Being in a fender bender can be a stressful experience for you and for anyone else who may be involved. Besides the initial shock of the accident, you will also have to deal with any of the financial and legal aspects that come afterward. If you are in New Jersey and have recently been rear-ended or if you were the one who damaged another vehicle in an accident, here are three things you should do.
- Determine the Amount of Damage Caused in the Accident
Some fender benders may cause very little amounts of damage while others can significantly cause damage to your car and may even cause damage to your body and the bodies of your passengers if the impact was hard enough. Right after the incident occurs, the first thing that you need to do is to take a look around and see if there is any damage caused to you, a passenger, or your car that needs immediate attention. If there is an injury or if you believe that you are in danger due to the damage that was inflicted during the fender bender, seek help immediately. Do not worry about any of the issues that will come afterward. The only thing that you should be concerned about is the safety of you and your passengers.
Once you have taken these steps, and if you have not been injured during the course of the accident, you need to make sure to get out of your car and to take note of any damage that was caused from the incident. If someone’s neck was hurt due to whiplash, take note of this injury. If your trunk was smashed in and no longer works, take note of this as well. These things will be important to keep track of in the event that you need to take legal action against whoever hit you. These are also things you will need to know when you make an insurance claim for the incident.
Once you’ve determined the damage that was caused to your vehicle, to yourself, or to any passengers, it is important that you call the police. The most important reason to do this is so that you get medical help in the event that anyone is injured. The second reason why you need to call the police is so that there will be a written record of the situation and reliable witnesses who can provide testimony as to what occurred. Not everyone will be honest about an accident if there is a way for them to avoid responsibility and punishment.
- Reach Out for Help (If Necessary)
In most cases, you and the person who damaged your car will exchange insurance information and resolve the matter on your own after the accident has taken place. However, there may be cases in which the person will take off and refuse to accept responsibility for the damage caused. Alternatively, they may not think that it was their fault, and you will have to take legal action to make sure that you are compensated for your troubles. This is especially true if you were physically injured. In a case that involves physical damage to your body, you may want to reach out to someone such as Morristown, NJ Personal Injury Attorneys. These attorneys will help you receive compensation for any injuries that you have sustained and any damage that your car has received. (Always make sure you do your research before you try to pursue any legal action against someone involved in an accident, however. Not every state will allow you to do so and you still may have to pay for your own expenses if the accident doesn’t apply to the negligence and personal injury laws in your state.)
In addition to seeking legal help, you may also need to reach out for key witnesses and other proof to validate the other person’s role in the accident. For example, let’s say you were involved in an accident outside of a liquor store Woodbridge, NJ. A smart thing to do if you are trying to pursue someone in court would be to see if you could get footage from the liquor store’s security cameras and try to reach out to some of the customers who may have witnessed the accident that day. These pieces of evidence are very important in helping a judge determine the cause of the accident and who was responsible.
The most important thing to do is to ensure that you have some type of evidence if you are going against someone who refuses to take the blame or denies the accident outright. If you were involved in a fender bender and it was in a secluded area or an area without witnesses and you do not take proper action to document the situation, there is absolutely no proof that an accident took place or that you yourself were not responsible for the damage of your car, passengers, or yourself.
- Consider Purchasing a New Car if the Damage is Extensive
In some cases, your car may be too damaged to consider repairing it or trying to find the new parts to repair the pieces that have been broken. If you find that this has happened to you, you may want to search for a new vehicle, be it by consulting a local used car sales group or a more specific business, like VW dealerships in New Jersey. If, however, you cannot afford a new car due to financial issues, you may want to reach out to someone such as a tax, bankruptcy, and foreclosure attorney who may be able to assist you in acquiring a new form of transportation and helping you to resolve your financial issues for the time being.
Let’s say, though, that the damage was not extensive and that your insurance will be able to cover it. There will be places near you that can repair the damage and take care of the situation without costing you too much money. (Keep in mind, however, that you may have to use a repair shop you haven’t used before. Insurance companies have certain contracts with repair shops, and you may have no control over where you are taking your car to be fixed.) There may even be situations in which the fender bender caused so little damage that you continue using your car as is or repair it on your own. No matter what the damage is, there is always a solution that will help you get your car back on the road.
Being in a fender bender is not a difficult situation to deal with unless you do not know what to do immediately following the accident. If you have recently been involved in an accident in New Jersey, follow these three tips above, and you will have no issue getting everything quickly resolved!