Of course, we can all say the best advice is to avoid an accident, but it is getting harder to keep a clean record. Sometimes, it isn’t even our fault. So here are five things to consider carefully if your day is ruined by a bit of a fender bender.
Most of us were raised nice, and it is almost instinctive to say you’re sorry. But don’t apologize. It will be considered accepting your mistake, and put you at fault even if it wasn’t. An Apology is admission of guilt, and can later be used against you in the court.
By all means be polite. Tempers can already be hot, and it is best to keep calm and deescalate. Try to understand the situation, and communicate. Check that there are no injuries, either in your own party, or in those involved. Call for medical services if necessary, or to bring road side attention if your vehicles need towing.
The law is the law, and in Nevada drivers must exchange information, even if they are not at fault. And it’s just a good idea, too. You will need to know the names of those involved, and everything else you can learn. Keep track of who was involved, how many, makes of cars the condition of those involved. Frequently, these details change after the fact, and your records may help keep you in the clear.
Is it Your Fault?
You don’t need to be on the offensive or defensive, but see if you followed the rules of the road. Try to understand how your situation looks to outsiders, and consider if this is a friendly traffic accident or will require professional help. You don’t need to worry yourself to death, but understand that small accidents can still have large payouts, and can have big impacts on your driving record.
If it’s NOT Your Fault
Do your due diligence. Just because you are not at fault doesn’t mean you are off the hook. Gather the information you need to, and keep a full record. This will need to be shared with your insurance, and will help show you are not to blame.
But be aware that you have no control of those involved. They may have a different view of things, and accusations can fly. Be careful, be cautious, and above all, be thorough.
If it’s Your Fault
If this is the case, don’t fret. You need to contact your insurance and get on the ball. Don’t delay, and gather all the information you can. And remember, just because you think you are fault does not mean it is true. Extenuating circumstances beyond your control could well have contributed to the accident.