Any accident or a car crash, no matter how major or minor, is a stressful event. A lot of things may go through our heads, but the most important thing when an accident occurs is to stay calm and act responsibly. At the moment, it may seem hard to do so, but it’s paramount to regain control and keep calm.
Minor accidents happen more often than we’d like them. These minor accidents, fittingly nicknamed fender benders because of the damage that’s usually evident on fenders, often happen when we least expect them. Most common locations for these accidents are parking lots or any other spaces with lots of vehicles and not a lot of space for manoeuvring. You’d be surprised how easy it is to miscalculate the distance between yours and nearby vehicle and cause a minor accident.
Luckily for the drivers or any other passengers in the car, in the vast majority of these accidents, personal injuries are either non-existent or very minor. However, damage to the vehicles may vary. From scratched paint and broken lights to dented fenders – these seemingly minor damages can actually end up being very expensive. Now, costs may vary depending on several factors – such as insurance or whose fault was it. However, those are the things that cannot be decided by you or the other party involved. So, before you decide to settle on the spot with the other party, which we do not recommend, let’s talk about what you should do if an accident like this occurs.
Health Comes First
Even though we’ve said injuries from these kinds of accidents are usually minor or non-existent, that doesn’t mean you should immediately assume nothing has happened. You can never be sure right away whether you or any other person involved in an accident has managed to get out of it injury-free. So, the first thing that you should do is check for injuries. Depending on the severity of the accident, you could roughly estimate the chance of which body part may have suffered an injury and check by yourself. Try and feel out whether there’s any pain or any visible injuries like cuts, bruises or scratches. If you’re not sure whether you’ve sustained an injury, you should call an ambulance. After all, not all symptoms are noticeable right away. For instance, a whiplash injury could manifest itself a few days later.
Check For Sparks Or Fire
Don’t worry, chances of a TV show vehicle explosion are non-existent, it just cannot happen. However, a fire is a possibility if there’s a gasoline leak or if you notice smoke or sparks. If you notice any of those things, move away from the vehicle as soon as possible and as far as possible and call 911.
One thing to keep in mind, however, if the airbags end up being activated after the collision, you’ll certain to see dust in the air. Don’t mistake this for smoke, it’s perfectly normal and not a reason to panic by any chance.
Call Your Lawyer
It’s best to call for professional help before doing anything. A legal advisor will help you out a lot in a situation like this. They’ll offer help with anything from advising you on how to handle things with the law enforcement to filing paperwork with the insurance company. To make sure you don’t make any mistakes along the way, an attorney specializing in personal injury and car accidents like the ones from Eric Ramos Law are your best option in a situation like this.
Call The Police
It might be tempting to work things out ‘man-to-man’ and not call the police, however, we wouldn’t advise it. You cannot be the judge of who’s to blame, nor can you know how much the repair, possible medical bills and the rest of it is going to cost. The best way to make sure everything goes right is to call the police and have them file a report while everything is ‘fresh’.
Filing a claim with the insurance company will more often than not require a police report, so that’s another good reason to call the law enforcement. Also, it’s best to take statements from everyone involved while things are still ‘fresh’ and a party at fault hasn’t had time to alter the story for their sake.
If Needed, Move The Vehicle
While it is not always advised to move the vehicle away from the scene of the accident, if the collision happens in a place where it might block the traffic for the others – you should move to a safe location. In most cases, the damage to the vehicle is minor enough so that the vehicle is safe to operate and move to another location. Move your vehicle away from traffic, talk to the other person involved and wait for the police to arrive so you can solve the problem as soon as possible.
While this is often easier said and done, try your best to stay calm in a situation like this. You might worry about the cost of everything, potential injuries and whatnot, however, don’t let the emotions make you lose control. It’s important to stay focused and calm in these situations so you can make the right decisions at the right moment.
Even if you don’t have to move your vehicle from the scene of the accident, don’t forget to take pictures. Pull out your phone and snap as many photos from as many angles as you can. Take a photograph of the damaged area, immediate surroundings, tire marks on the concrete etc. Skid marks could be essential in determining who was at fault. All of these could work out in your favour, if you’re not the one at fault, that is.
Leaving Is Not An Option
Even if you are the one at fault and feel tempted to leave – never flee the scene. Wait patiently for the police to arrive and have a calm, rational conversation with the other party. If you leave the scene, you may be brought up on criminal charges. After all, the worst thing that can happen is losing some money.
We wholeheartedly hope you never get into an accident of any kind, but, if you do, hopefully, this article will stay etched in your memory and you’ll know what to do and how to act.