What to Do After a Minor Car Accident
It’s the sound you don’t ever want to hear. When two vehicles make contact, they scrape and crunch to exchange paint. It could be from backing out of a spot at the store or changing lanes on the highway, but it causes instant stress when it happens.
A minor accident in your car immediately alters your day, and there are so many things to consider. While you just want to get back to what you were doing, staying calm and getting your head straight is important.
No one wants to have a car accident. Even when it is minor, you should follow these steps to protect yourself, which includes contacting a car accident lawyer to represent you legally. Knowing what to do is empowering, and you will have all the information to make sure you aren’t taken advantage of.
So what do you do after a minor car accident? Here are eight tips to protect you:
Look for injuries after a car accident
This is the first thing you should do after a minor car accident. Check yourself for any visible injuries or pain, as well as any passengers in your car. Not all injuries will be immediate, but you should contact emergency services if you need medical attention.
Sometimes adrenaline can hide an injury, so stay calm and wait for a first aid responder to check you out. If you are ok to get out of your car and check the driver in the other vehicle, do so with caution.
Check out the car accident scene
Fender benders rarely cause a danger zone at the scene, but for any car accident, you should make sure there is no immediate danger present. This could be leaking gas or falling debris from a telephone pole or building that was hit. Smoke or sparks coming from the vehicle are clear signs of moving far away.
Document the car accident
Once you know there is no threat, start to document the accident. Use your camera phone to take pictures of the cars involved, the damage to them, the street and any debris around. Write down all you can remember about the accident right away because you may forget some details if you wait.
Exchange contact information with the other driver so you can make a full report to the police when they arrive. This includes:
- Names of the drivers and passengers
- Eyewitness information
- Licence plate numbers and make/model of the vehicles involved
- The driver’s licence number of drivers
- Detailed location of the accident
- Date and time of the accident
This is also vital information to give to your lawyer if one is necessary.
Move the car off the road
If you can, you should move your vehicle to the side of the road so regular traffic can get through. Make sure to put your hazard lights on and avoid getting hit by passing vehicles. Better yet, if your car is drivable, pull into a nearby parking lot along with the other cars involved and wait for the police to arrive.
5. Contact Police
Call the police to attend the accident scene if you have hasn’t done so yet. You should have them come even with a minor collision, so don’t let the other driver persuade you not to make the call. Police can fill out a detailed accident report, and this will help you if you have to file a claim. They also will keep the peace if tempers are high.
6. Don’t Don’t Settle Or Accept Blame
Don’t get involved in roadside negotiations when you are in a car accident. The other driver may ask you not to contact your insurance company and offer to get your car fixed themselves. They may even offer you cash to let it go. Don’tDon’t accept anything because you never know the extent of the damage or your injuries.
Never accept blame for the accident either. Even if you think it was your fault, you don’t know all the particulars regarding road conditions, traffic etc. Be courteous, and don’t start apologizing. Make sure not to get irate and yell at the other driver and if they do, just remove yourself from the situation. The police will investigate and determine blame.
7. Never Leave The Scene
You should never leave the scene of an accident, especially when law enforcement has been called. The exception is if you need to seek emergency medical attention. Leaving the scene of an accident could result in a criminal charge.
You need to report what you experienced during the accident because the other driver’s account will be the only one without this. Make sure to give a full report to the police and exchange all relevant information with the other driver before you leave.
8. Contact Your Insurance Company And Lawyer
Contact your insurance provider once you have taken care of everything at the accident scene. They will start a claim for the accident to get your car repaired. This also is important in case there are injuries.
If you need legal assistance, contact a qualified injury lawyer. They will help you navigate through the process of insurance claims and injury settlements. It’s important to get legal advice, so you are taken care of.