Got in a Fender Bender? Here’s What You Need to Know
It’s unfortunate, but with over six million accidents occurring each year on U.S. roadways, odds are you’ll be involved in at least one minor vehicle collision sometime in your life. And when a collision happens, it’s important to remain level-headed and not lose your cool. If you ever become a victim of a fender bender, here’s what you need to know to handle the situation as gracefully as possible.
ENSURE YOU’RE OUT OF HARM’S WAY
When you’re involved in a collision, don’t let your emotions immediately take over, no matter how upset you might be. Pay attention to your psychological response to the incident, steady yourself, and most importantly, make sure your vehicle is no longer in harm’s way.
ASSESS THE DAMAGE
When you’re sure your vehicle is in a safe location, and it’s safe for you to exit the vehicle, get and inspect your ride for damage. If the accident occurred on a major roadway, do not exit the vehicle as you’ll be exposed to fast-moving traffic. Instead, remain inside your car or truck and call law enforcement for help.
REPORT THE ACCIDENT
If you believe you’ll need more than $500 worth of auto body repairs as a result of the fender bender, you are legally obligated to call law enforcement to report the incident. The same idea applies if you accidentally hit and damaged any city or private property like a fire hydrant, lamppost, or someone’s mailbox.
Reporting the incident allows you to have a record of what happened, and regardless of who’s at fault, you’ll need documented evidence of the damage and how it occurred. That’s especially true if you plan to file an auto body repair claim with your insurance company. Do not move your vehicle until the damage has been professionally documented.
TAKE PHOTOS OF THE DAMAGE
If you’ll need auto body repairs and will be filing an insurance claim for coverage, you’ll need proof of what happened to your vehicle. Taking photos or a video is the best way to get documented evidence of the damage that you can supply to your insurer when you file your claim.
EXCHANGE INSURANCE INFORMATION
If there’s another driver involved in the incident, be sure to get his or her personal contact information and auto insurance details. It’s a good idea to verify that information on the spot since it’s not uncommon for at-fault drivers to provide false information to avoid financial liability for the damage they caused.
GET AUTO BODY REPAIR ESTIMATES
After you’ve handled the immediate situation, it’s time to start thinking about where you’ll get repairs if your vehicle needs them. It’s always in your best interest to get estimates from at least three auto body repair shops, and be sure to ask these questions at each shop you go to. You’ll need to provide your insurer with these written estimates, so hang onto them until you’ve successfully filed your insurance claim.
To ensure you select a high-quality shop, check out what you need to know when you’re getting auto body repair estimates. It’s also a good idea to brush up on consumer rights you need to know when using auto insurance for repairs just to make sure you understand your coverage.
CONTACT MINNETONKA COLLISION FOR ALL YOUR DENT REMOVAL NEEDS
If your vehicle suffers damage during the winter season, let our team at Minnetonka Collision Center help you out! We specialize in high-end auto body repair, paintless dent repair, and precision paint color matching and offer limited lifetime guarantees on all our work. We’ve proudly served Plymouth, MN, and the surrounding Twin Cities metro for over 20 years, and when you need high-quality service you can count on, we’re here for you, too.
To learn more about how we can help you get your ride back on the road safely, give us a call today at 763-230-7805 or request a free estimate online, and we’ll get in touch!