When you hop in your car to head out to work or on errands, the last thing you might expect is to get into any kind of accident. However, it is always a possibility, and if you recently dented your vehicle by hitting a stationary object like a pole, you may find yourself wondering what you can and should do to deal with the situation. While a dent may not seem like a big deal, it can have a significant impact on your vehicle's appearance and can even affect the way it functions now and in the future. Get to know some of the steps you should take after you have dented your car by hitting a pole. Then, you can be sure you are taking the best possible care of your vehicle.
If You Damaged the Pole, Contact the Police
Firstly, it is important that you do what is right in terms of any damage sustained to the pole in question. Hitting a city light pole or street sign and causing damage, for example, requires you to contact law enforcement to file a report. You will not necessarily get in any kind of trouble for hitting the pole and may not even get a traffic ticket. However, it is a matter of public safety that any damage to light poles and street signs is reported as soon as possible.
Imagine you hit a stop sign and did not report hitting it. The down sign could lead someone to roll through the intersection and get into a collision, which could result in injuries or deaths. It is better to be cautious and contact the police in such a case. If you hit a pole on private property or a business's property, you will want to let the property owners know so you (and they) can deal with the situation accordingly.
Decide If You Will File an Insurance Claim
Your car insurance is designed to help you when you have been in a car accident and provide you with financial assistance to repair the damages. This includes collisions and other related incidents. Because of this, you will need to decide whether or not you wish to file a claim with your car insurance company when you have hit a pole.
Keep in mind that insurance rates often increase after an accident, and the extent of the damage from your accident may not be enough to exceed your insurance deductible. In such a situation, reporting the accident to your insurance company would not be to your benefit, as you would end up paying for the repairs as well as higher insurance rates and premiums.
Seek Out Auto Body Services
Finally, once the logistical issues of your accident are dealt with, you will want to have your dents and car damage assessed by an auto body repair service. While the dent may not look bad yet, the bending of the metal of your bumper or other part of your vehicle can cause rust to develop.
Rust affects not only the appearance of your vehicle but also the structural integrity of the area in which it is found. Rust also grows and spreads, which will have a significant impact on your vehicle in the future. Dent repair services from an auto body repair shop are inexpensive and can oftentimes even be done without having to remove paint (which saves you the cost of repainting). And seeking out these services can save you a great deal of time and effort in the long run.
With these steps in mind, you can be sure that you handle the situation of hitting a pole as well as possible and get your vehicle up and running again in no time.