The Fender Bender.

It is the bane of our morning commute. It can ruin an otherwise good week, wreak havoc on our checkbook and perhaps leave us with some nagging neck pain – or worse.

But let’s rewind.

In the moments immediately following a fender bender, there are a crucial list of actions you should take to minimize future headaches, hassles and expenses.

  • You should call 911 (even if no one appears to be injured, calling 911 is recommended by which states that you should call after “a car crash, especially if someone is injured.”
  • You should trade insurance information. What if the other party has no insurance information? That’s one reason why you should call 911.
  • Take photos. Your smartphone’s camera is good for things other than the kids’ recitals. Put it to good use here.

But should you call me?

Typically, a lawyer may not be a prudent phone call to make if no one is seriously hurt and you take the steps above to file a complete police report.

That being said, I’ve included below some advice on when it may be the right move to contact someone for a little legal advice.

• Hire a lawyer if you have to stay overnight in the hospital or if you suffer from any serious injury as a result of the accident. This could include permanent scarring, loss of a limb or loss of bodily function (such as excessive back or neck pain or a knee injury). You should also hire an attorney if you require long-term care as a result of your injuries.

• You may also want to consult with an attorney if the police report does not clearly state which driver is at fault.

Please remember to always drive safely and if you are involved in an accident large or small, work very hard to remain calm and keep your wit about you. Your level head and rational thinking will help make this bad situation a little more manageable for everyone involved.