Fender Benders by suchenfz


									                                    Fender Benders

The short definition of “fender bender” would be that it’s a noun that refers to the
collision between motor vehicles that produces some minor damages. Let’s look at this in
a bit more of a detailed way.

Fender benders can take place almost everywhere at least two motor vehicles interact
with each other. You may be thinking that a lot of fender benders happen while in traffic,
and you would be right in that assumption, but you need to know that a whole lot more
fender benders take place in places like parking lots, driveways and intersections.

A fender bender is indeed a minor accident whose signs sometimes aren’t even visible,
but despite this fact, such event may still prove to be an issue to those involved. When
involved in fender benders, it’s not an unusual thing for the participants to settle the cost
of it between them without involving any authorities. Even so, this isn’t advisable.
However, this does happen because even though insurance agencies provide coverage for
any damages or injuries that are caused in a fender bender, they also have the right to
raise the driver’s premiums, and this is the reason some drivers choose to not involve his
or her insurance agency.

Fender benders are called so because usually the fender is the part of the motor vehicle
that gets the large part of the damage in most low speed accident scenarios. This isn’t
always true, but it usually it is. Fender benders tend to happen in intersections when one
driver slams on the brakes too suddenly, causing the driver behind him to collide with the
rear part of his car. Another situation is when an inattentive driver pulls out of a driveway
without paying close attention to the oncoming traffic. A similar driver can produce a
fender bender in parking lots where there are a lot of cars in a very small area.

Fender benders rarely cause major damages or injuries, but this doesn’t mean that you
don’t have to report them to your insurance company and to the police. Insurance
companies usually require that any and all accidents, regardless of their magnitude, have
to be reported and this means that a police officer has to come to the scene of a reported
accident and document his or her observations about the accident and the drivers. Even
though an insurance company will eventually cover the repair costs and medical claims,
sometimes there are other legal issues which could arise from a minor thing such as a
fender bender and we’ll talk about them later in the article.

On the one hand, one could have a strong argument about the lack of need to call your
insurance agency if the estimated cost of repairing the damages is below the deductible
on the insurance policy. The same one may continue arguing the fact that reporting an
insignificant fender bender would only result in a waste of time, paperwork and could
lead to higher premiums. From this point of view it would be much easier for the drivers
to agree on estimated out of pocket cost of repairs and get over it.
However on the other hand, is it really a wise choice leaving the interpretation of a "little
fender bender" to the individuals involved in an accident especially when tempers may be
flaring up? Even if one of them does accept responsibility, how can they be reasonably
sure of the estimated cost of repairing the perceived damage, and more importantly how
does it compare to the deductible on the insurance policies covering the vehicles?

The temptation is big to just walk away from a fender bender, but what people need to
understand is the fact that a situation that is so open to influenced interpretation can be
easily mishandled and turn into something else, so why not be rather safe than sorry?

First Appearance May Not Tell The Entire Story
We said earlier that the general definition of a fender bender refers to a minor accident
that involves motor vehicles, something that usually happens at low speed in places that
see a high density of cars per square foot. At first glance there might be very little or
maybe no visible damage, the bumper may be collapsed a bit, or a small dent, you and
your fellow motorist exchange some words, not necessarily information, and then shrug it
off and continue each with your respective business that day.

This is the first mistake that some drivers make, by assuming that if the damage doesn’t
appear to be visually major then it’s just a cosmetic repair; however things can turn out to
be quite on the contrary.

Let’s assume for a moment that you’ve been involved in such a fender bender when
another car hit you in the rear at a traffic light, you get out of the car and survey the
damages, and there are absolutely no visible marks of an accident happening, hence you
see no need to exchange information with the other driver, you drive away without any
problems and forget all about it. Now that could have been the end of that, just that a few
weeks later one of your tires shows some excessive wearing and you take in to get a
replacement. That’s when the mechanics ask you whether or not you happened to drive
through a nasty pothole or some other obstacle, and you remember the minor fender
bender from a couple of weeks ago. It turns out that the tire has been seeing so much
wear because the whole rear section of the car got bent down during the fender bender.
The damage on the outside was minor at best, but underneath, the car suffered some
major damage that required you make a large payment for repairing it, since so much
time had passed from the accident and you didn’t think it necessary to exchange
information with the other driver.

