WHAT IS A FENDER BENDER, AND WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
Even though fender benders are sometimes described as small, they are car accidents. This implies that you may claim with your insurance company to recoup any losses.
Many insurance plans require people to report any kind of accident, even minor collisions.
If you don’t know what a fender bender is or what procedures to take after one, this article is for you.
A fender bender is a word for an car accident that happens at a slower pace and does less damage than a high-speed collision. The term “fender bender” was coined to characterize the minor damage that often occurs in these collisions.
Even though fender benders are less serious, individuals engaged in them should handle them as if they were serious car accidents since they may still result in expensive injuries and car damage.
FENDER BENDER ACCIDENTS: WHAT CAUSES THEM?
A variety of factors may cause a fender bender collision. However, there are a few that are more typical.
If a car follows too closely through a neighborhood and the car in front of them has to stop unexpectedly, a fender collision is more probable.
A car backing out of a parking place and being struck by another car that fails to see them is another prevalent situation for fender benders.
Distracted drivers may also crash parked cars inadvertently in a variety of situations.
Regardless of how the accident occurred, drivers should know how to manage them and acquire enough proof to back up their claims. Even if the damage appears minor at first glance, and no one appears to have been injured at the time of the accident, fender bender accident victims may not be able to determine the full extent of property damage or injuries until after some time has passed.
This is why people must safeguard themselves as soon as possible following a fender accident.
AFTER A FENDER BENDER, WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?
Following a fender crash, drivers have options for protecting their health and legal rights. The following are some of them:
KEEP YOUR COOL.
Drivers and passengers are frequently startled by fender benders. Calm yourself and behave logically after an accident to simplify the damages and take the appropriate procedures.
Verify that your passengers are uninjured and safe.
Check to discover if anybody is experiencing neck or back discomfort since this might suggest whiplash damage. If you discover that anybody in the car has been injured, contact 911 immediately and stay in the car until assistance comes.
KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR NEARBY DANGERS.
After a fender accident, many drivers want to get out of their car as soon as possible to inspect the car’s appearance and confront the other motorist. However, you must first inspect the route for any remaining possible threats.
Before exiting the car, check your rearview and side-view mirrors, as well as your surroundings. You risk stepping into oncoming cars or other dangers if you don’t.
When a fender bender occurs in the center of the road, drivers should pull over to the side of the road as soon as possible. Before leaving the car, drivers should turn on their hazard lights and double-check for any risks.
POLICE SHOULD BE CONTACTED.
If there are any major injuries or property damage due to a fender bender, the next step is to contact the police. Regardless of how terrible the collision is, it is typically a smart idea to contact the cops since there are various advantages. The police, for example, may act as a mediator between you and the other motorist. (You want the cops when you’re dealing with an aggressive motorist!)
After an accident, police may make the area safer by managing traffic and avoiding additional collisions. Finally, an accident report will be prepared by the police. This report might be crucial evidence in the event of a future insurance claim or litigation.
Although the police may not attend to the site of a fender collision in certain situations, especially if there are no injuries or fatalities, it is in your best interest to inform them.
OBTAIN THE OTHER DRIVER’S CONTACT AND INSURANCE INFORMATION.
Exchange information with the other motorist after ensuring everyone in your car is safe and alerting the police.
The following information should be exchanged: Name
Contact information (phone number or email address) Your physical location
The name of the insurance company and the policy number
Avoid the problem by reasserting your request for basic contact and insurance information if the other motorist tries to accuse you or blame the accident. To preserve your legal rights, don’t discuss who was at blame in the accident until you’ve had a chance to speak with a car accident lawyer.
GATHER ANY EVIDENCE THAT MAY BE USED TO BACK UP A CLAIM OR A LAWSUIT.
Check for any obvious damage to your car following a fender accident, even if the full amount of the damage is not immediately evident. This might be restricted to a bent fender, for example. Leaking fluids, smoke, dents, engine sounds, or the smell of gasoline are all possibilities. Get away from a car with such leaks since a fire might start up at any time, causing severe casualties.
Take careful note of everything you see, including how the accident happened, when it happened, where it happened, and the state of the road at the time of the accident.
Take photographs or videos of the situation, including footage of the surrounding area, car damage, and your apparent injuries, to support your case when submitting a claim or lawsuit.
PLEASE CONTACT YOUR INSURANCE COMPANY.
You may begin claiming with your insurance carrier after you’ve dealt with the situation at the accident site and obtained any required medical attention.
Drivers generally want to avoid dealing with insurance in small accidents like fender benders, but interacting with insurers may help drivers plan for any unforeseen damages or injuries that may arise later.
Keep in mind that insurers are likely to want to negotiate the lowest possible settlement or reject the claim outright, which is why you should consider enlisting the services of a car accident lawyer. Even fender benders fall within this category!
In certain circumstances, insurers may assist policyholders in learning how to get coverage for a fender collision. For example, they could tell a policyholder about the terms of their insurance, their deductible, and where they can have their car repaired.
