Should You File a Claim for a Fender Bender?
Neglecting to report an auto accident is never a good idea. In fact, it can set you up for ongoing financial and physical problems, even when the damage from the wreck seems minor. Your best bet is to report the collision, then talk to a Los Angeles personal injury attorney about your legal options.
“Minor” car accidents are a myth
The human body and a modern automobile have more in common than you might think. Both are highly complex creations that should last for many years with proper care.
At the same time, both are exceedingly fragile and vulnerable to any number of dangers. But often the harm caused by an auto accident can take days or even longer to become obvious. Here’s why:
- The first moments after a car collision are stressful and confusing: The adrenaline rushing through your bloodstream can make you not only anxious but inattentive as well. This can cause you to miss signs of trouble that you would otherwise notice right away.
- Sometimes the damage is more than surface deep: Today’s vehicles depend on thousands of computerized sensors to manage every aspect of their operation. Even a minor collision can cause them to malfunction, if not right away then at some point later on.
- The human body can suppress symptoms of trauma for minutes or even hours: For example, combat soldiers sometimes report feeling no pain whatsoever until several minutes after suffering a gunshot wound. In the same way, auto accident victims may feel fine immediately after the collision, only to realize the full extent of their injuries later on.
- Failing to report an accident can expose you to inaccurate and unfair accusations: You might drive away thinking that the matter was settled on the spot, only to find yourself accused of causing serious injuries or extensive vehicle damaged by the other party. Without a record of the incident, you may have no way of refuting the charges.
- The longer you wait, the lower your chances of receiving fair compensation: Over time, witnesses forget key details, skid marks, and other physical details fade, and surveillance videos are lost or deleted. A delay of even a few hours can lead to the loss of crucial evidence.
- Reporting your accident is the right thing to do: Law enforcement officers and transportation departments rely on the data provided by the public to fine-tune their safety efforts. Withholding information from them is not only unhelpful, but it’s also actually illegal in some situations.
“What about my insurance rates?”
Some people hesitate to report an auto accident due to fears about their insurance premiums going up. Fortunately, many insurers offer accident forgiveness programs these days. Contact your agent or check your policy for more information.
Why talking to an attorney should be at the top of your to-do list
Seeking legal advice after an auto accident ranks right up there with receiving medical care and having your vehicle inspected by a trained auto technician. Here’s why:
- So you can fully understand your options: A Los Angeles car accident attorney can point out aspects of your case that might otherwise go unnoticed, including opportunities for receiving financial compensation.
- So you can protect yourself against predatory parties: Bill collectors, unscrupulous insurance examiners, and at-fault drivers have caused more than their share of grief for accident victims over the years. Engaging a law firm to protect your interests will help you to receive the fair and courteous treatment you deserve.
- So you can gain a sense of empowerment over your situation: One of the worst things about an auto accident is the mental trauma it can inflict. Talking to a Los Angeles personal injury attorney is a positive, powerful step that can help you to enjoy reassurance and peace of mind.
The skilled car accident attorneys here at Ellis Injury Law have recovered more than $350 million for their clients over the years. Our law firm is known all along the West Coast for its legal and investigative excellence.
We’re available 24/7, so someone from our office is waiting to talk to you right now. Reach out to us today to schedule your free consultation, either online or by calling our office number.