What to do if a minor vehicle accident occurs
Minor vehicle accidents are rarely a result of bad driving – they are usually a result of bad luck. Driveways and parking lots are the two areas where the slow-moving collisions occur. Luckily, personal injuries are uncommon in such vehicle accidents and most insurance claims are usually faster to resolve. The accidents occur unexpectedly and are more stressful. A small damage to your vehicle might be very expensive and no one would want to pay the repair costs if it is not his/her fault. The following tips should help you remain calm in such situations and know the steps to take.
Move the vehicle out of the intersection or to the roadside
If the vehicle is disabled, turn the hazard lights to alert other drivers. If it is still moving, move it to the roadside or out of that busy intersection. That is for your safety and that of your passengers.
Turn off the vehicle
Shift to park and ensure that you can safely exit the vehicle. This is important to prevent the occurrence of any other accident.
Check for injuries
If you are not certain whether you or the passengers are injured, use your phone to call an ambulance. Some injuries from motor vehicle accidents do not manifest immediately.
Check for fire or sparks
If you see any smoke or notice any smell of gasoline, you should move away from the motor vehicle. Remember that you might see dust in air after deployment of an airbag.
Call the police
If you are yet to call the police, you should do that. Tell them about your location and decide whether you will need assistance to file a report. The police report will help the insurance companies process your claims correctly. The police have to determine who caused the minor accident and act normally to document the whole scene. Moreover, if you are not the person at fault, request for a copy of the report. That is because stories might change after everyone has left that scene.
Request for information from other parties
If a minor accident occurs, you should remain respectful and detailed when obtaining information and writing notes. Some of the important information you should gather include the full names of the passengers and drivers, the license plate number, the driver’s license number, the model/makes of the vehicle, the phone numbers of eyewitnesses, the insurance carrier, the police report number, and the badge and name of police officer.
Check for the damages
Evaluate the visible damages to the car. Take as many pictures as possible, including of the scene itself. Moreover, you have to take the photos of any street signs near the scene of accident.
File an insurance claim
Contact the insurance company shortly after completing the above steps. The insurance might need the police report and some other information relating to the minor collision.
Your insurance rates might not go up automatically after a minor accident. Some factors, including the value of damage and the fault will highly affect the decision of your insurance provider. If the driver at fault is uninsured or underinsured, file for a claim with your insurance provider.