FENDER BENDER-RELATED CAR DAMAGES THAT MAY GO UNNOTICED
Fender benders may seem little at first, but even slight collisions may cause substantial damage to your car. The following are examples of possible damages:
THE CAR’S FRAME HAS BEEN DAMAGED
A fender bender may injury your car’s chassis in various ways, including alignment concerns, suspension issues, and damage to the hood, trunk, and doors. Unstable steering, vibrations or shudders, uneven tire wear, or sounds heard while steering is signs of alignment issues.
Certain doors may not lock correctly, or your trunk or hood may not seal properly, enabling moisture to enter the car. When driving over bumps or rougher terrain, the car may not run as smoothly, suggesting a suspension issue. Repairing these damages might be costly.
Fender benders that involve rear-end accidents may potentially cause mechanical damage to the car. Because all-wheel-drive (AWD) and rear-wheel-drive (RWD) cars have transmission components at the back, gearbox damage is prevalent. Transmission damage might manifest itself in leaking fluids or difficulties changing gears or accelerating.
DAMAGE TO THE ELECTRICAL SYSTEM
Fender benders may cause damage to the car’s electrical system in addition to the frame and mechanical damage. Sensors and wiring for car proximity detection or backup camera systems and other devices are often found in bumpers. Even a slight rear-end collision may cause substantial injury to modern driver-assistance systems (ADAS).
Head, brake, taillights, and airbag deployment systems, and battery connections are all electrical components that might be damaged in a fender accident. If the car’s battery dies immediately after a collision, it’s possible that the accident damaged the wiring.
Get the car’s undercarriage evaluated to prevent the stress of dealing with these or other issues later after a fender accident. Taking your car in for repairs as soon as possible after an accident might help you see any underlying damage that you may have overlooked.
HOW MINOR COLLISIONS CAN LEAD TO SERIOUS INJURIES
Fender benders may result in surprisingly catastrophic car damage and serious injury to drivers and passengers.
Even low-speed crashes may cause ligament, muscle, tendon, and bone injuries due to the body’s inability to tolerate the force. Symptoms, aches, and pains might not appear right away. According to the Spine Research Institute of San Diego, many accident victims take up to five weeks to recognize their injuries.
Many fender benders caused soft-tissue and whiplash injuries by jolting victims’ heads forward and backward or side-to-side. Strains or sprains of the muscles, tendons, or ligaments that support the neck’s cervical spine are known as whiplash.
Due to the shock of the occurrence and the chemicals that the body produces as a reaction, including adrenaline, injured sufferers may not experience pain immediately after an accident.
However, discomfort may build over time, making underlying injuries more visible. This lag in symptom onset might indicate potentially deadly or life-threatening injuries.
ACCIDENTS CAUSED BY SEAT BELTS
While seat belts may save a person’s life in an accident, when the body pushes against the restraint, injury victims may suffer injuries from seat belt trauma, such as soft tissue or spinal damage. Even in small fender benders, seat belts may injury the lungs, heart, and other organs when they collide.
Unless the seatbelts were defective, you would very certainly pursue your claim against the at-fault motorist who caused the accident since it is the at-fault driver, not the seatbelt, who is responsible for your physical injury.
AIRBAGS HAVE THE POTENTIAL TO INJURE PEOPLE.
Many individuals have the misconception that airbags are injuryless. However, airbags contain nitrogen gas, which quickly swells the airbag even at moderate speeds, giving the driver a stronger hit than you would imagine. Airbags, like seat belts, save lives, but they may also damage you in the process, especially to the head and neck. In most situations, as with seat belts, the culpable motorist who caused the collision is responsible for any injuries received when an airbag deploys.
INTERNAL INJURIES COULD SHOW SYMPTOMS OVER TIME
Even when an accident results in a slew of injuries, fender benders might result in ailments that aren’t immediately apparent. Due to damage to soft tissues, the spine, or particular organs, sufferers may endure acute pain in the days or weeks after an event. If victims do not seek medical assistance for their injuries, they may become more severe and cause lifelong injury.
Following any car collision, even a little fender bender, you should keep an eye on your body for pain and other signs.
The following symptoms might suggest a major underlying internal injury: Issues with vision
Pain in the abdomen Muscle tenseness
Stiffness or pain in the neck or back Breathing problems
Disorientation or dizziness Bleeding or urine problems
Arm or leg numbness or weakness
Any of these symptoms might need prompt medical attention, allowing medical specialists to detect and diagnose one or more injuries.
Seeking care as soon as possible and obtaining medical documents might also support an accident claim or lawsuit. Medical documents demonstrate the degree of injuries sustained in a fender collision, allowing you to get reimbursement sooner.
If you wait too long to report these injuries, insurers or defendants may argue that the accident was not to blame.
FENDER BENDERS SHOULD BE TAKEN AS SERIOUS AS ANY OTHER CAR ACCIDENT
Fender benders may be dangerous, no matter how small they seem at first.
The best remedy is prevention. After a fender crash, always take the appropriate procedures to examine your property damage and injuries, get medical treatment, and begin the claim process. Ignoring the accident might result in more difficult issues to deal with later.
Consult a car accident attorney for assistance on how to handle your specific case if you were in a fender bender and want to understand more about your possibilities.