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Fender Bender Accident

While fender bender accidents are typically considered minor, not all are harmless, with little car damage and minor injuries. For some accident victims, injuries turn out more severe than they initially appear. Apart from the physical pain, affected individuals may require ongoing medical treatments, miss work time, and incur considerable out-of-pocket expenses.

You could be entitled to compensation if you got hurt in a fender bender crash. Our experienced car accident lawyers can determine whether you have a case and move forward with a compensation claim on your behalf. Contact us now for a free case evaluation to learn about your rights and legal options.

What Is a Fender Bender?

We have all heard it before, but what exactly does “fender bender” mean? The term fender bender typically refers to a minor crash that happens at low or moderate speed. Such accidents are usually more of an inconvenience than a serious threat to life and do not usually result in severe injuries. Examples of fender benders include:

  • Rear-end collisions occurring at low speed
  • Colliding with another car when backing out of a parking spot
  • Low-speed crashes at traffic signals and stop signs
  • Distracted drivers hitting parked vehicles
  • Accidents in stop-and-go traffic

While most fender benders leave minor damage on a car, make sure you exchange insurance information with the other driver. You may want to claim with your car insurer. Car damage is typically more expensive to repair than it seems at first glance. Moreover, while you may walk away from the accident feeling fine, you could have suffered an underlying injury such as a concussion or whiplash. The other driver, or car insurer, may be responsible for your car repair cost, medical bills, and other damages.

Common Reasons for Fender Benders

Getting into a minor accident, such as a fender bender, can be relatively common, especially in slow-moving urban traffic or during traffic jams. Causes for such accidents include, among others:

  • Texting and driving
  • Tailgating
  • Adjusting the stereo or navigation system
  • Failing to check blind spots
  • Ignoring traffic signs and signals
  • Driving fatigued
  • Alcohol or drug impairment

Many fender benders are avoidable when drivers pay full attention to the road and other road users.

Fender Benders Accidents Can Cause Significant Injuries

Collisions do not have to happen at high speeds to cause debilitating injuries that could keep you away from work and other obligations for weeks.

You May Feel Fine at First

Accident scenes can be overwhelming and stressful. You may be talking to the police or other drivers, exchanging insurance and contact details, and simply be too busy and stressed to notice pain. Once the adrenaline wears off in the days after the accident, you may notice stiffness, headaches, muscle pains, and other symptoms.

Common Injuries in Low-Speed Accidents

Bruises and cuts can be common and noticeable injuries in fender benders. However, internal injuries may also occur. Low-speed accident injuries include:

Whiplash

According to the Mayo Clinic, whiplash is a common injury in rear-end crashes.
If your head was thrown forward and backward or side to side during a fender bender, you may experience whiplash, a strain of the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in your neck. Whiplash injuries can range from mild to severe and chronic. Common symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Stiffness
  • Muscle spasms
  • Reduced range of motion
  • Headache
  • Numbness and tingling
  • Dizziness

Soft Tissue Injuries

Even crashes at low and moderate speeds may cause painful soft tissue injuries such as sprains and strains. Your muscles, tendons, and ligaments may have experienced stretching or tearing during a collision. If you feel stiff or experience numbness and tingling after a crash, seek treatment immediately. Untreated soft tissue injuries may not heal properly and could become chronic.

Back Injuries

Back injuries can occur in any accident, including fender benders. Individuals may experience herniated discs, which can be debilitating and cause painful sciatica. Fender benders can also lead to compression fractures in the spine and other spinal injuries.

Concussion

You do not necessarily have to hit anything, such as the steering wheel or the side of the car, to experience a concussion. Even in a low or moderate-speed accident, you heard can get violently jolted back and forth during impact, leading to a concussion. Signs and symptoms can include:

  • Ringing in ears
  • Dizziness
  • Brain fog
  • Slurred speech
  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pressure headache

If you experience any of the above symptoms after a car accident, consider getting a medical evaluation as soon as possible.

Seek Treatment After a Fender Bender Accident

It may be easy enough to ignore injuries from a fender bender, especially if you only experience minor symptoms. However, you should see a doctor immediately to diagnose and treat any potential underlying injuries. Ignoring symptoms could lead to serious health problems. Moreover, if you want to recover compensation for your medical bills, wage losses, and other damages, a medical report is critical evidence proving your claim.

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FAQ

Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

  • What to Do After a Fender Bender?

    After experiencing a car crash, you can take some steps to protect yourself and others, including:

    Stay Calm and Determine Whether Anyone Needs Help

    Any car accident, including a harmless fender bender, can be a shock. Take a moment to ground yourself after the accident. Take a deep breath and assess the crash. Ask other individuals whether they need help or are injured. If there are any injuries or the cars are severely damaged, it is best to call the police. An officer will draft a police report which can be important evidence for a compensation claim.

    Take Photos and Exchange Insurance Information

    Even if uninjured, you may have significant car damage and have to file a claim with your insurer or the at-fault driver’s insurance company. Therefore, try to collect all drivers’ contact information and insurance details. Next, take pictures of all cars involved in the accident, ensuring to document all car damage.

