Fender Benders May Cause Little Or No Damage – So Is It Worth Reporting?
Minor car accidents, like those that occur in parking lots and stop-and-go traffic, result in little to no damage to both vehicles. In these kinds of accidents, both vehicles are going at a low speed, if they are both moving at all.
It may be that a driver misjudged their distance from the car in front of them while sitting in gridlock, and they tapped their bumper before braking fully. Or maybe they weren’t aware of their surroundings when backing out of a parking space, so they scraped the parked car next to them or backed into someone driving by. Depending on the impact, it’s possible that both cars don’t have any visual damage, so is it necessary to have a car wreck lawyer involved?
The first thing you should do when involved in an accident is to access everyone at the scene for physical damages. You should definitely get medical attention to anyone who needs it. If one or both parties are injured following the accident, then it will be crucial to get a Los Angeles accident lawyer on your side for the legal battle which will undoubtedly follow.
If it’s a single-car accident and there’s no minor damage to your care, it may serve you better to not Report it to your insurance agency. It’s likely you won’t get any coverage if the costs to fix the damage are low, and it’s possible that your agency can raise your rates because of the accident. This may be more beneficial to your wallet in the long run. Some states have a Damage Minimum required to report an accident, so you can do some quick research regarding the Policies Of Your State.
When a Car Accident occurs, it’s commonplace to contact two entities: law enforcement and your insurance agent. Both of these organizations will conduct an investigation to determine damages and liability, and it’s helpful to get a lawyer for car accidents involved to protect you from any unfair charges.
Reporting The Accident To Law Enforcement
In every state, drivers are legally required to report an accident to law enforcement if the accident results in a bodily injury. However, it should be noted that personal injuries aren’t always apparent right away; it can take some time before you started feeling the effects of a car accident.
You may find that Filing A Police Report regarding the accident is helpful in terms of documenting evidence. If you don’t get any third parties involved, then it will be your word against the other driver, and they can come back later with a car injury attorney to sue you.
Additionally, if you realize you sustained a bodily injury in the days or weeks following the accident, you can rely on the police report for proof that the injuries were sustained in the accident. Otherwise, the other driver can deny there was ever an accident due to lack of documentation.
If law enforcement is called to the scene, all drivers involved must present their drivers’ licenses and insurance information, which makes it easier to contact them later on. If there’s no police officer at the scene, getting their contact and insurance information may slip your mind, which leaves you in the lurch later on.
Reporting The Accident To Your Insurance Agent
Drivers may shy away from contacting their insurance companies for one of two reasons:
- They don’t want their rates to increase.
- They think they can work matters out without involving insurance.
However, your insurance agent, just like law enforcement, may come in handy in the days following the accident, especially if the property damage and bodily injuries prove themselves greater than you originally thought.
It’s important to note that failure to report an accident to your insurance agency can result in fines and penalties down the road.
Statute Of Limitations
It’s important to look at the statute of limitations surrounding car accidents. Most insurance agencies require their drivers to report an accident within 24 hours of the accident. This gives you all the more reason to call authorities right after it happens.
If your injuries and damages are not fully covered by insurance, then you want to get an Accident Lawyer In Los Angeles involved. The statute of limitations for personal injury claims is usually longer, but it depends on the state in which you’re located.
Since the effects of a car accident can change over time, it’s more helpful than not to get proper documentation. Getting your insurance agency and law enforcement involved can also serve as third party documentation, which will be useful if you and your Los Angeles Injury Lawyer decide to seek compensation. You may not want to go through the hassle of getting others involved, but it will be more useful to you in the long run.