What to Do After a Minor Car Accident?

There are some accidents that are more of a pain in the ol’ keister than an actual crisis.

Nearly everyone gets in a little fender bender at one point or other. Usually these are slow-moving collisions that happen in a parking lot or driveway. And they’re often just due to bad luck where you nick another car’s fender trying to leave a parking space (or someone else nicks yours).

Whatever the case, these minor car accidents typically don’t involve any injuries. And the damage to the cars is minor. So, what should you do in such a situation? Just ignore it and pretend it didn’t happen?

Actually, unless there were no injuries and you’re 100% sure there was no damage to either car, that’s not a good idea. Fact is, any accident – minor or major – can be stressful. And better to follow the advice below if you find yourself in even a minor accident.

  • Check whether anyone is injured. Call an ambulance if you suspect any injuries or are just not sure. Many car accidents cause slow injuries that manifest several hours after the actual accident. It is best to have you or other persons involved in the accident checked by experts before declaring the accident injury free. You do not want to foot bills that another driver should have been made to pay.
  • Look out for any fire signs, sparks or smoke. The smell of gasoline is one of the danger signs in accidents. If you sense such smell, be sure to move as far away from the vehicle as possible. Oh, and do not confuse the dust caused by airbags with smoke.
  • Drive off to the side of the road. If you are involved in an accident on the highway or in the middle of a busy parking lot, make way by getting the cars out of the way of traffic and then talking to the other driver from the side. It helps you also prevent the possibility of another accident happening.
  • Stay put and calm. Many people will slip into an angry tantrum when they are involved in an accident with another driver, especially when they think that the other driver is the one at fault. Some of this is due to shock. And sometimes people are just jerks. Either way, the best way for you to handle the situation is to take a deep breath, relax, thinking clearly and respond calmly.
  • Do not apologize for the accident or even admit fault. There are qualified professionals that are assigned to determine such matters. Your words could be used against you at a later date.
  • Collect the contact information of the other driver or drivers as well as any witnesses. It is also a good idea to collect their insurance information.
  • Take a photos of the scene and the driver’s license of the other driver. One of the benefits of living in the information age is that you almost certainly have a cellphone with a camera that will make this simple to do.
  • Call the police. Yes, call the police and your insurance company. Though, before you call your insurer, make sure that you contact a competent car insurance attorney. And then report the accident to your insurer.

Seem Excessive?

Seem like a bit much for just a minor car accident?

Maybe. But, there’s the thing…

… Sometimes, what seems minor evolves into a truly major issue. And it’s funny how sometimes stories have a way of changing once you’ve left the actual scene of the accident.

So better to be safe than sorry. Which is why it pays to be just as meticulous in minor accidents as you would be in a major one.