At least once every 18 years, a driver will be involved in an accident.
Well, 18 years might sound like a long time, but the truth is every time you hit the road there’s a chance you could be involved in an accident.
Perhaps what you should be worrying about is the severity of the accident you’ll be involved in. While serious accidents can lead to severe injuries or even death, others are minor; resulting in a slightly damaged car, and probably a bruise here or there.
In this article, our focus is on the latter. Keep reading to learn what to do in a minor car accident.
When you have been involved in a minor accident, such as barely bumping into the car ahead of you, you might be tempted to drive away, especially if you’re in a hurry. Plus, it’s human nature to want to flee for the scene of an accident.
Don’t do this.
In the United States, all drivers who have been involved in an accident of any severity have a legal duty to stop and provide their details. If you don’t, there will be consequences. You could face hit and run charges.
As such, the first thing to do is to bring your car to a stop. Depending on the nature of the accident, you might also want to move your car so as to give way for traffic. For example, if you hit a pole on the side of the road, there’s no need to leave the car in the same spot if it’s obstructing the flow of traffic.
If the accident involves another driver, the natural thing to do is to leave the car in the same spot. This will make it easier for the police to determine the at-fault party. However, if you and the other driver agree to sort it out amicably, you can move the cars. It’s a minor accident anyway, so whoever is at-fault won’t be heavily liable.
Assess Your Health
In a minor accident, we don’t expect any life-threating injuries. In most instances, it’s your car that will sustain some damage.
However, this doesn’t mean you should completely ignore your health. Even a minor accident has the potential to cause you some harm, especially if you already have another underlying condition.
This is why it’s essential to assess your health after a minor accident.
Listen to your body. Are you feeling dizzy? Do you have a bruise?
If you feeling anything out of the norm, it’s best to seek medical attention. Perform some first aid or call an ambulance.
But if you feel perfectly fine, proceed to the next step:
Exchange Insurance Information
If the minor accident involves other drivers, it’s important to exchange insurance information. If another party is at-fault, you want to establish whether they’re properly insured; otherwise, they will have to pay for your damages out of pocket.
Once you have the other driver’s insurance information, check the name, type of policy, and expiry date. They will certainly do the same check when you give them your information.
Call the Police
A common mistake most drivers who have been involved in a minor make accident is failing to call the police. Don’t make this mistake.
It’s understandable that you might be in a hurry. Or, if you are at fault and the accident is no more than a fender-bender, you can admit liability in a hush and drive off.
Well, things can change. What if the other driver makes false claims against you? You could easily find yourself in a complex legal situation.
Calling the police eliminates the possibility of such instances. They will arrive at the scene and make a report of the accident, detailing the damage sustained.
With the police report, no one can make a false claim against you. And if the other driver was at-fault, you can use it to hold them liable.
Call Your Insurance Provider
When you purchase an auto insurance policy, your insurer will tell you what to do in the event of an accident. First, don’t admit liability. Second, call them up.
In this case, calling your insurance company comes right after you’ve called the police.
Depending on the terms of your auto policy, the company might send an adjuster to make a report of the accident. It’s essential to call your insurer even if it’s clear that the other driver is at fault. Don’t assume that because they have admitted liability their insurance company will willingly accept your claim.
File an Insurance Claim
After a minor accident, your car might need to go in for repairs.
If the other driver is at fault and they have adequate insurance, their insurer will typically take care of the repair costs. But if you’re at fault and your car is damaged, or the accident didn’t involve another driver, you’ll have to file a claim to your insurer. Here’s how to file a claim after a car accident.
There’s usually no pressing need to hire an auto accident lawyer after a minor accident, but if your insurance starts playing hardball, it might be time to lawyer up. A competent lawyer will get the insurance company to pay you what you deserve.
You Know What to Do in a Minor Car Accident
When you get on the road, the last thing you want is to get into an accident. However, sometimes accidents are inevitable regardless of how carefully you drive.
Knowing what to next after an accident makes a big difference. Lucky for you, you now know what to do in a minor car accident.
Drive safely and keep reading our blog for helpful motoring tips.