Getting into a fender bender can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. Nonetheless, knowing what to do in the aftermath can help ensure that you are protected and that any necessary legal proceedings go smoothly.
After following the steps we have listed below, consider reaching out to an attorney to help with insurance negotiations and a potential personal injury claim. At Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C, we have your best interest at heart and will ensure you are not taken advantage of by greedy insurance companies.
What Is a Fender Bender?
A fender bender is typically defined as a minor car accident that involves only minor damage to the vehicles involved. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania defines a “minor accident” as one where there is property damage to any vehicle involved but no injuries or deaths.
Examples of fender benders in Pennsylvania could include rear-end collisions, sideswipes, and collisions in parking lots or at low speeds. While the damage in a fender bender is usually minor, it is vital to take the necessary steps to protect yourself and any other parties involved in the accident. This can include exchanging contact and insurance information with the other driver, taking photos of the scene, and contacting the police or a lawyer if needed. If you find yourself in a fender bender in Pennsylvania, there are several steps you should take to protect yourself and any other parties involved:
Check for Injuries and Call For Help if Necessary
First, check for injuries. If someone is wounded, call 911 immediately. Even if no one appears injured, it is still a good idea to call the police to report the accident.
Move Your Vehicle to a Safe Location
If your vehicle is still drivable, move your car to the side of the road or another safe location. This will help prevent further accidents and allow traffic to flow smoothly. If your vehicle is not drivable or unsafe to move, turn on your hazard lights to warn other drivers.
Exchange Information With the Other Driver
Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver. This includes their name, phone number, address, insurance company, and policy number. If there were any witnesses to the accident, get their contact information too.
Take Pictures and Document the Scene
Take pictures of the damage to both vehicles and the surrounding area. This will be helpful when filing a claim with your insurance company. You should also document the date and time of the accident, the location, and other relevant details.
Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company
Call your insurance company as soon as possible to report the accident. Provide them with all the information you gathered at the scene, including the other driver’s contact and insurance information, the police report number, and any pictures or documentation you have. Your insurance company will guide you through the claims process and help you get your vehicle repaired.
Seek Medical Attention if Necessary
Even if you do not feel injured immediately after the accident, it is possible to develop symptoms later. If you experience any pain or discomfort after the accident, seek medical attention immediately. This will ensure that injuries are correctly diagnosed and treated and help you with your insurance claim.
Follow Up With Your Insurance Company and Repair Shop
After you file a claim with your insurance company, they will likely ask you to take your vehicle to a repair shop for an estimate. Choose a reputable repair shop and ensure they provide a detailed assessment of the repair costs. Once the repairs are completed, inspect your vehicle to ensure everything has been fixed satisfactorily.
Consult With an Attorney
If you were injured in the accident or have disputes about fault or damages, consider consulting with an attorney. A knowledgeable accident attorney can help you navigate the legal system and ensure you receive fair compensation for your injuries and damages. Pennsylvania has a statute of limitations on personal injury claims, meaning you have limited time to file a claim after the accident. Generally, you have two years from the date of the accident to file a claim for injuries or property damage. It is essential to be aware of this deadline and to take action promptly if you need to file a claim.
Do I Have to Report a Fender Bender in PA?
In Pennsylvania, you are required by law to report a car accident to the Police, who will in turn document the accident to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) if the accident involves injury, death, or property damage exceeding $1,000. If you are involved in a fender bender that results in property damage exceeding $1,000, you must report the accident to PennDOT.
Reporting a fender bender can be done online, by phone, or by mail. It is important to report the accident as soon as possible, preferably within five days, and to provide accurate and detailed information about it.
Contact First-Class Personal Injury Attorneys in Pennsylvania
Be careful about what you say to insurance adjusters or other parties involved in the accident. Avoid admitting fault or apologizing, as this could be used against you. Stick to the facts and let your insurance company and attorney handle legal or financial matters.
Getting into a fender bender can be a stressful experience, but it is essential to stay calm and take the necessary steps to protect yourself and those involved. If you find yourself in a fender bender and need legal assistance, reach out to Rubin, Glickman, Steinberg & Gifford, P.C. for guidance and a helping hand. Call us at (215) 822-7575 or contact us online to talk with our talented personal injury attorneys. Our lawyers have the expertise to provide you with guidance and support to navigate the legal system and ensure your rights are protected.