FAIRFAX FENDER BENDER ACCIDENTS
As humans, we tend to minimize things when things go wrong. It helps us to get over what has just happened. The same is true with car accidents. Minor car accidents are often referred to as fender benders. By the term's very nature, this suggests a small bit of property damage, and that is it.
The truth of the matter, however, is not so cut and dry. You can be hurt in fender bender car accidents, and if you have been hurt, even if the property damage was modest, you might still have a case.
Fairfax Fender Bender Injuries
The mechanism of impact of a fender bender, like all car accidents, is one vehicle striking another. This movement can be jarring for the body, and the neck especially. This is the classic whiplash accident. Whiplash is a misunderstood term, but it refers to a very specific movement of the neck after an accident. If you have been rear-ended, your neck can move around, somewhat violently - forwards and backwards. How hard the neck moves is determined by a lot of physics, specifically the force of the impact, how fast the other person was going, and how fast you were going, and conversely, whether or not you were stopped at the time.
During these rear end fender benders, it is also possible that your head, after moving forward from the impact, snaps back and hits the seat rest behind you. Even though the headrests are generally padded for just such a thing, that can still cause some injury.
We have noticed that many people who are in fender bender collisions don't think they're hurt right away. They often don't feel anything at all at the time of the accident, or immediately after. This does not mean that they have not been injured, it means that the adrenaline and other chemicals released by the brain are simply dulling that pain. We have found that many people start to feel soreness and stiffness from 12, sometimes 24 and even 48 hours after an accident. In some occasions, the pain becomes noticeable after a night's sleep.
Some examples of the injuries we see in these fender benders are:
Bruising, such as from seat belts,
After the Fairfax Fender Bender
After you have been involved in a car accident, even if you think that accident is relatively minor, you have to properly document the accident when it happens. If you develop pain a day or two later, it is then too late to go back and take the important steps that will help us to file your claim. Do these things immediately to preserve your rights:
Document the accident. Call the police, even if you are in a jurisdiction where you believe the police will not come out for minor car accidents. This is a very important, because even if the police decline to come, your call itself is creating a record of the date and time of the accident, as well as its location, in case there is ever a dispute.
Take pictures. Take pictures not only of your vehicle, but also of the vehicle that caused the collision! And one is not enough. In the age of digital cameras, take as many pictures of as you can, of everything relating to the accident. Cars, road signs, skid marks, debris, everything!
Identify the driver! You have got to identify the driver of the car who hit you, not just get the insurance information. The information on the insurance card is the name of the person who is paying for the policy, but someone can very easily let a friend or relative drive their car, and that information will be nowhere on that form. Always get a picture of the other motorists drivers license!
Do not call the insurance company! All of the insurance companies recommend that you call them right away after an accident. However, just like in criminal court, anything you say can and will be used against you. The insurance companies love when people speak to them, without the benefit of an attorney. They have no legal obligation to tell you what you should and should not say. You always want to be protected by a lawyer, who will fight for you from day one, and protect you.
Call Blaszkow Legal at 703-879-5910. We will give you the guidance that you need, so that you can call the insurance company, and still be properly protected from saying anything that the adjusters can try to use to harm your case.
The Fender Bender Claim
The claims process in a modest car accident is the same as if the accident was catastrophic. The process involves communicating with the insurance company, and then monitoring a client's medical treatment. Once medical treatment is done, then we can assemble the claims package, and send it off to the insurance company. This is called a demand package.
Generally, we hear from most insurance companies between 30 and 60 days after a demand package has been submitted. At this point, the negotiations begin. Either a case will settle, or the insurance companies will not agree to an amount that we feel fairly compensates our clients for the injuries that they have sustained. At that time, we discuss with our client whether or not they want to move forward into the litigation of the case.
Finding a Lawyer
If you have been involved in a car accident, whether fender bender or serious collision, then you need to speak to an attorney. You should call an attorney who has experience in all kinds of car accidents, both big and small. But just because the insurance company classifies your accident as a small thing, doesn't mean it is small to you. We will give you the guidance that you need to get where you want to be, even if your crash ultimately is not a case that we would handle.
Call us today for a free consultation at 703-879-5910