If you’re one of the millions of Americans that’s been involved in a minor car accident, know you’re not alone. A minor car accident is something almost every driver will face at some point in their lives. But despite how common minor car accidents are, it can be difficult to know what to do when one happens to you. Traffic accidents, even just a minor car accident, can be stressful, chaotic, and scary if you’re unfamiliar with how to handle them. Here are a few things to keep in mind if you get in a minor car accident.
The first thing you should do after a minor car accident is stop your vehicle. You don’t necessarily need to leave your car in the middle of the road. Instead pull off to the side of the road, out of traffic, and turn on your hazard lights. If you’re worried that moving your car, even just to the side of the road, may risk damaging it because you haven’t gotten a chance to inspect it, just leave it where it is and turn on your hazard lights so other drivers are aware something is wrong.
Call the police
After you’ve found a safe spot to stop, immediately call 911 to report the minor car accident. Even if no one seems injured, a police officer can help mediate the situation between you and the other driver(s) present. The police report they create can also be of help to you in the future with your insurance claim, to help prove that the other driver was at fault.
While you wait for the police to arrive to the scene of the minor car accident, take pictures of the scene. Photograph any damage to your car, as well as to the other vehicle(s) involved. Take a couple of pictures of the location where the accident took place as well as indicators of the weather and road conditions of the day.
Exchange info with the other driver(s)
This is one of the most important things to do after your minor car accident or any accident in general. Get your insurance card, driver’s license, and your vehicle registration and exchange the following with the other driver(s) involved in the accident:
- Phone number
- Date of birth
- Driver’s license # and expiration date
- Insurance company policy numbers and contact info for the insurance company
- License plate # of the vehicle
- Make, model, and year of the vehicle
In addition, look around for any witnesses and see if you can gather their contact information as well. When the police officer arrives, make sure to take down his/her name, badge number, phone number, and accident report number. You should also talk to the police officer to find out how you can obtain a copy of the accident report.
The only communication you should have with the other driver is to obtain the above information. Avoid talking to them until the police arrive. Be truthful and stick to the facts.
Call your insurance provider
As soon as you can, contact your insurance provider to inform them that you were just involved in an accident. While you may want to withhold this information, doing so could cause your insurance premium to skyrocket.
If you were involved in a minor car accident but sustained damages or injuries, don’t hesitate to contact The Clardy Law Firm. Our experienced car accident lawyers can discuss what options you have available and determine the best decision for your situation so you can get the compensation and recovery you deserve.