Auto Accident Settlement
So, your car has had a brief encounter with another driver’s vehicle. Both of you concur that there are no injuries — and there is very little obvious damage. The probable hike in your insurance premium flashes through your minds, so both of you agree to handle it between yourselves. Not a good move.
Very seldom are vehicle damages entirely self-evident. Internal injuries like concussions, sprains, and fractures have a tendency to amplify after a day or two. Now what? Let’s take a closer look at this type of collision and explore just what to do after a minor car accident.
What is a Minor Car Accident?
Fender benders happen much more frequently than other types of collisions. One very common minor car accident occurs when a driver is trying to fit into a parking space and bumps into another vehicle. Another frequent minor car collision takes place when one car runs into someone’s private property (a mailbox, the fence enclosing a residence, etc.). Of course, if damages are extensive you will now have very different parameters; see our Single Car Accident resource page.
What to Do After a Minor Car Accident
- Check yourself and any passengers for injuries.
- Call the 9-1-1 operator for medical and law enforcement response.
- If serious injuries occurred, stay in place and wait for emergency responders.
- If you have not been critically injured, it’s best to pull over out of traffic.
- If you are able, take photographs of the collision and your surroundings.
What Happens After a Minor Car Accident?
All too often, drivers will ignore the minimal damage and choose not to involve the police or their insurance carrier. You should be aware that, in Florida, you must self-report or have law enforcement submit a police report (within 10-days) if the damages exceed $500 or any involved person sustains an injury.
- Be aware that you cannot depend on a verbal agreement between the involved parties; even when there are photos, exchange of contact information, and handshakes.
- One crucial reason to have a detailed record of the incident is that it will be difficult (if not impossible) to force anyone to honor a private agreement.
- Should injuries or fatality be the final result of the impact, the evidence is critical to your claim and eventual recovery of excessive expenses.
When it comes to a real-life situation, a free conversation with a personal injury lawyer is always a good move. Speaking with an established local accident attorney may very well determine whether or not you recover what you deserve.
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