Leaving the Scene of a Fender Bender Could Be More Costly Than You Think

Millions of car accidents happen every year nationwide. In Virginia there were 123,579 total car crashes reported to police in 2012. Many of these accidents were injury or fatality accidents; while others were considered minor fender-bender type crashes. These fender-bender collisions typically happen in parking lots, red light intersections, or construction zones where traffic frequently starts and stops. And, although many motorists may not consider these types of crashes to be severe, they can still result in accident injuries and property damage.

There are a few steps that motorists should follow to help ensure personal safety, and protect their legal rights after a fender-bender accident.

Ensure Your Safety and Protect Your Rights
  • Think safety first. You may not be obviously injured, but getting right out of your car could be dangerous. Getting the vehicle out of moving traffic is the first key toward safety. Also, restrict your movements as much as possible. You could have experienced whiplash or other soft-tissue damage that you are unaware of.
  • Check for possible injuries. Check for abrasions, lacerations, dizziness, aching, or other injuries you might miss otherwise due to the stress of the incident. Even plan on having a medical professional check for injuries, just in case. Injuries could surface hours or days later, and failing to be checked out because the accident was “minor” might cause others to question your injuries later.
  • Call the police. You might not think it’s necessary, but filing an official police report is always important to your case. For any insurance claims, as well as any possible legal action that may ensue, having an official account of exactly what happened will help remove any questions of fault. Just sharing insurance information and then leaving the scene could create questions later on down the road about what really happened.

Fender-bender accidents may seem like minor annoyances or inconveniences in a day, but really, they can be more than that. With the possibility of serious injuries developing later on, plus the economical losses that come with auto-body repairs or even missed work, it’s important to take every car accident, even a minor one, seriously.

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