No matter how minor or severe a car accident is, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed. When a small accident causes damage to you or your car, you may be curious to know what to do and what options you have for recovery. Should you call the police? Should you seek medical attention? Should you file a claim with your insurance company?
To learn more about what to do after a minor car accident and your legal options for recovering damages, keep reading.
What Should I Do After a Minor Car Accident?
First things first, stay calm. Being stressed or upset is only to make handling the situation more difficult. Once you are able to take breath and stay calm, check yourself and fellow passengers for injuries. If anyone experiences injuries, request medical attention right away.
Check the car for any signs of fire, smoke, or sparks. If you see any of these signs, immediately vacate the vehicle and keep a safe distance. If your car is in the main lanes of traffic, you should move to the side of the road to prevent further accidents and chance of injury.
This is where you must use your judgement: depending on the injuries and damages present, you may need to call the police. Review your state’s requirements on car accidents to ensure you are doing right by the law. If you are in doubt, call the police. Having a police report will most likely benefit you, especially if you decide to pursue legal action later.
Exchanging and collecting information is crucial after any accident, minor or major. Talk to the other drivers involved, getting their insurance information, and contact information. Take photos of all cars, roadways, and the general area.
If the police come to the scene, stay until they release you. Next, you’ll want to contact the insurance company to inform them of the accident and proceed with the claims process.
Should You Sue for a Minor Car Accident?
Often times your auto insurance or the other driver’s insurance will cover the damages incurred in the accident. Depending on who caused the accident and how it occured, you may be able to secure a settlement from the insurance company.
This being said, there are situations where a minor car accident could lead to a full fledged lawsuit. According to the Chicago car accident lawyers at Horwitz, Horwitz & Associates, “A minor car accident could potentially lead to a lawsuit. For example, if another driver hits your car at low speed but refuses to pay for the damages or assume liability, you may need to take legal action to compel him or her to pay for your damages.”
If an insurance company does not repay you for all medical costs and car repairs after an accident where the other driver was at-fault, you may want to consider filing a personal injury lawsuit.
In the event of a hit and run, you may also be able to sue for damages, including punitive damages, in a personal injury lawsuit.
Even if a car accident is considered minor, it can be incredibly overwhelming. After following the recommended steps following a car accident, consider speaking with a car accident attorney during a free consultation. Often times, these consultations are no obligation and let you explore if you have a case worth pursuing.