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Minor accidents on the road are usually treated with less importance that parties involved oftentimes prefer to settle minor claims on their own. This is to save time, effort and most importantly, avoid possible increase in their auto insurance premiums. While settlement without involving the cops is undeniably the easiest thing to do in the event of a minor accident, motorists should be mindful of any future consequences that may arise from doing so. Here in California, many victims of a minor accident who did not file a police report at the scene have end up relentlessly battling for unforeseen claims even several years after an incident had occurred. If this is your situation, you will have to contact a California based attorney who specializes in fender bender accidents to help you prove your case.
Assuming that you have already checked every passenger’s condition including yourself and everybody is stable; protect the scene by placing your emergency warning signs. Do this with extra caution especially if you are in the middle of a moving traffic or; try to move to a safe place if at all possible then call the police. The police may take a while to arrive depending on the location of the accident. Stay calm, focused and patient enough to wait for them to arrive. While waiting, you may investigate the scene for personal reference. You may take several pictures of the scene showing the condition of the vehicles and persons involved. You may also talk to witnesses (if any) and take down their contact information. Tangible evidences like photos and statements from reliable witnesses will definitely come in handy should the situation worsen in the future and claims need to be filed.
Cops are highly experienced when it comes to investigating an accident scene. Their unbiased conclusions that are put into writing serves as the official documentation of the incident that can later be used. The police report states the date, time and place of accident. It identifies the damages, physical condition and relevant personal information of the parties involved, and witnesses, if any. It may also contain statements from both drivers and witnesses. Should fender bender accident victims decide not to call the cops, then they are only letting such pertinent documentation slip off their hands; the one important proof that will support any future claim.
Whether it’s just a tiny dent on your car or a minor bruise on your skin, it’s more convenient in the long run if you follow the basic guidelines. Acquire a police report so you won’t have to feel sorry later when you find out that those minor damages were in fact more serious and not at all cheap like you thought they were.
As mentioned earlier, photos and witnesses are very useful proofs. Additionally, you will need to exchange the following information with the other driver:
Some drivers who are at fault may provide false information to simply get away from you or if they do not have auto insurance policy. You can avoid writing down false information by asking for valid IDs for verification. If problems arise in the future and you are uncertain of what to do, you can seek help from a car accident lawyer who practices in California.
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