anything. After all, getting frazzled is for the husbands.