Fender benders always happen when you least expect it. And since they usually inflict only minor damage, most people prefer to settle the matter privately, outside of the insurance company. While this may seem like a good way to avoid a rise in the insurance premiums, it can cause bigger problems down the road. Instead, follow this guide on what to do after experiencing a fender bender to avoid any future headaches.
See If Anyone Is Hurt
First things first – make sure that no one was injured in the fender bender. If there are any serious injuries, make sure to call the ambulance immediately. If someone was hurt, even with minor injuries, you would need to call the police to document the occurrence.
Take Notes And Photos
As soon as a fender bender occurs, make sure to take photographs of the damage sustained to your vehicle and any damage inflicted to the other vehicle involved. Also, take photos of the scene and everything in the surrounding area to document just in case. If you can, jot down a few detailed notes about the scenario, the speed you were going, what you were doing during the impact, people involved, and any witness contact information that you can keep on hand.
Assess The Damage
Your fender may look dented, but it could be cracked underneath. Appearances can often be deceiving, so it’s important to give your car a really good look over before driving away. Check the sound that your car makes when the engine is started – check if there is any liquid coming from the car, or if there is an odd smell and any other noticeable problems that arise.
It’s important to note that if the damage exceeds $1,000 it must be reported to the police. However, if the damage was inflicted on private property, such as a parking lot, you only need to report it to the police if there is damage to the property or if someone was injured.
Call Your Insurance Company
Not calling your insurance company can result in future problems if the other party decides to report it to the police or their insurance company. You could lose your insurance coverage or face fines. So, always contact your insurance company when you experience a car accident, including a fender bender, and obtain the other driver’s insurance information as well.
Visit Your Dealership Or Mechanic
Getting your car checked immediately after a fender bender can help spot any minor problems that can escalate into big ones if left unnoticed. Preventative maintenance should always occur after any accident.
Talk To A Personal Injury Lawyer
If an injury has occurred because of the fender bender, you should also contact a personal injury lawyer. They can ensure your rights are protected in the event of a lawsuit.
A fender bender may only be a minor incident, but you should always report accidents of any magnitude to your insurance company to avoid any unexpected situations. If you have any questions you can talk to us at Zuber Brioux – we have personal injury lawyers ready to help you with your fender bender accident and any other personal injury situations you need help with.