In 2009, there were 10.8 million motor vehicle accidents in the United States. Let that number sink in for a minute.
That’s 10.8 million reasons to know your rights when you find yourself in a car accident, specifically a fender bender. The name itself implies the minor amount of damage involved in such accidents. However, it is nearly impossible to recover from an accident with zero financial damage if some important steps are not followed. The following guidelines will prepare you if and when you find yourself in a pesky, but serious fender bender:
- Read the fine print. Understand where you are covered and where you are not under your auto insurance plan. By not knowing what your insurance covers, you could be in for a surprise when you find yourself in sudden need.
- Check to ensure everyone is unharmed and contact the police. By first checking on safety, you will know whether an ambulance is needed, or if it is okay to move cars out of the roadway. The authorities will provide a complete police report of the accident.
- Document the accident. This means taking pictures, sharing insurance provider information, and exchanging contact information. Make sure someone not currently at the scene could understand the accident.
- Call your insurance company. Notifying them of the accident will help them prepare to resolve your claim.
- Do not admit guilt. While it is okay to empathize with the other driver in the accident, you may not be to blame and any damages you incurred will not be compensated if you express guilt for the accident.
- Record all repairs and costs due to the fender bender. Compare options and choose the best quality at the best price. Your insurer will probably not cover the premium treatment in a collision, but they will compensate for fair and reasonable charges.
- Contact an attorney. This could be the most important step in recovering damages in an accident.
Sometimes recovering damages can be difficult, especially when a driver involved in the accident was uninsured. Attorneys know to always read the fine print and can help you gain the compensation you deserve. As always, the best way to prepare for a fender bender is by knowing your rights beforehand.
About McAleer Law:
McAleer Law—Decatur, Georgia’s preeminent personal injury, worker’s compensation, and Social Security Disability firm—has been representing plaintiffs and injured workers for more than ten years. Specializing in lost wage, medical expense, pain/suffering, lost quality of life, and psychological injury cases, founder Charles McAleer guarantees his clients personal attention, diligence, and unparalleled service quality. McAleer also hosts a weekly radio show at 9 a.m. on News and Talk 1380 WAOK, bringing listeners sound legal advice, breaking news, current events, and other topics important to the Atlanta community. For more information on Charles McAleer and the McAleer Law Firm visit www.McAleerLaw.com, “like” McAleer Law on Facebook, or follow @McAleerLawFirm on Twitter.