fender bender

5 Most Common FAQs About Getting In A Fender Bender

Here at Westmoreland Injury Lawyers, one of the biggest things we do better for our Western PA neighbors is help them recover from auto accidents of all types and circumstances. This includes even the most minor fender bender situations, which can still cause extensive pain and suffering—much more frequently than many people even imagine.

Today’s post here on the blog is dedicated to answering some on the essential FAQs (frequently asked questions) we hear from prospective clients and their loved ones about so-called fender benders or minor vehicle accidents. And while these questions may seem somewhat basic on the surface, the right answers are anything but simple in many cases.

Luckily, experienced personal injury attorneys like us are here to guide you through auto accidents involving anything from distracted driving to poor road design that creates dangerous conditions for drivers. Read on for answers to your most pressing fender bender FAQs, and don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for a comprehensive review of your car accident details.

What is a Fender Bender?

The term “fender bender” may sound cutesy, but it is a common, unofficial term for a motor vehicle accident or traffic collision. Typically, though the definition of the name is not standard, a fender bender is often a less severe accident in which a vehicle isn’t completely totaled, and no one is catastrophically injured.

It’s important to remember, though, that drivers, passengers, and even pedestrians who happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time can be injured in the most seemingly minor collision. Whether you’re feeling physical pain or not after a fender bender, seeking medical attention is a good idea, as some issues can take a while to present symptoms.

What Should You Do After a Fender Bender?

As mentioned, following a fender bender, you should visit your regular primary care doctor or even a chiropractor who specializes in car accident after-care to receive an evaluation for potential injuries. Conditions like whiplash may not cause you pain right away, but you could be in a world of hurt later.

Of course, before you even leave the scene of a fender bender, you should collect as much information about the accident as possible. This may include insurance information from other involved parties—or at least details about other vehicles, such as license plate numbers, makes, and models. Get location information, too, like road names. Always take photos, if at all possible.

As we talked about in our earlier post about starting the auto accident insurance claim process the right way, your recovery from a car accident begins at the scene. Make sure you get every possible detail before you leave the area. And, if you happen to be taken from the scene in an ambulance for emergency medical treatment, be aware that getting a caring, experienced personal injury lawyer on your side as soon as possible is a smart move.

Should I Report a Fender Bender to the Police or My Insurance?

While some people like to avoid the perceived hassle of getting their auto insurance involved for a minor traffic accident—especially if they have a history of accidents or other violations—you pay for this coverage to help in these situations and you should use it! We always advise accident victims to report to their insurance carrier.

With regard to making a police report, it’s true that if no one has been seriously injured in the fender bender, officers might not respond to the scene. This isn’t ideal, since having a police report is extremely helpful in most cases. If you call the police and they do not respond, keep a record of this, and let your insurance company and/or lawyer know what happened.

In cases where you’re definitely hurt, other involved parties have fled the scene, the situation is dangerous in any way, or other drivers are uninsured, reporting to law enforcement is critical.

How Much Does a Fender Bender Cost?

A minor fender bender auto accident may have a minimal financial cost in terms of getting your car fixed, especially if you file a claim with your car insurance, and the damage is covered by collision insurance. You may simply pay your deductible, which is typically between about $100-$500, and repair costs will be covered.

Of course, in the world of personal injury law, we are keenly aware that fender benders often cost much more than vehicle repair costs or a collision auto insurance deductible. Even the most minor auto accidents can cause complex injuries for victims, including chronic pain and psychological suffering. For instance, you may be unable to work following a car accident, and if you weren’t on the job at the time, you might be unable to procure workers’ compensation benefits.

So while “how much does a fender bender cost?” may be a simple question, the answer can be extremely complicated. If you’re suffering and unable to pay your bills following a vehicle accident of any type, it is imperative that you call a personal injury lawyer for help. Your initial case review will be free of charge, and you may only have fair compensation for your injuries to gain by having us on your side.

Who Is At Fault in a Fender Bender?

If you were involved in a fender bender that you are sure you did not cause, it might seem strange and unfair that Pennsylvania appears to suggest it was “no one’s fault” with the no-fault insurance system our state uses. However, what no-fault insurance means is that your own vehicle insurance policy will pay for your medical expenses and related losses.

As we’ve discussed in previous posts, this is also why it is critical that you select the Full Tort option when you purchase your vehicle insurance policy. Choosing Limited Tort instead equals signing your rights away to seek damages for pain and suffering in an accident. You’ll want to review our Complete Guide to Hiring a Personal Injury Lawyer chapter on auto injury settlements to learn more.

Call Westmoreland Injury Lawyers if You Have Been Hurt in a Fender Bender

The questions in today’s post just scratch the surface of things that will be on your mind if you’ve been injured in any type of auto accident here in Western Pennsylvania. Don’t suffer in silence—or accept unfair settlement offers from auto insurers who will be rushing to close out your claim! We’re here to help you recover from even the most minor fender bender.

Get in touch with the experienced personal injury attorneys at Westmoreland Injury Lawyers today.