man pondering if he needs to report a minor car accident fender bender

Do I Need To Report a Minor Car Accident?

Depending on how long you’ve been driving, you may have found yourself in a minor car accident or two at some point. If you’ve been part of a fender-bender, sideswipe accident, or were bumped by another car in a parking lot, you may have thought the damage was so minor that you didn’t bother to wait for the police to arrive.

If you, the other driver(s), and passengers are uninjured, you might just exchange insurance information and go your separate ways. But what happens when you are injured in an accident and the shock you sustained masks your symptoms until after you’ve left the scene? If you didn’t report the accident, what are you to do?

After a minor car accident

If you’re involved in an accident, you should take the following steps:

  • Get to safety
  • Check yourself, your passengers, and then others around for any injuries
  • Call 911, if necessary
  • Begin collecting information

When gathering information make sure to write down details about:

  • The scene of the accident (including street identification signs)
  • License plate numbers of all vehicles involved
  • Vehicle damage
  • Any debris located at and around the scene of the accident
  • Skid marks or road obstructions

And, most importantly, contact law enforcement!

The other driver may try to convince you that the accident isn’t worth filing a police report over, especially if he/she was operating the vehicle illegally, doesn’t have insurance, or doesn’t want their rates to increase. But if you’re injured, your insurance company may disclaim your liability or refuse to pay your medical bills without a police report! Even if you don’t think that you’ve suffered from a serious injury after an accident, it’s always a good idea to call the police so that there’s a report of the accident on file and the police officer can act as a neutral witness if he/she needs to.

Latent injuries

If you’re involved in a car wreck accident, you might feel fine initially. As a result you and the other driver may decided not to call 911. However, you need to consider that not all car accident injuries appear immediately after the accident, especially if you’re going through an adrenaline rush (which might momentarily dull your pain). These injuries are common after an auto accident but they take hours or even days to show up:

  • Whiplash
  • Traumatic brain injuries
  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Bruising
  • Spinal injury

Contact a local attorney with questions! Whether you were involved in a car accident or have questions about a past car accident, it’s important to contact a South Carolina car accident attorney, like one from The Clardy Law Firm, to discuss your legal options.