Protecting Yourself
It’s important that you report any fender bender regardless of how minor it appears to the
authorities and to your insurance agency because most states require you to do so by law.
If a police officer doesn’t show up at the scene of your fender bender for whatever
reason, you have to go to the nearest police station and make a report of the incident. In
some states you’re also required to notify the Department of Transportation of that state.
It’s really very important that you call your insurance agency about the accident because
despite the possibility of raised premiums you may face other even larger bills if the other
person involved in the accident comes forward with injuries they suffered and didn’t tell
you about at the scene. If you’re not the driver at-fault then your insurance rates shouldn’t
go up.
Let’s assume for a moment that you’re involved in an accident a bit bigger than your
average fender bender. You’re alright, but the cars show some moderate damage and
through some weird circumstances there are some injuries, someone hit their heads on the
wheel, or sprained their back, something of the sort. The first important thing that you
need to do is to stay at the scene, and this is true for any accident, even a mere fender
bender. You have to stay at the scene of the accident until the police arrive and they tell
you that you can leave. If you choose to leave the scene this could result in driver’s
license sanctions and maybe even criminal charges if the situation was bad enough.
However, this is not the same in all states and it all depends on the legislation.

Take very detailed notes while you are on the scene of the accident, take down the names,
addresses and telephone numbers of the other driver and any witnesses, and make sure
that you write down other information such as where the accident took place, the
condition of the road, speed limits, the weather - those types of factors. They may prove
to be of use in the case of litigation.

It’s important that in such a case you don’t admit fault to anyone, even though you think
it is your fault. However, there might have been other factors at play which had a role in
the accident. So don’t make statements to anybody at the scene of an accident except for
the police. When you talk to them, tell them just the facts of what happened let them
draw their own conclusions as to what happens after they consider their observations.

You should also see a doctor after you’re free to leave the scene of the accident, because
it is possible that you suffered an injury and you don’t feel it because of the adrenaline
that started to flood your blood stream when the accident happened. Make a note of
telling your doctor of any symptoms like memory loss, headaches, disorientation or any
other unusual physical or mental feeling. A lot of people hit their heads during these
accidents and don’t realize that they’re injured, so better to be safe than sorry. Reporting
your symptoms will rule out the possibility of you suffering a concussion or suffering
from some sort of brain injury.

What Can Happen After A Fender Bender?
Problems from simple fender benders can come in the form of driver’s license
suspensions if, for instance, you’re driving a friend’s car and you can get hold of that
friend for the insurance information. Even if you talk it over with the other party and
there’s no visual damage to talk of, you can always expect to receive a call a couple of
days or weeks later from the other party or from the other parties’ attorney asking for
your insurance information because they wanted you to pay for a minor repair that
showed up on a later inspection. Since you can’t offer that information because you can’t
get hold of the insurance holder of the car, the DMV will suspend your license for a year
because it considers you weren’t insured at the time of the accident.

Choosing to go around the official way of dealing with a fender bender is an option that
is fraught with risk because it involves so many variables like the cost of the repairs, or
the other driver’s word, or what if an injury appears after the both of you leave the scene?
Despite all of these possible issues, a lot of people prefer to go at it this way rather than
wasting time and paperwork through their insurance agencies. And if you choose to do
this as well, then make sure that you create a sort of ad-hoc contract right there on the
spot and have the other driver sign it; this should be a piece of paper that would say that
the signer will agree to pay for however much the damages are at the scene of the
accident, this will have some power in the court of law, but it is highly advisable that you
don’t do this since you don’t really know who you’re dealing with. The best way would
be to go through all the official and legal moves, so that you won’t have to deal with any
kinds of headaches later.

The possible negatives of reporting a fender bender to your insurance agency, especially
if you’re not the one at fault, are considerably smaller than choosing to settle with the
other driver on the spot and then find out that the problems are actually larger than you
first thought. Of course, settling a fender bender remains between you and the other
driver. Even so, you cannot know who you are dealing with. If you are going to settle in
private, make sure that you at least take some photographs of any signs of damage on
both cars, if there are any, and make him or her sign something that will say they are
being paid or will pay however much is considered at the scene of the accident. Again,
this is not advisable and you will be much better off just being honest and contacting your
insurance agency and the police.

Conclusion: LeadingInsuranceQuotes.com, your source for cheap car insurance as well
as insurance quotes, is the proud contributor of this article to Drivers.com. As a
knowledgeable company, we understand that even the smallest fender bender can end up
resulting in unexpected circumstances. Therefore, we take pride in providing accurate
and insightful information to consumers so they can be well-informed as well as prepared
for any unforeseen problems.

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