WHAT TO DO IF YOU GET INTO AN MINOR AUTO ACCIDENT:
First, I have to say if it is a serious collision call 911 ASAP!
If it is a minor traffic accident, DO NOT simply exchange information with the other driver and later contact your insurance company. You must call the police and get an accident report! This is critical to protect yourself no matter who is at fault. For example, when the other motorist is at fault, they don’t want the police and say “Its my fault, let just exchange information”. You do that and you might find yourself knee deep in litigation or fighting with their insurance company. Too often our firm has to deal with at fault motorist changing their mind and contesting liability with their and your insurance company. Moreover, we have scene simple fender bender accidents and then the previously uninjured motorist racks up $10,00 in Chiropractic bills and wants a huge check from your insurance company!
If your automobiles are not significantly blocking traffic, do NOT move your vehicle. If your creating a backup, simply move a short distance towards the shoulder to allow other vehicles to pass while you wait for the police.
Once the officer arrives, he will assess the situation and determine liability in most all cases issuing a official Traffic Crash Report and often a citation to the party at fault. Moreover, he will not the lack of any injury complaints from the other motorist.
If the other party is at fault, they may still contest liability and request a traffic court hearing. This is usually set within 45 days from the accident. You will receive a Notice//Summons from the local State’s Attorneys Office of the court date and location. You MUST go! Otherwise, the ticket will be dismissed and you could be held in a prolonged liability dispute and higher insurance rates for the next five years!
Drive Safely during this Holiday Season!