Minor collisions can be a real hassle to deal with. Often times the accident is so minor that it seems more trouble than it is worth to get the insurance company involved. It may be cheaper, in the long run, to just pay for the repairs out of pocket. However, in most cases, even a minor collision should be handled through the regular channels so that you don't get stuck paying for an accident that someone else caused.
What to do After a Minor Collision or Fender Bender
After a minor collision, both drivers may take a look at the damage, and wonder what to do next. Some drivers plead for the other not to report the accident, even offering cash to cover the damage. This may be because the other driver is not insured, they are not supposed to be driving, or they don't want their insurance rates to go up. However, reporting the accident may be the best way to protect yourself, and it may also be required by law.
If you decide not to report the accident, there are a couple of things that could go wrong. Even a minor collision could later lead to injuries and chronic pain. Even if you feel no pain immediately after the accident, a day or two later, you may start to feel aches and pains, numbness, or dizziness. Head, neck, and back injuries can be deceptive. These injuries may take a couple of days to manifest.
If the accident was not reported, or you don't have the other driver's contact information, you may not be able to file a claim against the other driver. What seemed like a minor accident can quickly lead to an expensive injury, with expensive medical bills, lost wages, and long-term pain and suffering.
Even if you are not injured in the fender bender, the other driver may later decide to report the accident. They may claim that their car was totaled and they were seriously injured. Even though the accident was minor and they seemed fine, they may show up with a smashed up car, reporting neck and back injuries. If the accident had been reported, the police may have filed an official accident report. However, without reporting the accident, it may be the other driver's word against yours. You may be held liable for causing the other driver's damages and injuries.
Causes of Minor Collisions
Minor collisions, or fender benders, can be caused by any number of reasons. In most cases, they involve a slow moving accident, such as backing out of a space in a parking lot. Most of the time, minor collisions are caused by a driver who is not completely paying attention, or takes their eyes off the road for a second. This could include looking at directions on their phone, texting a friend, or looking at their appearance in the mirror. Distracted driving can easily lead to a slow-speed collision.
While most minor collisions involve one driver's negligent driving, some collisions are due to a vehicle defect. There have been recall notices for a number of vehicles based on their dangerous defects or vehicle malfunctions. Defective seat recline mechanisms can lead to a driver losing control, ending in a minor collision. Another example involves defective floor mats that were linked to unintended acceleration, leading to vehicle accidents, including minor collisions. In these cases, the vehicle manufacturer may responsible for the vehicle damage and any injuries involved.
Whatever the cause of the accident, you should not have to pay for someone else's mistake. If another driver caused the accident, the insurance company may still give you a hard time, denying your claim or giving you only a small portion of your damages. If you call a personal injury attorney, they can deal with the insurance company, and if necessary, take the insurance company and the other driver to court to make sure you get the money you deserve.
Baltimore Fender Bender 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 Maryland. We will fight for your rights to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.