Most motorists will experience a car accident at some point in their driving lives. However, statistically, the majority of those accidents will be minor and involve no injuries. For example, according to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics website, in 2019, just 2.74 million of the more than 6.7 million crashes in the United States involved an injury.
Translation? Less than half of all car accidents on the road end up in an injury. Even fewer lead to fatalities. Nevertheless, it is best to treat a non-injury car accident as thoroughly as any other since you may still deserve compensation under the law. If you want to learn more about your legal rights after a minor car accident, contact a non-injury accident attorney at Labrum Law at (615) 338-9500.
Stay Calm After a Non-Injury Car Accident
The first thing anyone should do after an accident is to stay calm after any kind of car accident, if possible. Fight or flight chemicals can make a car accident feel like the end of the world, encouraging those involved to start viewing each other as a threat. This type of behavior should be avoided at all costs. Science shows that deep breathing can slow heart rate. According to several studies, including one available on the National Library of Medicine website, focusing on exhalation has been proven to decrease heart rates as measured on electrocardiographs. Take some time to breathe deeply, realizing that what happened was an accident.
Gather as Much Information as Possible
Even if you are involved in a non-injury accident, you may have property damage to your vehicle. The next critical step is to gather information. From photos to personal information of everyone involved in the accident, here are the details not to miss, if possible:
Whether the collision occurred with just one driver or several, it is essential to gather the information of everyone involved. Whether written on paper or phone-recorded, find a way to record document driver information such as:
- The names of all drivers involved
- Insurance information of all drivers involved
- License plate information
It may be wise to take a snapshot of everyone's driver's license as well. Whatever happens, no motorist should rely on memory alone.
The next step is to take photos of the vehicles, as well as the scene of the non-injury accident, if possible. Again, assuming the accident is low-impact and injury-free, there probably will not be much visual, physical damage to document. However, it is still important to record all information at the scene of the accident.
Make sure to take photos of any dents, scratches, smashed taillights, or cracked windows that resulted from the accident. These will prove invaluable later on when it is time to show evidence of any damage. Additionally, take pictures of the scene where it all happened before removing the cars from the scene, if possible. Precise depictions of the scene will help all parties understand the setting better and determine liability for the accident.
Attempt to Find Eyewitnesses
Gathering eyewitness accounts can help verify the timeline and details of the car accident. Often, witnesses are willing to stay and give their testimony regarding how they perceived the accident, and who they believe was potentially liable for the crash.
If you were in a non-injury car accident, you still may have the legal right to receive compensation for your property damage, or injuries that appear at a later time. Consider contacting an experienced non-injury accident attorney at Labrum Law today to learn more.
File a Police Report
No matter how severe or minor the incident, a car crash will not be official legally until at least one driver files a police report. Often, police will arrive on the scene of an accident by the mere fact of it occurring in a high traffic area. In addition, an eyewitness or one of the parties involved might have called the police, so their presence will necessitate a report.
However, police in many districts prefer not to spend time and resources responding to fender benders. So, in all likelihood, if someone calls the police after a non-injury accident, they may end up having to go to the police station to file the report.
Filing a report at a police substation will allow the time and space needed to collect and report all of the facts involved in the case, including:
- The names and contact information of all drivers involved
- Insurance policy information
- The date, time, and location of the accident
- A statement of what occurred, including vehicle damages
Not only is it wise to file a police report after a crash, but it is also the law in most states, including Tennessee. Anyone can access a police report at the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security website. According to the report, Tennesseans have twenty days to file a statement after a crash. The law also requires reports for any car accident that includes injuries, fatalities, or damages exceeding $1,500.
Can You Sue After a Non-Injury Car Accident?
The short answer is yes. A non-injury car accident is still an accident under the law, that may include damages that deserve rightful compensation for property damage. While there may not be any medical expenses to take into account, expected losses in non-injury car accidents may include:
- Property Damage
- Lost Wages
- Car Rental
- Replacement of items within the car that suffered damage
Even minor body damage to a vehicle can prove costly to repair or replace. Lost wages can come in the form of taking time off to deal with an accident's logistical aftermath. In addition, a victim may have the right to receive compensation for a rental car as their vehicle remains in a shop for repairs.
Consult a Non-Injury Car Accident Attorney Today
Non-injury car accidents are still accidents under the law. Losses are still losses, even if they are not as astronomical as large catastrophic accidents. Having an experienced non-injury accident attorney by your side can help you navigate these legal waters, and ensure your legal rights remain protected throughout the process. Contact our experienced non-injury car accident attorneys at Labrum Law at (615) 338-9500 and schedule your consultation today.