Three Steps to Handling a Fender Bender

What do you after getting into a fender bender? Assuming nobody is seriously hurt and you don’t have to call immediately for help, you have some work ahead of you—dealing with the other motorist, informing the authorities and working with your insurance company.

Document the Crash

While you’re still at the scene, safety is top priority. If possible, motion for the other driver to pull over, so both of you are out of harm’s way. If your vehicle is not drivable, it might be best to stay in it until help arrives. In that case, call 911 for police help. In addition to helping keep the scene safe, the police will help document what happened. Check your state laws – you may be required to fill out a police report at the nearest station, even if the police aren’t called to the scene.

Be thorough. Use your smartphone to take pictures of the scene. Take photos of the damage to your car and any damage to the other vehicle. Take photos of traffic controls and visual obstacles that might have contributed to the crash. Jot down the estimated distances between objects. Try to remember as many details as you can and write them down. Talk to witnesses, if possible.

Document any injuries you believe originated with the crash. It’s possible, given the pumping of adrenalin in the first moments of the accident, you didn’t realize you hurt your back or neck. A lawyer might also advise your doctor send a bill to your insurance company directly—it could save you money in a future settlement.

Exchange Information

Generally, drivers are required only to give their names and insurance information. Go one step further and get the policy number, along with the name and number of their insurance agent. Take a picture of the other driver’s insurance card and driver’s license. If the driver’s license isn’t available, take a picture of the driver to help to prove they were at the scene and protect you against fraud. The more information you have about the crash, and who saw it, the better.

Contact Your Insurance Agent

First, remember to keep your insurance current. A lapse means your vehicle no longer carries minimum coverage requirements in your home state. Letting a policy lapse leaves you exposed to avoidable risk and penalties. And what if the accident was the other driver’s fault and they aren’t insured?

And if you happen to be in the market for car insurance, SelectQuote agents are ready to review your current coverage and compare your policy to today’s rates to determine if we can save you money. Call (855) 777-6090 or visit www.selectquoteautoandhome.com for more information.

Read and understand your coverage before giving a recorded or written statement to your insurer. A representative from your insurance agent’s office may call you to get a play-by-play of the accident. Answer questions honestly and don’t guess at specifics. Sometimes you may need to provide the same information to the other driver’s insurance agent as well.

Your state laws may require you to inform your insurer of any accident involving more than one vehicle. This is a good idea regardless — particularly if the accident is your fault. It’s possible your coverage protects you against liability for harming others.

If damage to your vehicle is significant enough to file a claim. Providing repair estimates is helpful. Cooperate with your claims adjuster during the process.  

Getting into a car accident is scary. Even the minor fender benders require a lot of work once you get back behind the wheel and back to your daily routine. Being thorough and helping your insurance agent with details will make the repair process much smoother and get you back on the road again.

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