    File a Police Report

    If law enforcement did not attend the crash, consider filing an accident report at your nearest police station or online. In this way, you create a paper trail that can help with your insurance claim. Keep a copy of the accident report for your own records.

    Contact Your Car Insurer

    After an accident, no matter how minor, contact your car insurer immediately and provide them with all the information regarding the crash. You should file a claim as soon as possible to get your vehicle repaired. Your insurance may send an adjuster to review the damage to your car and arrange for repair.

    Consult a Car Accident Lawyer

    While you may not necessarily require legal representation with a fender bender, consider getting legal advice to learn about your rights. If you suffered significant injuries, you could be entitled to a settlement from the responsible party. A Morgan & Morgan car accident attorney can assess your case and determine your next best steps. Consultations are always free at Morgan & Morgan.

  • Who Is Responsible for a Fender Bender?

    Every accident is unique. Therefore, determining the fault for a fender bender can be complex and depend on the circumstances of the crash. However, if the other driver was clearly negligent, such as driving drunk and running a red light, they will most likely be liable for damages.

    Unfortunately, responsibility in car accidents is not always clear. We generally assume that the driver at the back is to blame for a rear-end crash. However, if the front driver reversed into the car at the back, they might be liable for the accident. Moreover, in accidents with multiple vehicles, determining fault can be even more challenging. Several drivers could share responsibility, making such claims complicated to litigate.

    The best way to determine liability in your car crash is to work with a dedicated car accident lawyer who can thoroughly analyze your collision with the help of professional investigators.

  • What Is My Fender Bender Claim Worth?

    There is no average settlement amount for a fender bender. The worth of your claim depends on various factors, including:  

    • The scope and severity of your injuries
    • Your medical bills and expected future healthcare costs
    • Your income losses
    • The extent of the at-fault party’s insurance coverage
    • Whether you have some responsibility for the crash
    • Your emotional and physical suffering due to the accident

    Compensation You Could Receive

    If someone else caused your fender bender, you should not shoulder the financial burden alone. An attorney at Morgan & Morgan could help you recover various damages, depending on your specific case, including:  

    • Lost wages
    • Medical bills
    • Transportation costs, such as car rental
    • Out-of-pocket expenses
    • Pain and anguish
    • Disability
    • Loss of life enjoyment

    A Morgan & Morgan car accident lawyer can assess your damages and determine the value of your claim.

  • When Should I File a Fender Bender Lawsuit?

    The statute of limitations in your state typically determines when victims can file a personal injury lawsuit. In some states, the deadline can be prohibitively short. The time usually starts ticking on the day of injury occurred or the day your doctor diagnosed the condition. Filing a case within your state’s deadline can be vital for getting what you deserve, as you could be barred from pursuing compensation if you file too late.

    Moreover, there can be several exceptions that could lengthen or shorten the time you have available for filing a lawsuit. To protect your rights to compensation, consider speaking to a car accident attorney from our firm who can help you navigate the legal process and ensure your lawsuit is filed on time.

  • How Can a Morgan & Morgan Car Accident Lawyer Help Me?

    Having America’s largest personal injury firm on your side can take the stress and worry out of a fender bender accident claim. While you are recovering from your injuries, our seasoned car accident lawyers can handle your case, including:

    Identify The Liable Party

    Most fender benders occur due to driver error or negligence, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). However, our attorneys and legal teams will assess your case comprehensively and identify all potentially responsible parties, such as a local government agency or a car manufacturer.

    Build Your Case Against the Defendant

    We leave no stone unturned in collecting the evidence required to prove your claim and build a strong case against the responsible party. We can liaise with your medical providers to obtain the records needed to prove your injuries, medical expenses, and expected future healthcare costs. We could also gather evidence to strengthen your case, including traffic camera footage, police reports, and other material.

    Assess the Worth of Your Claim

    Morgan & Morgan never settles. We believe that victims deserve the full worth of their claims to manage their lives and finances after a crash injury. Without a knowledgeable attorney in your corner, an insurance company may push you into a lowball settlement offer. We can calculate all your damages to prevent an insurance company from taking advantage of you.

    Fight Vigorously for You at Trial

    If the insurance company refuses a fair payout for your damages, we can take them to court. Our attorneys are experienced litigators that do not shy away from fighting cases at trial and can present your case powerfully and compellingly to a judge and jury.

  • We Help Accident Victims Get Justice and Compensation

    Even a relatively minor fender bender accident has the potential to significantly impact your life and career, especially if you suffer a severe injury. However, if another is responsible for the crash, you deserve adequate compensation.

    You don’t have to fight with insurance companies on your own. Morgan & Morgan has helped thousands of car accident victims and families recover the entire worth of their claims. We could be here for you too. There is no financial risk for you as our fee is free unless we recover compensation. Contact us today to discover whether you qualify for compensation. 

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