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For a “glass half-full” approach, a fender bender is a good thing; it means that no one was likely injured although your vehicle now needs minor auto damage repair. Your vehicle is still drivable so you may want to just ignore the damage and be on your way. Keep reading to learn why this might not be the best idea or strategy if you experience a fender bender in the St. Louis area.
Damage to your vehicle is secondary; safety should always be your primary concern in the event you are involved in a fender bender. Check to make sure you, your passengers and the occupants of any other cars involved have been injured. If you have any indication that anyone may be injured, however minor, do not hesitate to call 911. Sometimes pain may not be present immediately after as whiplash type injuries can be experienced during minor auto collisions resulting in headaches and muscle soreness.
Move to Safety
Once you have determined that the minor collision or fender bender have not resulted in injuries, or if you have already notified the police and/or emergency services by dialing 911, move your vehicle to safety. While it is important to remain in the area of the accident and not disturb the scene, it is more important to move the scene out of traffic to maintain your safety, the safety of other involved drivers and passengers and the safety of all drivers passing the scene. If your vehicle is drivable, move to the side of the road. If you experience a minor collision or minor accident on a highway, check to see if there are accident reporting zones and move your vehicle accordingly.
Call the Authorities
This important step is necessary even if the minor accident resulted in no injuries and only minor vehicle damage. Your insurance company will likely require confirmation and reporting from the police or highway patrol in order to file and justify your claim. Even if the other driver does not comply or cooperate in the reporting, or if the other driver makes the minor accident a “hit and run” by leaving the scene, it is important to notify the authorities and follow all the given instructions.
Document the Scene
Most people will cooperate with your efforts. Even if the other party of the minor collision you experience is not cooperating, it is important to document the scene. You can do this by jotting down a few notes while the information is fresh in your mind and also by taking some photographs with your smartphone. If your vehicle is equipped with any video capability you will want to make sure to capture that information in the event you are involved in a fender bender.
Again, most people will cooperate, so this is a perfect time to exchange personal information with the driver of the other vehicle. This is important even if you are the one at fault in a minor collision or fender bender. You will want to gather the following information:
Start the Claims Process
Contact your insurance company and formally file a claim. This may require an appointment with a claims adjuster who will determine the extent of the damage. You may also contact a minor collision repair shop in the St. Louis area to assist you with this process such as Spirit West Rapid Refinish. An expert collision repair specialist can partner with you and your insurance company to return your vehicle to its showroom condition after a fender bender.
For minor auto damage repair, fender bender repair, auto paint repair, bumper repair, paint repair service, minor collision repair service in the St. Louis area, contact Spirit West Rapid Refinish at 636-386-8060 Monday through Friday between 9:00am – 5:00pm or stop by our convenient location at 14643 Manchester Rd, Manchester, MO 63011.
Spirit West Motor Carriage, founded in 1977, is a full-service auto body repair shop serving the St. Louis and surrounding Metro area. For nearly four decades, our family-owned business and our experienced staff have been providing quality auto collision repair, mechanical, paintless dent repair (PDR), complete paint refinishing, and wheel and framing alignment services.