Calling an accident a “fender bender” implies that the accident is minor. However, that does not do anything to relieve the innocent driver of the hassle of dealing with an accident that was not their fault. Not only do you have to give up your car for days or weeks while it is being repaired, you have to arrange a rental car or loaner, take time out of your schedule to take it to the repair shop, then deal with the insurance company, which could end up taking hours.
While cars continue to improve safety features to protect passengers and drivers, a minor accident can still cost thousands of dollars to repair, even if no one is injured. According to tests by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a 6-mile-per-hour front fender bender with a Hyundai Elantra will cost almost $5,000 in damage. A test of 20 small cars found slow speed accident repairs ranging from almost $3,000 for a Ford Focus on up to $9,500 for a Volkswagen Rabbit. A $9,000 repair bill should not be considered minor.
The Causes Behind Most Fender Benders
Fender benders are some of the most common accidents and can occur anywhere. There may be a number of causes behind fender benders; however, most are caused by driver error or automobile defects. Minor collisions are common in parking lots or parking structures. Parking lots can be a minefield for fender benders with reduced visibility, passengers walking between cars, and a constant stream of traffic. Especially during busy shopping times, drivers looking for parking spots can get more aggressive, driving dangerously fast through narrow lanes.
Driving in traffic also leads to a number of minor collisions. Stop and go traffic is frustrating for most drivers. The continual repetition of gas and brake while moving very little can make drivers careless, especially when a driver in front of them brakes hard at the last second. This leads to a lot of rear-ending fender benders.
Distracted driving is an increasing cause of all accidents, including minor collisions. Drivers who take their eyes off the road for a couple of seconds to text a friend, change the radio station, or look at their online maps may not be paying attention to the cars around them. Distracted drivers may not have enough time to avoid an accident, colliding with another vehicle.
However, not all motor vehicle accidents are the driver's fault. In many cases, vehicle malfunctions or design defects can contribute to a collision. In recent years, floormat design defects and the problem of unintended acceleration has lead to a number of accidents. When a driver loses control of the car, they may crash into another vehicle. With many of these accidents, the other driver, police, or insurance investigator may not believe that the car malfunction caused the accident.
Injuries in Minor Collisions
A minor collision does not always mean that everyone walks away injury free. Even a slow-speed fender bender can lead to serious injuries. Accidents, including rear-end collisions, often put a lot of strain on the neck and spine. Injuries such as whiplash may not immediately result in pain or obvious injury; however, hours or days later the injured victim may start to feel pain, headaches, tingling in the extremities, or difficulty moving their head or neck. Unfortunately, many insurance companies try to challenge the severity of the victim's injuries in order to pay them less money.
Neck or spinal trauma that is not immediately addressed by a doctor can turn into longer term injuries. If there is any chance you were injured in an accident, you should seek medical attention. These injuries can result in medical bills, continuing treatment, lost wages, and pain and suffering. You should not have to pay for the injuries caused by someone else's negligent driving. Contact your DC injury attorney for a consultation to make sure you are compensated for your damages.
Minor Collision Accident Attorneys
If you or a loved one has been injured in any kind of car accident, the law firm of Gilman & Bedigian may be able to help. It can be stressful dealing with the insurance company while you are trying to get your car repaired, recover from injuries, and get back to work. With a lawyer on your side, you can focus on recovery. Our attorneys have years of experience dealing with automobile accident cases throughout the DC Metro Area. We will fight for your rights to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.