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Car accidents are commonplace, and can happen at any time anywhere. In fact, 6.5 million of them happen every year in the United States. On the bright side, most of the car accidents that occur are minor, and are known as ‘fender benders’. Here is a fender bender checklist to ensure you protect yourself.
Fender benders can happen absolutely anywhere, such as when traveling in heavy traffic, or in busy car parks – basically anywhere there are many cars traveling at low speeds in close proximity to each other. But even if you’ve come away from a car accident fender bender with minor scratches and damage, there are certain steps you need to take when dealing with this type of car accident. Below is a checklist you should bear in mind when you find yourself involved in a car accident fender bender:
This is the absolute first thing you must do. Look for a safe spot for both yourself and the other driver involved in the collision to pull over and check for damage. Not only is this important, it’s the law in most states, including California.
Firstly, check yourself, and then your passengers. If you or someone else has been injured, you must call 911 immediately. Although fender bender injuries can seem minor because of the lack of damage to the car, studies have shown that the impact can actually be absorbed by the passengers between 6 – 12 mph. Because of the adrenaline, you may feel fine now, but it’s important you seek medical treatment as soon as you can after the event of a car accident fender bender, as you could be suffering from whiplash, dizziness or a concussion.
A police report will ensure you are covered and that an accurate report has been recorded. This could help you later on if the other driver decides to take action against you, or changes their story in any way.
Did anyone see the accident take place? If you, write down the names and contact details of these people, as you may need them to back you up later on with their unbiased version of events. This will quickly settle any disputes that may arise between you and the other driver.
Communicate with the other driver, and be sure to write down as many of their details as possible, including full name, address, phone number, license plate number and insurance company/policy number. If possible, ask them to show you their driver’s license and insurance card for accuracy.
If you have a camera on your phone – or any camera – to hand, it’s wise to take photos of the scene and damage to both cars from a few different angles. If you have any injuries, take some shots of those, too.
As soon as you can, you must contact your insurance company in order to file a fender bender claim – even if there is no damage as such to report and the accident itself wasn’t your fault, having it down on record is wise. Not doing so comes with its own risks, such as claims against you from the other driver involved in the accident. If you’ve been injured or involved in an accident that was not your fault, it is wise to seek a personal injury attorney, such as the May Firm, who provide experienced and specialized legal representation. All case consultations are free, and the firm operates on a no-win no-fee basis, so why not contact them today?
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