What to do in a minor car accident
How you handle your minor car accident can determine what compensation or what responsibility you will have after the accident. Follow these steps
to ensure you're taken care of:
- Write down the other driver's license plate number and car make and model. Be sure to record this information right away just in case the other driver drives away. You can also take a photo on your phone. It may also be smart to photograph the accident or any damage before the vehicles are moved, if it is safe to do so.
- Turn on your hazard lights. This is to notify other drivers that you are pulled over. Your blinking lights make it easier for them to see your car and caution them to avoid hitting you or your car.
- Call the police as soon as you can. Even if no one is injured in the crash, it is also important to call the police to get a police report. Insurance companies will ask for police reports when you contact them as well. You can also ask the officer if it is safe to move your car if it is in a travel lane.
- Only get out of your car if it is safe to do so or if it is safer than staying in your car. In a minor car accident, there is probably no danger of remaining inside your car, however, be sure not to step into moving traffic and be extra careful in the dark. Once the police get there, they will direct traffic away from the accident scene.
- Be sure that no one was hurt. First check yourself and your passengers, then check the other car or cars.
- Look for witnesses. If any pedestrians, other drivers, or people in nearby shops saw what happened, ask them to stay and make a statement for the police report.
- Exchange information with the other driver, including: names, addresses, phone numbers, license numbers, and insurance information.
- Tell the police officer what happened for the report.
- File a claim or notify your insurance company. A notification does not include the claims for the car repair expenses. Depending on your insurance, it may be better to not claim any expenses and have a claim-free year.
If you have any issues, such as the other driver not cooperating with you, contact an accident attorney for assistance.
Attorneys at the Mevorah Law Firm, located in Lombard, Bloomingdale, Rockford, Joliet and St. Charles, Ill., can help you today.