What to Do in a Minor Car Accident
A minor car accident can happen to anyone - you back out and don't see another driver or you collide with a pole you didn't see was there. What are you supposed to do after a minor car accident like this occurs? Do you need to file a car insurance claim, call the police, or even get a car accident lawyer? Here's what to do as soon as you are in an accident and how to manage car insurance claims related to it.
In every situation, the initial goal is to ensure everyone involved is safe and, if needed, medical help is called. In most cases, you should call the police to report the incident, especially if there is more than one person involved. Doing so does not mean you are going to get a ticket or that your auto insurance costs will rise, but it does document the incident thoroughly, so changes in what the other party said does not occur.
At The Accident Scene
At the scene of the incident, be sure to gather information. Get the name and contact information from any party involved in the incident. Then, gather information about the evidence, such as taking photos of the area, the damage to your car, and the damage to the other party’s property. You also want to leave behind your name and number if the other driver is not present, such as in a parking lot. The most important step for you to take here is to do everything you can to document what happened.
If there is no damage to either vehicle or property, and no laws were broken, you may not need to do anything else. However, it is important to make sure this is the case.
Minor Car Accident – No Police Report?
Why should you report a minor car accident? No police report can be a big problem for you down the road. It is not uncommon for people to be involved in a car accident to develop pain later, even a few days later. If there is no police report, that party can visit the police station and file their own claim with the police, documenting what they believed happened. In some cases, you may be at fault, but others you may not be.
What you don’t want to happen is for the police to believe that you left the scene of an accident. For this reason, it is always wise to call the police to report what happened. It may take about 10 minutes to file a police report, but doing so protects you long term.
Filing an Insurance Claim After a Car Accident – Deductible Questions
There will be instances when you need to file an insurance claim after a car accident like this. However, before you can file a claim with your own auto insurance, you need to know if you can do so. Most car insurance policies have deductibles. This is the amount of cost you are responsible for paying before your auto insurance provider covers the remaining cost. If the damage is just a scratch or a broken light, you may not meet that deductible, meaning your insurance isn’t likely to help you cover the costs.
Do You Need Accident Claim Lawyers?
Most of the time, you may not need an accident claim lawyer. However, if the other party claims the incident was more than just a minor fender bender, you may find yourself facing claims that are not true or accurate. This can be frustrating and having legal help is important.
Keep in mind that if the other party is trying to file a claim for damages with your insurance company, you do not need to hire your own attorney. Rather, your auto insurance company will provide you with legal defense as it fights the claim or otherwise settles the incident. They work on your behalf to protect your rights.
When a Car Accident Claim Lawyer Contacts You
What if you are the responsible party and begin to receive calls from the other person? A car accident claim lawyer may call you, but you do not have to speak to them outright. Rather, you should allow your auto insurance company to handle this for you. Their legal defense team will work with you to ensure you are always protected from these types of claims.
No matter if it is a minor accident or a large one, having a quality auto insurance policy matters in cases like this. It can significantly help to reduce the risk that you will end up paying for financial losses related to the accident. Even in a minor event, it is always important to document what happened to protect yourself.