Minor car accidents – often called fender benders, because of the low amount of damage that they can cause –often seem like nothing more than a minor inconvenience. However, they still have the potential to cause surprisingly significant injuries, and can run up shockingly high repair bills.
To ensure that you get the compensation that you deserve after a fender bender, the Philadelphia personal injury attorneys at the law office of Gilman & Bedigian fight for your rights and interests both in and out of court, against both the driver responsible for your injuries and your property damage and any insurance companies involved.
The Major Price of a Minor Collision
Minor collisions typically happen at low speed, often leaving both vehicles drivable, and all vehicle occupants seemingly uninjured. However, this is often an illusion – the cost of minor collisions and fender benders typically do not show themselves for several days.
Even if you were involved in a low-speed car accident that did not seem to hurt you at all, that does not mean that you escaped unscathed. Whiplash is a deceptive injury, involving the muscles and tendons in your neck, back, and core. Even small but unexpected jolts – like those that frequently occur during minor collisions – can cause whiplash, which is the straining or the tearing of these muscles or tendons. Whiplash can be very painful and debilitating but often does not show itself for several days after your accident.
Even if you were not hurt in a fender bender, that does not mean that your vehicle was so lucky. The damage from minor collisions can create surprisingly high repair costs, in large part because cars are not made like they used to be. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the bumpers of many vehicles are not made to withstand even low-speed collisions without sustaining costly damage. In a series of tests, the IIHS found that some vehicles, including popular models like the Hyundai Elantra and the Toyota Prius, sustained around $4,000 worth of damage in a minor collision of under 6 mph. Even the vehicle that performed the best in their testing, the Ford Focus, took damage that would cost over $1,000 to fix.
Causes of Fender Benders and Minor Collisions
Fender benders are some of the most common collisions to happen on the roads of America. They happen frequently at intersections, in parking lots, and in heavy traffic, and are typically the result of a negligent driver.
A frequent fender bender scenario is during a traffic jam on a highway. In stop-and-go, bumper-to-bumper traffic, there is both a lot of frustration as people want to get to their destination and distraction and drivers have little to pay attention to on the road. Drivers frequently let off the brakes and idle forward for too long, softly nudging the vehicle in front of them.
Another common situation for a minor collision is at a stop sign or stop light. One vehicle is waiting for their turn at the intersection when another car approaches from the rear. Whether because of driver distraction, negligence, or a vehicle defect, the approaching vehicle is unable to stop in time. When this happens at a significant speed, it can cause a rear-end collision, but at a low-speed, it is just a minor fender bender.
Finally, minor collisions frequently happen in parking lots. There, drivers are often moving at low speeds of under 10 mph. However, they are frequently distracted with the task of finding a parking spot. This often results in negligence that causes a small collision with another driver who is looking for a parking spot, or with a vehicle backing or pulling out of a parking spot.
Minor Collision and Fender Bender Attorneys in Philadelphia
Minor collisions and fender benders might seem like nothing more than an inconvenience. However, these collisions can cause surprisingly significant property damage and personal injuries. Unfortunately, the true cost of these losses often does not show itself for several days or a week after the collision.
Having a personal injury attorney at your side, fighting for your rights and interests after a minor collision can ensure you get the compensation that you deserve after the crash. The Philadelphia personal injury attorneys represent fender bender victims both in and out of court, getting them the financial help they need and deserve after a minor collision. Contact our law office online or at (800) 529-6162.