According to estimates by the car insurance industry, the average American can expect to be involved in 3 to 4 car accidents in their lifetime. Those who are lucky will only experience only fender benders. These are minor accidents that result in little or no vehicle damage or reported injuries. They also tend to settle faster than other serious car accidents, such as head-on collisions.
While fender benders are minor, they can also be inconvenient and unexpected. Knowing what to do if you are in a minor car accident can help prevent an escalation. It can also help you protect your rights.
If you have been injured in a minor car accident, contact Larson & Gallivan Law to discuss your next steps with an experienced Rutland, VT Car Accident Attorney.
What Causes Minor Car Accidents?
Minor car accidents happen at low speeds and produce minimal impact. As a result, they often lead to little or no property damage or injury. Most of these accidents are caused by:
- Slippery roads
- Bad weather conditions
- Distracted driving
- Slow-moving traffic
- Drivers backing out of driveways or parking lots
Make Sure You Are Safe
Every accident has the potential to turn fatal. After a minor collision, examine the accident scene and your vehicle for any dangers. Turn on your hazard lights and move your car off the traveled roadway. Get out of the car and move away to a safe spot if you see any smoke or smell leaking gas.
Report the Accident
Once you have moved to a safe location, report the accident. Obviously, call the police if any cars are disabled or if anyone is obviously injured. But you can also report the crash later if it is a minor one. In Vermont, you’re required to report an accident that causes $1,000 worth of damage or more within 72 hours, or if there is an injury. Provide the dispatcher with your location and the number of vehicles involved in the crash.
While the police may not always respond to a fender bender, reporting it ensures it is on record.
Seek Medical Care
Next, assess yourself for injuries. Fender bender injuries tend to be minor but can get serious if left untreated. If you are badly hurt, call 911 and request medical help. You can also drive to the nearest medical facility once you are done with the police.
Remember, you may not notice injuries immediately. It is still crucial that you seek a doctor.
Maintain Your Cool
After a crash, especially one that is not your fault, it is normal to feel enraged. It is vital that you maintain a level head and avoid confronting the other driver. Don’t discuss the details of the accident and avoid making statements that could be construed as an admission of fault.
Collect Crucial Evidence
The evidence you collect at the accident scene will be crucial to your car accident claim. Consequently, you should try to collect the following information:
- The other driver’s name and contact information
- The other driver’s insurance details and license plate number
- Contact information of willing witnesses
- Pictures of the vehicles, accident scene, road conditions, property damage, and injuries
Talk to a Rutland, VT Car Accident Attorney Today
Minor car accidents tend to happen at low speeds with minimal impact. This means that they rarely cause severe injuries or extensive property damage. Consequently, they can often be settled directly by the insurance company without the help of an attorney.
However, some fender benders result in injuries such as whiplash, head injury, and nerve damage. The insurance company could deny you enough compensation to cover these damages.
If you have been offered less compensation than you deserve for a minor accident call now to discuss your options with a Rutland, VT Car Accident Attorney.