Business|March 29, 2012 12:32 am

The do’s and don’ts of a minor car accident

By a State Farm Agent®
The fender bender you were just in appears to be minor. No one looks injured and there is minimal damage to the vehicles. First breathe a sigh of relief — then take these precautions to help prevent your small accident from becoming a big problem.
• Don’t drive away.
• Do stay at the scene and move your vehicle to a safe place out of traffic even if there appears to be no damage. If the other car is parked and the owner isn’t around, leave a note with your name and contact information.
• Don’t assume there aren’t injuries.
• Do assess yourself and your passengers. Even low-impact collisions can cause injuries, some not appearing until days after the accident.
• Don’t sign any documents and avoid accepting or offering cash for repairs. You may end up paying out-of-pocket to repair damage to your car that only appears minor, or you could pay the other driver more than necessary.
• Do stay calm. Take notes and photos, and exchange information with the other driver, including your name, address, phone number, driver’s license number, license plate number, insurance company and policy number.
• Don’t assume an accident is too minor to be reported.
• Do call the police or file a report on your own. This will help your insurance agent handle your claim. An accident report could also help protect you from issues that may arise later about the extent of damage to your vehicle or injuries to you and the other driver.
• Don’t forget to notify your State Farm agent.
• Do discuss your options for handling potential claims.
The State Farm Pocket Agent® smart phone app makes it easy to capture the essential details of an accident. Pocket Agent can help you diagram the accident scene, record witnesses’ names and numbers, contact your agent, and even locate nearby repair shops.
Learn more about what to do after a car accident.

The information in this article was obtained from various sources. While we believe it to be reliable and accurate, we do not warrant the accuracy or reliability of the information. These suggestions are not a complete list of every loss control measure. The information is not intended to replace manuals or instructions provided by the manufacturer or the advice of a qualified professional. Nor is it intended to effect coverage under any policy. State Farm makes no guarantees of results from use of this information. We assume no liability in connection with the information nor the suggestions made.

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