Minor car accidents are widespread and can happen to just about anyone. Fender benders and slow-moving collisions are the most common types of minor accidents and can happen just about anywhere, but most of them occur in parking lots, driveways, and traffic lights.
Many drivers do not know what to do in the event of a minor collision because damages and injuries are typically minimal, but regardless of the severity, it’s critical to know what to do in the event of any type of accident.
Even minor vehicle damage can cost hundreds if not thousands of dollars to have repaired. Hence, it is critical to take necessary steps, especially if the incident was not your fault. Here are some steps that you can take if you are involved in a minor car incident:
1. Remain Calm
It can be very easy to let the situation get the best of you– especially if it wasn’t your fault– but it’s essential to remain calm, so the situation does not become even more stressful for the drivers involved. Remember that auto accidents are accidents, and the other driver most likely is feeling the same way you are.
2. Check For Injuries
Check yourself and your passengers. Even in a minor accident, it’s critical to ensure that everyone is okay. Keep in mind that injuries are not immediately noticeable. If no injuries were sustained and you choose to file a police report, you can call the non-emergency lines for your local police department rather than dial 911.
3. Document the Scene
After checking for injuries and ensuring the safety of everyone in your vehicle, immediately check to see what damage was done to your car. In most minor car accidents, the damage is typically on the front or back of the car, but it’s important to check for any and all damage that occurred. Take as many photos as you can, and be sure to get a picture of the location where the incident occurred. Take photos of any injuries (if applicable), and be sure to take photos of the other car as well.
Documenting the scene and any vehicle damage will help you to provide a record of the damage, location, and other vehicles involved. The photos will be necessary if you plan on filing an insurance claim, and they will act as evidence if the other driver changes their version of the events that transpired.
4. Exchange Information
Be sure to exchange important information with the other driver—exchange names, phone numbers, and insurance policy information. The easiest way to exchange accurate information is by snapping a picture of each other’s insurance cards.
5. Move Your Vehicle
In minor car accidents, it is generally safe to move your car to a nearby location that is not blocking traffic. Doing this will also help to ensure the safety of both parties and prevent any additional damage to your vehicle.
6. Contact Your Insurance Provider
The sooner you contact your insurance provider, the better. Even if you are not at fault, calling your provider will protect you if any false claims are made against you or your provider.
A perfect time to call would be after exchanging information and safely moving your vehicle. Your insurance agent will walk you through the process of filing an insurance claim. If you live in a no-fault state, you will have to contact your own insurance company no matter what.
7. Contact a Car Accident Lawyer
People may be reluctant to contact an attorney for minor car accidents. Still, if you start to experience any pain or injuries that may not have been present at the time of the incident, you may run into trouble with insurance providers. Insurance companies may try to deny you the coverage you need, and even if it was a minor accident, a car accident attorney could help you protect your rights.
If you have been involved in a minor car accident, you still may want to consider consulting with an attorney to see if they can help you. Hurt Get Help has the network you need to find legal help…fast. Submit a claim today, and we can connect you with a licensed and experienced car accident attorney in your state.
*This article is for informational purposes only and not intended as legal advice.