What Do You Do After A Minor Car Accident?
According to data published by the United States Census Bureau, there are over 10 million traffic accidents every year, ranging from minor fender benders to serious accidents that result in catastrophic injuries or fatalities. While getting into any type of car accident can be an overwhelming experience, after a minor accident, most individuals are content to exchange information and go along with their day.
Regardless, it’s important to know what you should do and, as innocuous a collision may seem, it is always prudent to contact the police to file a report. This will help protect you in case of a liability dispute or from potentially being sued.
Always Get a Checkup Following an Accident
You may also want to call an ambulance following an accident – even if it’s just a fender bender – as some accidents involve injuries that could become more serious in the hours and days after the initial crash. At the very least you should see a doctor immediately after the accident for a check up – this is important for your personal health and can also be used to ensure any injuries you sustained are covered under a “pain and suffering” claim.
You May Not Feel the Injury at First
When you are involved in an accident your body releases a steady supply of adrenaline and endorphins to help you get through the traumatic experience without feeling pain. Of course, as time passes by, these chemicals drop to a normal amount, leading to the sensations of pain that weren’t there before.
Minor accidents can result in intense injuries such as Cervical-Acceleration-Deceleration (CAD) or whiplash, including damaged ligaments, muscles or tendons even PTSD that slip under the radar, and often give no warning signs up front. Which is why, whether you want to make a claim or not, it’s important to also contact an experienced personal injury attorney.
Walking away from a minor car accident doesn’t mean you haven’t been injured. Which is why in addition to reporting the incidence to the police and being checked by a medical professional, retaining the services of an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible could help you obtain some form of compensation that can mitigate any future inconveniences such as lost wages or treatment that may not be covered by insurance.
Filing an Incident Report
There are various reasons why most people do not report a minor accident. Some fear that they may get a traffic ticket or even a criminal charge. Others worry about their insurance rates going up. While a minor car accident such as backing out of a parking space without noticing a car behind you may not necessarily have physical injuries, in the vast majority of cases, you must make the appropriate reports to comply with the law and the terms of your insurance policy.
In most cases, the police will respond to the accident and conduct an investigation to determine whether you or the other driver violated any traffic laws such as driving while intoxicated or over the legal limit for alcohol or drugs. In this case, you may receive a citation or get a copy of the police report later on.
Having a third, impartial, party like the police recording the statements and witness testimony can also help with any insurance claims.
Another important thing to do while waiting for the police to arrive is take pictures of the scene so as to document any damage to your car, as well as the other driver’s vehicle. At this point you also want to exchange information such as your name, address, number, your vehicle registration, insurance, etc with the other driver. The goal is to prevent a relatively minor accident from turning into a major burden.
Get Assistance With Your Personal Injury Case in New Port Richey, Florida
If you have been injured in an accident the best thing that you can do is to reach out to an experienced personal injury attorney who can provide a more accurate estimate. They will also be able to help explain the process of the suit and the steps that need to be taken to get started.