It can happen to even the best drivers: you’re driving along and oops, you have a minor accident. Whether it’s your fault (you just took your eyes off the road for a second!) or the fault of the other drivers, getting into a fender bender is an inconvenience that no one wants to deal with. The good news is that most of the time a fender bender is just a minor inconvenience. However, to keep it from turning into a major issue there are certain steps you need to take.
First Things First
If you have been in a collision with another car, the first thing to do is get the car off the road and into a safe area. Before you get out of the car, call the police to come to the scene. Most insurance companies require a police report for any accident – even a minor one –, so calling the police right away gets the ball rolling. Collect your insurance information, so you can exchange it with the other driver. If your insurance company has a smartphone app that allows you to start the claims process from the scene, bring it up on your phone and begin entering information. And when you get out of the car, never, ever apologize or admit fault. Doing so can get you into hot water, since the other driver will use your statements against you. Check that everyone is unhurt, and begin exchanging information while you wait for the authorities. If there were any witnesses to the collision, ask them to stick around for a little while so they can make a statement.
When the Police Arrive
Once the police arrive, calmly explain your version of what happened. Again, do not admit fault – based on your statements and those of the other driver, the authorities and insurance companies will make that determination. Snap some photos of the damage to your car and the other. Get a report and follow any instructions the police officer provides.
After the Accident
When you leave the scene, contact your insurance company to find out how to go about making a claim. Your insurance company will probably suggest body shops where you can get an estimate. You can actually visit any shop you want, like Manchester Collision, to get a second opinion. Even if the damage seems minor, it’s important to have your vehicle checked out. In some cases, even a slow speed crash can cause structural damage you can’t see. You should also visit a doctor if you feel even minor pain. What feels like a simple ache can actually turn into a serious injury, and having a medical report on file can help you get your expenses reimbursed by the insurance company. Depending on the damage to your car, getting it fixed might take several hours or several weeks. If you follow the right steps post-accident, though, you’ll avoid insurance company headaches, and be back on the road as soon as possible.
This guest post was written by Jerry Lasley. Jerry is an automotive specialist and enjoys sharing his knowledge of the automotive industry.