Seeking Justice After a Fender Bender Accident
A fender bender accident is usually defined as a minor collision that does not result in any major damage to the vehicles or drivers. That being said, the damage caused by a fender bender can often end up being more serious than it initially appears. For instance, seemingly low grade injuries can persist for years to come, causing the injured party serious and significant distress.
Some injuries, like whiplash, may even be invisible to the naked eye at first, but ultimately cause a real burden. And of course, being in any kind of accident, no matter what kind, can be a scary and emotionally taxing experience. Even seemingly small fender bender accidents can have grave consequences and must be taken seriously.
If you have been in an accident like this, a fender bender accident lawyer can examine the specific details of your case and advise you on how to move forward. Even if you’re not sure that you have a case, it’s wise to contact an attorney to ensure you are not missing out on any potential compensation.
At Munley Law, we can fight to protect your rights, and potentially win you compensation that covers medical bills, compensation, and the cost of your suffering. Contact us today for a free initial consultation.
Who is Liable for a Fender Bender?
As with all accidents, determining fault and liability for a fender bender is sometimes simple, and sometimes extremely complex. In general, if one driver is in clear breach of the law or exhibiting extreme negligence, they will most likely be considered liable. But it’s not always so clear.
It’s not uncommon for fender benders to occur in parking lots. The combination of parked cars, pedestrians, and vehicles moving in all directions makes it fertile ground for this type of accident. What’s more, a parking lot fender bender accident is often a case where liability is difficult to determine. For example, imagine that two cars back out towards each other at the same time and their bumpers collide. In a case like this, determining fault is tricky and will require a closer examination of the case. Was one driver distracted? Was one pulling out in the wrong direction? Do they both claim they were backing out first?
If a driver is pulling in or out of a parking space, that driver has a duty of care to examine their surroundings and determine a safe moment to make their move. If they collide with a vehicle driving through the parking lot, the driving pulling in and out is most likely at fault. However, this can be contested if their vision was obstructed, for example.
In the case of a rear-end collision, the rear driver is most typically at fault, but not always. Perhaps the driver in front reversed into the rear car, or was driving with broken brake lights, making it difficult for the rear driver to know they were stopping. Perhaps they were distracted or driving under the influence. In cases such as these, it’s possible for the lead driver to be found liable.
How do Fender Benders Happen?
Driver negligence is present in most fender bender accidents, and many of these collisions can be easily avoided with the proper care. One of the most common forms of fender benders is the rear-end collision. These are, unfortunately, an all too common part of driving; in fact, the Washington Post reported that there are approximately 1.7 million rear end collisions on U.S. roads each year. What’s more, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation reported in 2019 that almost 30% of car accidents in the state were rear-end collisions.
These kinds of low impact collisions can also occur when a driver strikes a stationary object, such as a parked car, or when a driver reverses out of a parking space and collides with another vehicle behind them.
What Should I Do Immediately After the Accident?
Your primary concern after any kind of collision, including a fender bender accident, should be to seek medical care. Once any pressing medical concerns have been tended to, you should immediately call the police. Remember that damage caused by fender benders, whether that be damage to your vehicle or to your physical person, can often appear minor, but reveal its true severity over time.
For instance, seemingly cosmetic damage to your car may actually cause significant problems down the line, and injuries like back or muscle issues may not become apparent until days later. For this reason, it’s always best to call the police and file a report immediately so that you have a record of the event, should you need to pursue compensation for any of the above later on.
When police arrive at the scene, they will assess the situation and ultimately draft a police report. In the report, it is up to the officer’s discretion whether or not they include their determination of who is at fault in their report.
It’s also always wise to gather some evidence of your own in the aftermath of an accident. Take photos of your vehicle as well as the other vehicle. Exchange insurance information. If there are any witnesses around, you may also want to ask them what they saw as the incident occurred. Do remember that when speaking to any other party involved in the accident, it’s best to keep all communication to the exchange of insurance information and contact information.
It’s easy for things said on the scene of the accident to later be misconstrued as admissions of guilt. After you’ve left the scene, it’s always best to seek your attorney’s advice before continuing communication with the other party or insurance adjusters who are looking into the incident.
What Kind of Injuries can a Fender Bender Cause?
