Many accidents happen out of the blues and in split seconds. Most times, we can do very little to prevent their occurrence, leading to some significant damages. With a stroke of luck, some car accidents could be minor, leaving little or no damages on the car. It could be difficult to know what to do in a minor car accident with no damage as it can be a tricky situation.
Are you free to go without filing a report? Do you owe the other party more than a quick apology? Or do you drive off since there has been no damage? There are specific actions in Georgia, including legal actions, that you should take in such a situation. This article will bring you clarity on the next line of action and details you may need to understand if it ever happens to you.
How and Where Do Minor Accidents Occur?
One of the main reasons minor accidents result in little or no damage is because the car moves slowly. If your car is racing at high speed, there is every tendency that hitting or colliding with another vehicle or object will be damaging. Fender-benders (minor accidents) often occur:
- During slippery weather conditions
- When backing out of a driveway or parking space
- When a driver is briefly distracted
- In slow-moving traffic
- At an intersection when stopping at a red light.
No matter where these accidents occur, the following steps will help curtail any significant challenges you may face.
Steps to Take After a No-Damage Minor Car Accident
The actions you take following a minor car accident with no damage can exacerbate or lessen legal issues if it ever comes to that. Your account of the story may hold little water during legal proceedings; proper documentation of the whole process might be your way out of the mess. Let's look at the significant steps you can take in a minor car accident with no damage.
- Protect Yourself
The first few moments after an accident can go by in a blur. You go from shock to fear in a few seconds. The first thing to do is try to calm yourself and assess the situation. Ensure that you have sustained no injuries. Next, contact your insurance company and report the incident. Take it a step further and call 911 or file a police report.
- Check for Damages
It might look like there are no visible damages except a few scratches at first. Still check. Look out for leaks, reduced battery life, alignment issues, and other similar issues.
- Take Photos
After leaving the accident scene, there's no telling what the other motorist may do or claim. Take pictures of the accident and notes if possible. Taking pictures is necessary in case you need to file a claim much later.
- Exchange Contact Information
Leaving the accident scene without at least getting the other motorist's contact address or phone number is a big risk. How would you be able to contact them if there's a need to file a claim against them? Most of the time, that may be the last time you would see them again.
Repercussions of Not Informing Necessary Authorities
Many states in the U.S., including Georgia, require the victims of a car accident to file a report with the police. This law holds, but not in every situation. In a minor car accident, it is mandatory to inform the police if:
- Damages exceed a specific amount.
- You hit a Government vehicle.
- Other property asides from the car are damaged.
- The other party is uninsured.
- You hit a pedestrian.
- Someone is injured.
Some of the above mentioned may not be so clear immediately after the accident occurs. Some injuries may not be apparent until a few days later, or you may not know if the other party is uninsured. So, filing a report helps you to remain on the safer side.
If you do not report the accident, here are some possible repercussions or penalties:
- The authorities may charge you with fleeing an accident scene.
- This crime may incur a hefty fine, jail time, or
- up to 2 years of license suspension.
Should I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer After a Minor Car Accident?
A car accident lawyer will work effectively in ensuring you get all the legal assistance you need in this situation. Not only will they help you get compensation if you've been hit, but they also ensure you take no self-implicating steps.
Our car accident attorneys at Mike Bell Accident & Injury Lawyers are highly skilled in assisting car accident parties. Contact us for legal help and get a free consultation today!