Though we never want to think about it, accidents happen. It’s an unfortunate, inconvenient, and scary part of life, as car accidents can be severe and, in some cases, fatal.
While you take the necessary steps to reduce the possibility of accidents, you can only control what you do while on the road. Unfortunately, other drivers may not be as careful, leading you to your first fender bender.
If you’re unsure what to do after a fender bender, keep reading for some of the most essential steps you’ll need to take.
Stay Calm and Assess the Scene
Immediately after the accident has occurred, you may find yourself in an absolute panic. You may not know what to do after a car accident. However, this can only exacerbate the situation. Instead, do your best to remain calm.
Once you take a few deep breaths, you should look around to ensure that you and any passengers with you are okay. If you have or suspect any injuries, when you call 911, you’ll need to request medical assistance.
While fender benders are typically minor accidents, they can still cause some injuries. Ensuring you are okay enough to get out of your car is crucial to staying safe and healthy.
If you feel safe enough, you may also want to ensure that the other car’s passengers are okay.
Call the Police
Once you find that you and the other car’s occupants are okay, you’ll want to call the police. Though you may notice the damage to your vehicle is minor, calling the authorities is crucial.
If you choose to skip this step, it may come back to bite you if the other driver files later on. Having a police report can help protect you against being the victim of a scam.
You will also likely need to provide your insurance company with a police report to help them assess the accident.
Also, in some states, you may be legally required to file a police report after an accident. Err on the side of caution and call the authorities to ensure you have all of your bases covered.
Move the Car Out of Traffic
Once you’ve determined you’re okay and have called 911, you’ll want to move your car away from oncoming traffic. Fender benders can cause significant delays and, in some instances, additional accidents.
Moving your car not only helps other drivers but also prevents your vehicle from sustaining further damage due to awkward or obstructive positioning.
However, if you’re unable to get your car out of the roadway, you’ll want to move it over as far as possible and put your hazard lights on. If you have them, utilizing road flares from your emergency car kit can help alert other drivers to slow down and continue on carefully.
Next, you’ll want to exchange information with the other driver, no matter who is at fault. Though you may feel compelled to apologize to the other driver, even if you’ve done nothing wrong, this can come back to haunt you. Instead, ensure they are okay and begin exchanging information.
You’ll need to get the other driver’s name, address, and phone number. Similarly, you should exchange insurance information, such as your company, the agency’s number, and your insurance policy. Be sure to double-check this information before parting ways.
In some instances, you may find that with minor accidents especially, the other driver may try to talk you into skipping contacting your insurance agency. To protect yourself, you should inform them that you will be contacting your provider and following the proper protocol.
Take Photos of Damage and Find Witnesses
Next, you’ll want to take photos of the damage to your car and any injuries you or your passengers may have sustained in the accident.
Be sure to take multiple photos from various angles to show the extent of the damage to your car. You may also want to take a picture of the driver’s car to ensure that you remember the make and model of the vehicle.
Next, you’ll want to speak to any witnesses and gather their information. If they stay to speak with the police, the police may put their details on the accident report. However, having this information handy can help you should you need it in a pinch.
Contact Your Insurance Company
Once you return home, you’ll want to call your insurance agency. You should do this as quickly as possible, as your insurance company may be caught off guard if the other driver’s insurance agent contacts them.
The agent will likely ask you a variety of questions to input into the system. This is where having photos and a copy of the police report comes in handy, as you will likely need to submit these to your agent.
They will also offer auto accident help by explaining your coverage and guiding you through the process of filing a claim. They will also inform you of how much you’ll need to pay out of pocket.
Find a Lawyer
Finally, in order to protect yourself, you’ll want to find a lawyer.
In some instances, though you may feel fine, down the line you can experience symptoms of a concussion, whiplash, or other injuries caused by the accident. You should also request a medical assessment to protect yourself down the line.
However, a lawyer can assist you should you experience symptoms. You can view here for more information about hiring a lawyer to aid you after a fender bender accident.
If you don’t find a lawyer, you’re also susceptible to being served papers by the other driver. This can leave you panicked! With the help of a professional though, they can guide you through the process and help you have a positive outcome.
What To Do After a Fender Bender: Your Ultimate Guide
Though a fender bender is one of the more minor types of car accidents, it should still be taken seriously.
Ensuring you take the necessary steps to make the aftermath of an accident is essential. This can help reduce the stress and anxiety associated with accidents, keeping you safe and protected.
If you found this guide on what to do after a fender bender informative, you’ll want to check out the rest of our website. There, you can find more helpful lifestyle tips.