How to: handle a car accident
While they happen everyday, no one really prepares how to handle the situation when it arises.
It typically begins with a quick errand, then BAM! It hits you like a 340-pound lineman taking out his 15-pound opponent. There has been a car accident.
When an accident occurs, it is important to know what to do and act accordingly. First, here are some tips on to handle a standard accident without any severe injuries.
“Colorado state law asks for drivable cars to be removed from traffic after an accident,” said officer 9133, a police dispatcher for the Boulder Police Department (it is Boulder PD policy to use badge numbers when speaking to the press).
After removing all the cars involved in the accident, someone needs to call 911.
Since there is some time before any police arrive, check out how the car looks and see what damage occurred to the vehicles involved – without playing the blame game.
“Do not admit fault and avoid confrontation,” the officer said.
These are the two important things to remember when dealing with an accident. While checking out the damage, it is a good idea to take pictures with a camera or even a camera phone.
“It is always a good idea to take pictures; it will be more helpful when filing your claim to the insurance company,” the officer said.
When the police arrive they will handle the situation from there.
However, some accidents occur in a parking lot or are minor enough that the people involved may not want to call police.
In this situation, remove the accident from traffic, take pictures of the scene, and then exchange valid information regarding insurance, registration and driver’s license. Contact information may be useful as well.
If any problems or concerns arise, call the Boulder Police Department at (303) 441-3300.
According to the traffic laws in Colorado, there must be a police report filed if the total damage of the accident is more than $1000, even though some insurance companies may require a report even if the damage is less that $1000.
Many students around CU are familiar with car accidents.
“In my accident we dealt with the problem ourselves,” said Devin Bedi, 20, a sophomore pre-communication major. “We exchanged information, and she called me a little while after.”
Sometimes it can be easy to pull into a parking space too quickly and damage a nearby car.
If this happens, check thoroughly for damage. If damage is found and there is no way to contact the owner, leave contact information (and be honest) so the person can later be in touch so the problem can be solved. If your Audi car has been damaged in a fender bender, you may need to bring it to an Audi service shop for the necessary repairs. Minor accidents like fender benders may also cause glass damage which could require windshield repair services from a local collision repair shop.
While it may be tempting to run and not leave a note, remember courtesy works both ways.
“I walked out of a bookstore after having coffee with a friend and found the front of my car bent,” said Isabelle Brotman-evans, 19, a junior economics student. “The guy left his business card for me to call and I called the insurance company; my car is being fixed now.”
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Zach Keller at firstname.lastname@example.org