Small Accident Now a Big Problem? Protect Yourself From Liability

teen car crashBig or Small, Accidents Can Have Lasting Effects

An accident that seems like a harmless fender-bender can turn into a nightmare if you do not protect yourself from unnecessary liability. Here are just a few reasons why you should get yourself and your car looked at after an accident, big or small.

1. Injuries can worsen over time.

Even after small accidents, where no drivers or passengers appear to be injured at the scene, can turn into personal injury claims. There are several classes of delayed-symptom injury that can result from a minor accident such as headaches, muscle strain or stiffness, numbness, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). These injuries often do not show signs leading to a diagnosis until several hours or days after the accident. However, they were directly caused by the accident and will become part of any litigation arising from the incident.

2. Your vehicle has sustained more damage than meets the eye.

Estimating vehicle damage can be difficult when one is only allowed to look at the outside of the vehicle. Auto estimators are trained to see the potential damage, but even they sometimes find bigger problems once the vehicle has been taken apart. Lay persons without that kind of experience can make huge errors in estimating the damage caused by an accident. Two parties can leave the scene of an auto accident thinking their property damage is merely cosmetic only to find out during a tune up that the damage is more severe, expensive to fix, and too dangerous to ignore.

3. Always report a two-party accident to the police and your insurance company.

In order to protect yourself from any surprises, last-minute expenses, and unforeseen liability, always report an accident that involves two people and their property. If two drivers and two vehicles are involved, report the accident. If one driver, one automobile, and someone else’s fence is involved, report it. If you are in an accident and any of the things that are damaged do not belong to you, report the accident to the police and the insurance company.

The damage can appear to be minor and easily fixed but this can change upon further inspection and as time goes on. If you reported the accident in a timely manner, once the truth comes to light, you will have a police report to use as evidence in an insurance claim to help cover damages. If you do not report promptly, the police will be able to offer you nothing as evidence and your insurance may deny your claim.

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