The questions from police officers, other drivers, witnesses, passersby, and other accident victims bombard you at the scene. Once the shock, disbelief and anger have worn off a little and you've mentally conducted a head-to-toe checklist of your physical health, the first call you probably made was 911. After that, the second call was probably to your insurance company.
The Better Business Bureau, which operates in all 50 states and Canada, recently issued tips for all drivers to follow after being in a car accident. The BBB has a local office located in Oakland to serve the Bay Area.
If your vehicle is not ambulatory and must be towed, the BBB recommends that you not allow any unsolicited tow truck that appears on the scene to transport your car. Double-check to make sure the name on the tow truck matches the name of the company you or your insurance agent called. If the tow truck is not branded, ask the driver for identification and/or a business card. If in doubt, call your insurance agent back. They can also help you decide if you should have your car towed to a mechanic, body shop or home.
In the days following the accident, while determining if and where to have your car fixed, the BBB recommends talking with your friends and family, auto part store salesperson, your insurance agent, or even your personal injury attorney for recommendations. Interview different mechanics and ask for their credentials or certifications. Ask if they've ever worked on the same make and model of your car before. You can check with your local Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been logged against any auto shops in your area. Most of all, do not pay for any auto repairs in full until all the work is complete.
Source: lenconnect.com, "BBB Watch: What to do after a car accident," June 27, 2012