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8 Things to Do If You Get In a Fender Bender

Did you know that the front bumper accounts for nearly a third of all accident damage, while the grille represents 20%?

That’s right. Fender benders make up a large portion of car accidents. It’s a common occurrence that can take place anywhere: a street, freeway, parking lot, or even your driveway!

Unfortunately, fender benders can be a hassle to deal with, and they’re especially frustrating if you’re not the one at fault.

If you ever experience a fender bender, here’s how you should respond to make the resolution process as smooth as possible:

Stay Calm and Assess the Situation

Getting into a car accident can shake you up, even if it’s just a fender bender. But it’s important to stay calm so you can handle the situation appropriately.

Take some deep breaths. Then check yourself and any passengers for injuries. If there are any, get medical attention as soon as possible.

Keep in mind some injuries are less obvious and won’t show up immediately. For example, soft-tissue damage can take a few days to see.

Examine yourself in the mirror when you get home to check for any injuries you may have overlooked. And if you ever feel pain or dizziness, see the doctor.

Get to a Safe Spot

After making a quick assessment of the situation, get yourself and your vehicle and any passengers to a safe location.

If possible, pull off to the side of the road, so you don’t impede traffic. Then turn on your hazard lights, so oncoming traffic knows to drive cautiously around you.

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Call the Police

Next, call 911. The emergency center can dispatch a police officer to assess the scene and file an accident report.

This is a critical step as the police officer will be able to provide a report with a neutral perspective, which can help protect you against fraud and false accusations in court. If the accident happens in PA, you can easily access a copy of the Pennsylvania crash report online.

Document the Accident Scene

While you’re waiting for the police to arrive, document everything you can about the accident. Write down the exact time and location of the collision.

Then take pictures of the accident scene, the positions of the vehicles, and any damage to your car. Take photos from multiple angles. The more you get, the better.

You may also want to sketch a diagram of how the accident happened, notating what speeds the vehicles were going before they collided.

Gather accounts from any eyewitnesses, and be sure to collect their contact information. Gathering information from witnesses as well as the aforementioned photos and other details will be crucial when approaching a Boca Raton car accident lawyer (or one elsewhere more relevant), being able to provide a variety of evidence to your legal expert will increase the likelihood of a successful outcome should you decide to claim damages or take the other party to court.

Exchange Information with the Other Driver(s)

Get the contact information of the other driver and any others involved. You’ll want their name, address, and phone number.

In addition, ask for the other driver’s car insurance information, including the name of the insurance and the policy number. Don’t forget to provide them with your information as well.

If you want to be extra thorough, you can also ask for the other driver’s driver’s license number as well as their vehicle’s make, model, year, and license plate number.

This ensures you have all the information you need to file your insurance claim and any potential legal claims.

Don’t Admit Blame

When you’re talking to the other driver, don’t admit any blame. For example, avoid apologizing in any way when you get out of your car. The accident may or may not be your fault. Leave that for the police officer and the court to decide.

Any apology could be seen as an admission of guilt and be used against you in court. Instead, ask if the other driver is alright.

Call your Auto Insurance Company

Give your car insurance a call as soon as possible to report the accident. Their number should be on your insurance card.

Provide as much detail of the accident as you can. The insurance company will walk you through the claims process and let you know what car repair shops to go to if necessary.

If the other driver suggests exchanging money without telling your insurance company, don’t. You never know how much your car damage will cost to repair. Though it may look minor, it could be an expensive fix.

Consult an Experienced Auto Accident Attorney

Lastly, call an experienced auto accident attorney. They’ll be able to assess your case and let you know the best way to move forward. If you must go to court, your attorney will help protect your rights and ensure you get the best resolution.

What’s more, most auto accident attorneys work on a contingency basis. That means they’ll only charge you if you win your case. So you have nothing to lose. Contact a car accident lawyer in your area today!

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Final Thoughts

Nobody wants to be involved in a fender bender. But sometimes, they happen, and when they do, you need to know how to respond.

So review the steps above and commit them to memory. That way, the next time you find yourself in a fender bender accident, you’ll know exactly what to do.