How to Deal with a Small Car Accident

Car accidents happen all the time, especially the minor ones. In fact, small accidents like fender benders, scrapes and other minor bumps are one of the most common car accidents and they occur in all sorts of places, from traffic, to parking lots, to neighborhoods. Suffice to say everyone knows someone who has been involved in an accident at one time or another. But if you have never been personally involved in one, it is easy not to give much thought to what you should or shouldn’t do in the unfortunate event you get caught up in one. Here are measures on how to deal with a small car accident that you should take when you fall victim to minor car accidents.

Consider Injuries and Safety

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The first thing you need to do when you are involved in an accident is to make sure everyone at the scene is safe, you included. If anyone needs help, don’t hesitate to call 911 or have someone else do it for you. In the meantime, move your car to the side of the road if it poses a risk to traffic. Otherwise, just leave it as is. Turn off the engine lights, flick the hazards and use flares if you have any to warn oncoming traffic.

Call the Authorities

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Irrespective of the fact that no one is injured or there might be minimal damage to your car, it is advisable to call the police and file a report. This allows for documentation of the accident which should come in handy in the event there is any doubt about who was at fault – or if the other party happens to give false information. Plus, should any injuries surface later on as they are sometimes bound to, who knows, it could be your word against the other driver’s who hasn’t lodged a formal report.

Exchange Information

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Next, exchange information with the driver of the other vehicle involved in the accident. Get their name and details including driving license number, phone number and insurance information. Don’t forget to jot down the car type, model, year, color and license plate.

Gather Witness Information

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Once you call the police, proceed to gather as much information as you possibly can. Get the details of any witnesses who may have been present at the scene; their names and contacts will do. Record the location of the accident, the date, time and other details of the crash. In this era of smartphones, some photos would be a bonus, so make sure to take pictures of both cars at different angles. Include the area of damage, broken glass or skid marks if any.

This is crucial data for insurance claims. While you’re at it, don’t admit guilt unless you’re clearly on the wrong. But if the circumstances surrounding the accident are hazy, admitting liability could have its ramifications. This could include taking on the cost of the damage, as well as paying for the injuries of any affected party which could have the unwanted effect of seeing your rate increase.

Get in touch with your Insurance Firm

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It is easy to overlook the need to report a minor accident to your insurance company and just work things out with the other driver, which is understandable. The downside to this is that the damage or injuries could be worse that initially thought and this could come back to bite. Should you end up getting sued later on, chances are your insurance company will deny you coverage just because you failed to promptly report the incident.

While minor accidents are inevitable, taking these simple measures ensures not just your safety, but also staying on the right side of the law no matter what surprise springs up in future with relation to the accident.

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