Even a minor car accident, with no notable damage to the vehicle, can cause injury. One of the most common injuries, which may not become apparent for some time afterwards, is persistent soreness. When a driver can sense an accident is about to occur, even if it’s less than a second prior, the body automatically braces itself for impact.
All the muscles in the body stiffen and tighten in order to protect themselves. However, this means that when the impact of the collision occurs, these tense, taught muscles are very likely to be stretched or even torn. For many people, the ensuing soreness will eventually fade on its own. If it does not, you should seek medical care and also alert your attorney.
On the more severe side, a minor car accident can also cause something as severe as a concussion. This can happen without the head actually making contact with another object; just the forceful motion of slamming on the brakes can cause the brain to slam against the inside of the skull.
Other types of injuries can include whiplash, internal bleeding, back injuries, and more. And of course, in addition to physical injuries, all types of car accidents can cause great emotional and mental distress. It’s not uncommon for those who have been in an accident to experience PTSD, anxiety, depression, or even just a fear of getting behind the wheel again,
Make sure to keep records of all the physical and emotional impacts the fender bender accident has caused you. Your fender bender accident lawyer can use all of this as evidence when building your case. You should not have to bear the financial burden alone, and your attorney will work to make sure you receive compensation for any and all injuries you may have experienced.
Why Do I Need a Fender Bender Accident Lawyer?
Fender bender accident cases, while common, can be surprisingly complex. No one should have to navigate that process alone, especially when there’s a risk of being shortchanged and not receiving the full compensation to which you are entitled. From providing general legal advice to guiding you through the specifics of your case, a Munley car accident attorney will be with you every step of the way.
There are many possible paths to take depending on the details of your accident, and your fender bender accident lawyer can assess which course of action is best for you. First of all, your lawyer can review your claim with your insurance company to make sure you are including claims for everything you are entitled to. Sometimes people don’t realize the scope of what can be covered, and therefore receive less than they could with the help of an attorney.
Because Pennsylvania functions under a no-fault insurance policy, most drivers carry a type of insurance that covers their own bills and damages, rather than paying out to cover the other party. However, if your damages meet a certain standard of severity and monetary value, you may file a claim with the other party’s insurance company. Your fender bender accident attorney can review your case and help determine whether you meet that standard, and can also help you fight back if either insurance company tries to claim otherwise. And of course,in a case where filing a personal injury suit is deemed the best plan, your attorney will lead you through the process from start to finish.
What If the Accident Was Partially My Fault?
Your lawyer can additionally be of assistance even if you bear some degree of fault for the accident. As discussed above, it’s not uncommon in fender benders for two or more parties to share responsibility, and the notion of comparative fault means that legally multiple parties can share fault for an accident.
The modified comparative negligence law in Pennsylvania states that you are eligible to receive compensation for the accident if you are less than 51% at fault. If you are 51% or more at fault for the accident, you are not eligible to receive compensation. Your lawyer can help ensure that you are not assigned a higher percentage of fault than you deserve. Remember that with Munley Law, hiring an attorney is entirely risk free. We do not get paid unless we win your case.
What Kind of Compensation Can My Lawyer Get Me?
Your fender bender accident lawyer will review your case and gather all necessary evidence in order to obtain you the most compensation possible. They may speak to witnesses, examine your medical records, or look into CCTV footage of the accident. All of this can help build a case to show the financial losses you’ve suffered as a result of the accident. These losses may come in the form of medical bills, property damage (such as damage to your vehicle or anything inside it), and the cost of your pain and suffering. Your attorney will look into winning you compensation that covers all of this.
What Munley Law Can Do For You
Being a victim of any kind of accident is, without doubt, a terrible experience, but you should not have to go through it alone. You deserve the best when it comes to who is protecting your rights and fighting for your financial compensation.
Here at Munley Law, we are dedicated to bringing you top of the line legal services and ensuring that you receive the justice you are owed. Your Munkey fender bender attorney will help ensure that you navigate the legal and insurance systems smoothly and receive maximum financial compensation. Our team of ten excellent, highly experienced lawyers and dozens of excellent legal support staff will work tirelessly for you. We have an excellent record of verdicts and settlements, and we do not get paid unless you win.
At Munley Law, each of our lawyers has over a decade of experience, as well as hands-on trial and courtroom experience. We stand with victims of all accidents. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Munley Law to discuss your fender bender accident and learn how we can be of service in protecting your interests. Contact us today to schedule your free initial consultation.