Getting into a fender bender can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. Whether it’s a minor accident or a more serious collision, it’s important to know what steps to take in the aftermath. Here’s a guide on what to do after a fender bender:
1. Check for injuries
The first priority after any accident is to ensure that everyone involved is safe. Check yourself and any passengers for injuries, and call 911 if anyone needs medical attention.
2. Move to a safe location
If the vehicles involved in the accident are still drivable, move them to a safe location off the road. This will help prevent any additional accidents from occurring.
3. Call the police
Even if the accident is minor, it’s important to call the police and provide them with the location of the accident and any information about injuries. It’s crucial to involve the police, even if the accident appears to be minor. Sometimes, injuries can take time to manifest, or the other driver may claim injuries later.
A police officer will collect the necessary details to file a claim and generate an impartial report of what happened. Stick to the facts when speaking with the officer, and request a copy of the accident report. Additionally, exchange information with the other driver.
4. Exchange information
After making sure everyone is okay, exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. This includes their name, phone number, insurance company, and policy number.
5. Take photos
If possible, take photos of the damage to both vehicles, the accident scene, and any injuries. These photos can be used as evidence when filing an insurance claim.
6. Notify your insurance company
Call your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident. They will guide you through the claims process and help you get your vehicle repaired.
7. Get an estimate
Take your vehicle to a trusted auto repair shop to get an estimate for the cost of repairs. Your insurance company may require you to get multiple estimates, so be sure to keep track of all documentation.
8. Follow up
Stay in contact with your insurance company and the auto repair shop to make sure everything is going smoothly. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out.
What Should I Expect After I File a Claim for a Fender Bender?
After you file a claim for a fender bender, you should expect to hear back from your insurance company within a few days. They will typically assign an adjuster to your claim who will contact you to gather more information about the accident and the damage to your vehicle.
The adjuster will likely arrange to inspect your car, either by sending an appraiser to your location or asking you to take it to a repair shop for an estimate. Once the adjuster has reviewed the damage and the cost of repairs, they will determine whether your claim is covered by your policy and how much your insurance company will pay for the repairs.
If the other driver was at fault, your insurance company may also contact their insurance company to negotiate the cost of repairs and any other damages. If your claim is approved, your insurance company will either pay the repair shop directly or send you a check for the approved amount, minus any deductible you are responsible for.
The entire process of resolving a fender bender claim can take several days or several weeks. Generally, the length depends on the complexity of the damage and the negotiation process with the other driver’s insurance company.
Throughout the process, be sure to communicate regularly with your insurance company and follow up with any additional information they request in a timely manner.
Getting into a fender bender can be a frustrating experience, but following these steps can help make the aftermath less stressful. Remember to stay calm, prioritize safety, and seek help when needed.