Don’t panic, a little bit of calm goes a long way:
Irrespective of the scale of the car crash, your instantaneous reaction to an accident is shock, followed by anxiety. This is normal. But try to rein in the anxiety and the attendant guilt or anger.
Being calm and patient will help you minimise any adverse repercussions that may occur from rash action.Reacting in anger to someone crashing into your car could lead to an altercation and assault. Clamp down on any road rage that you may be feeling.
Move Out of Traffic to a Safer Place:
A minor accident can at any time turn into a major one if you remain in the thick of traffic with a damaged or listing vehicle. Your car may be at risk of catching fire (depending on the impact to the car) or at risk of being hit by some other speeding vehicle.
The first thing to do after calming yourself is to move your car to a reasonably safer place or roadside. If the car is not functional, then you will surely require some manual pushing.
Always practice getting off the car from the opposite door as the fast moving traffic might cause harm to you (especially at night). You should also put on your hazard lights at night if they are still functional when the car is stationary on the roadside.
Check for Injuries:
Examine yourself properly for any injury. The most common injuries are impact injuries like concussions etc and whiplash, so be alert to those. If there is a child in the car, do not expect the child to self attest to their injuries. Examine them yourself or ask another adult to attend to it.
Also, ask everyone in the car to check if they are hurt. In case of any emergency, take out your health card and call your health insurer for assistance. Don’t forget the emergency first aid kit kept in your car for dealing with minor injuries (if it cannot wait for you to get home).
If required, call any of your family members or friends who could come and help you. It is important to check for injuries immediately because if caught early, some injuries can be prevented from worsening.
Examine Your Car for Damages and Collect Evidences:
After making sure there is no medical emergency, do a proper examination of the car and the damage to it. Collect any evidence that is relevant, like photographs of scratches, business card/mobile number/license plate of the person who crashed into you or whom you crashed into.
Get the details of the drivers of the other car/cars involved in the crash. This would help later when making a claim for the damage suffered by your vehicle.
Take Your Car to the Service Station and Take Stock of the Damage and the Expenses:
Go to the service station and take stock of the expenses. Are the expenses minor? If so, it might be better to pay for them yourself without claiming it from the insurance company as you may lose your no claim bonus.
But taking a decision like this requires that you know what you stand to gain or lose from your no claim bonus. You should be well versed with your motor insurance terms as this will help you figure out the plan of action in the case of damage.
File a Claim If the Damage is Significant:
Once you’ve taken stock of the situation and estimated that the damage is significant enough to merit a claim, file a claim as quickly as possible and provide complete and thorough information. If required, append the evidence you have collected from the accident. Do not procrastinate on filing the claim.
As sudden as fender-bender can be, these tips will help you minimise the shock that can come after the accident.