Have you ever been involved in a minor collision, such as a fender bender? If so, you are not alone. Unfortunately, car accidents are a common occurrence with millions of incidences, from minor fender benders to major collisions, being reported each year. These accidents can be nerve-racking, raising many questions regarding what to do in the aftermath of the collision.
Car accidents can occur anytime and anywhere, including parking lots, highways, or even your own driveway. If you are involved in an accident, such as a fender bender, staying calm and having a plan can aid in a speedy repair.
Here are some steps to follow if you are involved in a fender bender:
- Move the car to safety.
Should I move my car? This is a common question that many are confused about upon getting into a minor fender bender. If a car rear-ends you on a major highway, it is best to move your car out of the line of traffic for safety purposes. After doing so, you can proceed to turn on your hazard lights. This will allow you to remain visible to other drivers passing by. Check on the well-being of everyone in the vehicle, including yourself. If someone is hurt inside the car or the car cannot be safely moved off the road, keep the car where it is. Call 911 or ask someone else to do so on your behalf.
- Exchange information.
After getting into an accident, you must exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. This information will prove useful when filing a claim with your insurance provider. Exit your car on the opposite side of traffic. When exchanging information, avoid standing on the side of the car with passing traffic for optimal safety. The following information should be exchanged:
- Full name
- Phone number
- Driver’s license number
- License plate number
- Vehicle make, model, and color
- Insurance company policy number
- Names and phone numbers of witnesses
- Document the accident with pictures.
It is recommended to document the scene of the accident through detailed note-taking and photography. Take pictures of your car from different angles to show the damage that incurred. When the police officer arrives to the site of the accident, ask for their name, badge number, and phone number. You may also want to ask the officer when you can receive a copy of the accident report. This may take a couple of days to acquire, but it is important to keep as part of your records.
- Call your insurance company.
It is crucial to call your car insurance provider, as soon as possible to jumpstart the process of filing a claim. You will need to supply information related to the accident, so you may want to call while you are still at the scene of the accident. Be sure you have obtained all necessary information from the other driver to pass along to your insurance provider. Your auto insurer should discuss the specifics of your coverage, such as your deductible and rental reimbursement coverage.
- Choose a repair shop.
Although your insurance company may make recommendations for you, it is ultimately up to you to choose a collision repair shop. The insurance company may make a payment directly to the repair shop or write a check to you to cover the costs of repairs. Finding a reputable collision repair shop that you can rely on to fix your car can relieve stress and get you back on the road sooner, rather than later.
Being in a fender bender can be a stressful event. However, knowing what steps to take following a minor collision can help you handle the process with ease.
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