I'm sure you're a perfect driver, and have never done anything wrong.  And I'm sure you've never been distracted by kids or your phone or french fries.  So this probably won't apply to you.  But for the rest of us, here are five things to do if you're ever in a fender bender . . .

1.  Make sure everyone's okay before you check the damage to your car.

That includes your passengers . . . everyone in the other car . . . and YOURSELF.  You might not even realize you're hurt because your adrenaline's going.


2.  Don't admit it was your fault. 

Even just saying you're SORRY can open you up to liability issues if the person sues you.  So just make sure they're okay, exchange information, call a tow truck if you need one, and let your insurance deal with the rest.


3.  Only call the cops if you need to.  It depends on what state it happens in.

But in general, you only need to file a report if there's an injury . . . more than $1,000 in damage . . . or you're worried for your safety, because the other driver is flipping out.


4.  Take lots of pictures, and not just of your car. 

You should take pictures of anything that might be useful if you end up in court.  So that might mean the stop sign they blew through . . . skid marks on the road . . . or the half-eaten sandwich in their car if you think they were eating when it happened.


5.  Get the insurance companies involved as soon as possible.

If you think it was YOUR fault, call your insurance and be honest about it.  They're on YOUR side, so there's no need to lie to them.  But if it wasn't your fault, call THEIR insurance company so they don't try to get out of it somehow.

Anyway, I hope you stay safe out there and never have to use this information!

Bendingly yours,

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