April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. This nationwide effort is designed to bring attention to statistics that show there are six million car collisions on average, every year in the US. Tailgating represents over one-third of most fender bender causes. Were you recently involved in one of these collisions? You can learn more from this helpful guide on how to handle a fender bender accident. Follow these steps so you can recover your damages quickly.
What to Do After a Fender Bender Accident
If you’ve been in a fender bender car accident, your immediate attention will be consumed with feelings like pain or shock, even if the accident is your fault. As hard as it may sound, the best thing to do is stay calm. Keep your cool and set these following tasks into motion:
You should never drive away from an accident scene, even if it seems like a minor one. This is also important to do so you can take time to assess your own physical condition or that of others in your vehicle.
Exchange Personal Information
If no law enforcement officers are responding to the accident, then you ask for the name, address, and telephone numbers of the other driver/s and any passengers involved in the accident. Ask the other driver/s for their insurance information and ask them to show you their proof of insurance card. If there are any witnesses to your accident, ask them for their contact information as well.
Take Pictures of the Scene
If you happen to have a cell phone or camera in your car, take pictures of all vehicles involved if you can see visible damage. As well as, if you have a visible personal injury, take a picture of it as well. But, if you can’t take pictures immediately after the accident, return to the scene of the accident as soon as you can to take pictures for your records.
Obtain a Copy of the Accident Report
In most states, law enforcement will generate a police report. Especially, when they investigate car accidents that appear to have more than $1,000 in damages. This report will also include all the details of the accident and any witnesses who were on hand to see the event. If the police responded to your fender bender accident, you will need this report if you decide to seek payment in the court system to help you recover your losses.
Contact Your Insurance Company
It’s important to notify your insurance company as soon as you can, no matter how minor your fender bender damages may seem. Your agent will then be on alert if the other party’s insurance provider notifies them of your fender bender car accident. Your agent can then initiate the claims process for you.
Get an Estimate for Your Vehicle’s Damages
Your next step will include obtaining an estimate to repair your car. You can receive an estimate from your local repair shop. Sometimes insurance providers dispatch an adjustor to review any damages to your vehicle.
Pay Your Insurance Deductible
You’ll have to pay your policy’s deductible amount before your insurance provider can cover the repair costs. If the other party was responsible for your collision, your insurance provider can pursue that other party to recover your deductible.
Visit Your Doctor
It may seem excessive, but you should see your doctor so that you’ll have an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan for any injuries you may experience later. Documenting this visit can also help you prove any injuries were the result of your accident.
If you were injured in an accident, it’s also possible that your symptoms might not be apparent right away. Many times, pain, swelling, and scar tissue begins to form days after the event. These symptoms are called delayed onset injuries.
If you are experiencing these delayed sensations after your accident, visit your doctor immediately. They can help determine if the car accident caused these after-the-fact injuries.
When Should You Hire an Accident Attorney?
Both defendants and victims may find themselves needing car accident attorneys to represent their side of a disagreement. You should call an accident attorney if you find yourself in one of the following circumstances:
Disagreement Over Who Caused the Fender Bender
Almost all US states are designated as “at-fault states.” This term means that those states have a law that specifies that an injured party can’t be more than 49 percent responsible for the accident if they want to seek recovery for damages. When these kinds of disputes come up over who is at fault, the case will move forward to the court system where either a jury or judge will make a final decision.
You should contact an accident attorney if you are the victim or defendant in this matter. An accident attorney can help you understand your state’s regulations to see if your case fits within this “no-fault” definition.
Conflicting Police, Accident, or Medical Reports
If you find any contradictory information in any police, insurance, or medical reports involved with your collision case, your request might be rejected. Car accident attorneys conduct their own inquiry into the details of your case and present their conclusions along with your response to what’s included in these relevant reports. If you notice reports that disagree with your own experience, call a car accident lawyer right away.
Next Steps to Dealing With a Fender Bender Accident
If you’ve recently been in a fender bender accident, your first move is to not panic. Pullover to a safe spot on the side of the road and exchange your information with the other party.
Collect and organize your own photos and account for the events happening at the accident site. Be sure you have contact information for any witnesses on hand as well.
If you have any other car accident questions, be sure to check out our website. If you need a lawyer to represent your case, we’re the right team for you. Get the settlement you deserve with the attorneys at Car Accident Lawyer, in Tampa Florida.