If you get into a minor accident in California and it appears there is little, if any, damage to either party, it may be tempting to just both drive away and pretend nothing happened. If there is damage, you may be a little shaken from the accident and forget what you should do. No matter how serious or minor a crash may be it is always important to, at minimum, exchange information with the other parties involved because issues can pop up later even if you do not expect them to.

According to US News, you should call the police even if there does not seem to be any damage, but it is especially important when there is damage or injuries. A report helps with the insurance claim, even if you are the one at fault. Getting the other driver’s contact and insurance information is essential so you can determine who is responsible for damage payment. Skipping this step could mean you are personally responsible for paying for damages. While you are exchanging information, make sure you keep any other talk to a minimum and not to admit fault.

Minor accidents may seem just that, but KTAR discusses one of the best reasons you should not take any crash lightly, and that is the fact injuries can show up later, even days, after the incident. With low-speed crashes, your body actually takes the brunt of the force which can lead to symptoms and injuries such as:

  • Neck pain
  • Headaches
  • Whiplash
  • Shoulder and back pain
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Emotional distress

It is always a good idea to get checked by a doctor or chiropractor after a fender bender to make sure you are ok or to treat any injury before it becomes problematic.