A little bump or scuff here and there might not seem like a huge deal at first. If there’s no immediate harm done, what’s the problem? The thing is, a minor car accident can be deceivingly serious.
Issues with your health or the function of your vehicle can occur as a result of the accident. And, that’s when things get tricky. Especially if the interaction between you and the other party wasn’t managed correctly.
We’re going to discuss how to handle a minor car accident in this article, giving you a framework to work with if it should happen to you.
Let’s take a look at what to do.
1. Make Sure You Exchange Information
Your first thought might be to not make a big deal out of anything.
Let’s say that someone lightly tapped your bumper in a parking lot and you can’t see any noticeable damage. You weren’t even in the vehicle, so there’s no bodily harm, and you don’t see the point of exchanging information.
In fact, you’re worried that exchanging information might anger the other party and leave you feeling like you overreacted. These concerns are valid in some cases, but it’s always the best idea to exchange information.
Get the other person’s contact information as well as their insurance information as soon as you can. This way, you have a point of contact and you can still get whatever compensation you deserve if things start to go wrong later.
This is even more important when you’re in the vehicle as the accident occurs. We forget that vehicles are massive, forceful objects that can cause real damage when we’re struck by them. Even if we’re in the safety of the car.
The force of a small accident is significant enough to cause shifts in your spine, for example. If you find that you have back issues following the accident, you’ll need the other individual’s insurance information to help with your medical costs.
2. Contact a Lawyer First If Possible
When you’re sure that some significant damage has been done, or that insurance companies are going to be involved, try to contact your lawyer.
Insurance companies will ask you for a statement as well as other information that determines the sort of options you’ll get as a result of the accident. It’s good to be trusting, but we have to remember that insurance companies have a vested interest in keeping as much money as they can.
A lawyer can help you navigate the insurance company conversation to ensure that you get all of the benefits you’re entitled to. Whether that means getting the best medical care available to you or the highest-value auto reimbursements.
Car accident lawyers are highly trained in the laws and procedures for settlements in your state. That means they know what’s typically offered, what’s possible, and how much you can receive given your particular situation.
It’s also good to have a lawyer on hand in case the other party is refusing to cooperate, or if there’s any dispute about how the accident occurred. The sooner they’re in the loop, the better service they can provide you.
3. Document Whatever You Can
Whether or not it seems like there will be a dispute between you and the other party, it’s smart to document whatever you can about the accident. Take photos and make notes as soon as you possibly can.
This might mean taking a picture of the positioning of your vehicles before one moves out of the road, snapping a shot of the damage to both vehicles, or recording your injuries.
Whatever evidence you can gather will help to ensure that the case pans out in a way that is fair. Don’t discriminate against big or small pieces of evidence; everything says something about the case and can be used to prove different points.
It might not even be that you’re gathering evidence to prove that you didn’t cause the accident. You might just use it to show the insurance company the nature of the situation and prove that you’re entitled to compensation.
It’s one of those situations where it’s absolutely better to be safe than sorry. The consequences of failing to take regular precautions could be really expensive and damaging to your physical wellbeing.
Go See a Doctor Every Time
If you were in the vehicle when it was damaged, go see a doctor. In most cases, your insurance status won’t matter because the insurance of the other individual should cover your visit.
You might not think that you were injured, but it’s really important to have a professional assess you and make the call. As we mentioned before, injuries to the neck and spine are some of the most common results of car accidents. You should also watch out for things like whiplash and concussions.
These are physical damages that don’t always manifest right away. A broken arm or a cut is clear as day, and there’s no question of whether you should go to the doctor. A concussion might feel fine for the first few days and start causing significant damage later.
The sooner you can get in to see a professional, the better the odds that your physical damage won’t progress and cost you more time and money. Those medical bills can be devastating, especially if you didn’t gather the contact information of the other party.
Having a phone number and, hopefully, their insurance information can safeguard you from falling into serious medical debt as a result of a concussion or injury to the spine.
Make a point to go see a doctor and tell them you were in a mild car accident, they’ll know how to proceed.
Were You Involved in A Minor Car Accident?
Dealing with a minor car accident can be a stressful experience. We’re here to help you get through it and get as much compensation as you’re entitled to.
Contact us for more information on car accidents and opportunities for help dealing with them.
CONTACT A TAMPA AUTO ACCIDENT ATTORNEY
In short, after a car accident, you may not know your rights. Above all, don’t struggle through the process alone. Actually, our personal injury team is here to help you with any legal needs you might have regarding your accident.
Lastly, let RHINO Lawyers answer your questions and review the facts of your case with a Free Consultation. So, get started by completing the “Free Instant Case Evaluation” or by calling us any time, day or night, at 844.329.3491.