Countless motor vehicle accidents occur throughout the United States every day. Some of these accidents are minor, while others can have devastating consequences for everyone involved. The reality of many car accidents is that they are often more severe than they initially appear.
It can be confusing to know what to do after a minor accident. Even if you do not feel injured in the moment, you could experience pain or other symptoms in the future. To be sure that your rights are protected and that you comply with the law, it is a good idea to contact the police after any accident.
What Is a Fender Bender?
“Fender bender” is an informal term used to describe a minor car accident. As the name suggests, it involves a motor vehicle collision that does more than dent or ding the motor vehicle’s fender. For some people, these accidents are so minor that repairs are unnecessary.
Of course, whether or not an accident is a fender bender is subjective. It is not always immediately clear how severe the damage is in a car accident. A bent fender might seem minor, but the structural damage underneath could require costly repairs.
Minor Car Accidents Can Be More Serious Than You Realize
There is a reason why it is important to notify law enforcement after even minor car accidents. While your collision might not seem major, there could be more at stake than you realize. This is true both for the damage to your vehicle as well as your own injuries.
It is difficult to tell how serious the damage to your vehicle might be at a glance. Even if the body damage seems insignificant, there could be significant damage beneath the surface. It is also worth noting that even fixing body damage alone can cost thousands of dollars, which is anything but minor.
The extent of your injuries can also be difficult to identify at first. Following an accident, the endorphin rush you experience in stressful situations could prevent you from experiencing immediate pain. As the endorphins fade, the pain and soreness from your injury could become apparent. That is why it is always in your best interest to seek medical treatment after an accident. Contacting the police will also result in a report that could be beneficial in your personal injury case.
Reporting an Accident Can Protect Your Rights
Making a report to law enforcement after an accident could benefit you in different ways. This is true even when you believe your accident is relatively minor. By contacting law enforcement, you initiate the process of having your accident reported. The details within this accident report can be valuable to you and your attorney.
When you report an accident to the police, they will come to the scene to take a report. This report could serve as a valuable starting point for your personal injury attorney. The report is not admissible at trial, but it could paint a clear picture of how the accident happened. This includes identifying visible damage to each vehicle and noting any reported injuries. Police reports also include contact information for the parties and any neutral witnesses that observed the crash.
Having a police report is invaluable if you ultimately pursue an insurance claim. Insurance adjusters usually have little to go on when investigating an accident. If your accident report makes it clear that the other driver was at fault, you are more likely to secure a settlement offer from the other side.
Talk to an Attorney About Your Accident
If you were in a minor fender bender, it is in your best interest to contact law enforcement. Reporting your accident to the police could safeguard your rights, especially in cases where your injuries are more serious than you realize.
If you were hurt in an accident, Gomez Trial Attorneys are here to help. Our firm understands how to maximize financial compensation for motor vehicle accident cases. We will provide the aggressive advocacy you deserve in difficult situations such as these. Contact us as soon as possible to schedule your free consultation.