A fender bender can be a shocking incident, often one that happens abruptly. There is no proper way to train for a fender bender and hopefully they do not happen to you very often. However, there are a few steps that you should take after a fender bender to ensure that you are safe and everything is documented properly.
Get to a Safe Spot
The first and most important step, after having a car accident, is to make sure that your vehicle is out of danger’s way. If possible, after the accident, move your car over to the side of the road or into a parking lot. If you or the other driver cannot move your cars, try to remain in the vehicles as much as possible. Not only will this make the accident-process much easier, but it may be potentially life-saving.
Call the Police
You will want to call the police, before you leave your vehicle, to ensure that they arrive as quickly as possible. Police are trained on what to do during an accident and have a lot of experience in these situations. Not only will they provide you with help, but they will document the accident.
Check on the Other Driver(s)
After you have ensured that you and the other drivers are in safe locations, and you have called for help, you will want to check to see if the other drivers involved will need medical assistance. During this interaction, if you can, exchange information with the other drivers to ensure that you have documents for later. Often times, when you call 911, they will ask if anyone at the accident scene needs medical help so it is best to do this step while on the phone with the dispatcher.
Document the Accident
You will need to at least write down what occurred and what damages were obtained as a result of the accident. If anyone, either you or anyone else involved, was injured in the accident make sure to document that as well. You will want to get the information of any witnesses who may have seen the accident occur. If you have a camera, or a phone with a camera, then take detailed pictures of the scene, vehicles, license plates, and people involved, including witnesses. Having accurate documents will make the process, after the accident, go much smoother.
Call Your Insurance Company
Contact you insurance company’s emergency line and inform them that you have had an accident. Most dispatchers will ask you if you have taken the steps above, to make sure that you are safe. Following the accident, your agent will inform you of what steps to take so that your vehicle, and the other vehicles involved, are repaired as quickly as possible.
Leave the Scene
If everything is okay, and the accident was minor, then you will be able to drive away from the accident. All of the documentation will have been done and the proper authorities will have been notified, so you can then put your seat belt back on and safely merge back into traffic. If your car has been damaged and cannot be driven, then you will need to call a tow-truck. Many insurance companies will offer this service, but if that is not the case then a police officer can possibly help you. You can then decide if you want to travel, to a repair shop, with the tow-truck driver or have someone come to pick you up from the scene.
An accident can be scary, but knowing what steps to take can make the process much easier. After an accident it is very important to remain calm so that you can think clearly.