Every car accident is a serious situation for the people involved. Even a minor car accident that appears to have caused minimal damage and no concerning injuries should be taken seriously. You never know when a claim will escalate or complicate due to unforeseen factors, so taking the right steps after even a minor car accident is a must.
After being in a minor car accident, try to follow these simple steps:
- Check on everyone: Minor collisions usually occur at low speeds, but that doesn’t mean that no one was hurt. Check on everyone to ensure that all drivers and passengers are responsive and feeling well enough to not require emergency medical care.
- Call the authorities if needed: Some states require you to call the police after any motor vehicle accident, regardless of severity. Check your local laws now to see if you must. You should also call the authorities if someone appears to be seriously injured, if the other driver is uninsured, or if there are pieces of vehicular debris scattered into the road and affected traffic.
- Take photographs of the scene: Use your smartphone to photograph all vehicles as they are to get a clear idea of what happened. Although, in a minor accident, it is quite common for one or all drivers to pull over into a parking lot or along the curb immediately after the collision, which means your photographs might be more about documenting the damage and less about capturing the accident scene exactly.
- Move all vehicles out of the way: Once photographs have been taken of all vehicles, you should move them out of the way if you have not already done so. Moving the vehicles well away from the street is ideal. Otherwise, there will be a risk of another rubbernecking driver crashing into your stopped cars.
- Exchange insurance information: You need to know the other driver’s insurance information, even if it looks like no damage has been done to either vehicle. Exchange insurance and driver’s license info as you would after any other crash.
- Talk to eyewitnesses: If people have stopped to check on you after the fender bender, then do not hesitate to ask for their contact information as well. They might have seen what the other driver did to cause the crash with more clarity than what you witnessed.
- Notify your insurer: You should report the crash to your auto insurance provider shortly after it occurs. Do not overshare, though. Just keep the report simple for now. Saying the wrong thing at this time could make it seem like you caused the accident.
- See your doctor: It is always a smart move to see a medical provider after any auto accident, no matter how minor. Your doctor can check to see if there are any subtle underlying injuries that need to be addressed.
Final Step: Talk to a Lawyer
A minor car accident will usually not trigger sizeable damages. At most, you might need to pay the deductible for your vehicle repairs and perhaps a small co-pay for a medical examination. When there is such a small amount of money on the line, there is not really a need to get an attorney involved. Most car accident lawyers need to keep their schedules open to help clients in more drastic situations, so they might not even be able to accept a case for a minor car accident, anyway.
However, if your injuries are feeling worse than expected or the vehicle repair costs are unexpectedly high, then it might be time to talk to a local attorney. You dop not want to get stuck with a steep bill because you were overly confident that your crash was minor and “nothing to worry about.”
Drivers in Macon, Georgia can count on Adams, Jordan & Herrington, P.C. for reliable and kindhearted legal representation after a car accident of any sort. Call (478) 449-0137 or contact us online if you need our help for your claim or lawsuit.