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Fender Benders and Rear-Enders: ‘Minor’ Car Crash FAQs

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We navigate country roads and major highways on a daily basis without incident. But sooner or later, you’ll probably be involved in at least a minor collision. While Oregon traffic laws state that turn signals need to be used at least 100 feet before a lane change or turn, drivers sometimes make mistakes. And despite what you might think, even fender benders or slight rear-end accidents can have big consequences for your health and your financial well-being. If and when you’re involved in these relatively minor motor vehicle accidents, you’ll want to keep these FAQs in mind.

What should I do if I’m involved in a minor accident?

First of all, you should get your vehicle to a safe place and check for injuries. You’ll need to call 9-1-1 if someone is hurt in a crash and to file a police report. Whether you plan to contact a car accident attorney or not to file a claim, it’s important that the crash is documented and that you take photo evidence of the damage — no matter how trivial this may seem to be. You should also obtain the contact information of other motorists and witnesses who were involved or saw the collision occur. Finally, it’s a good idea to contact your car accident attorney to ensure your rights are protected if the other driver decides to file a claim (or you choose to file one yourself).

If no one was hurt, do I need to receive medical attention?

In many cases, these accidents are so minor that they don’t result in serious injury. But it’s definitely possible to become injured even if your vehicle doesn’t sustain much damage. Rear-end collisions, in particular, can cause whiplash. This diagnosis can be hard to make, so it’s still a good idea to get checked out by emergency personnel or by your own physician right away. That way, any injuries can be documented and you can begin medical treatment more quickly.

Do I need to call my insurance company if we aren’t filing a claim?

If you and the driver come to the agreement that neither one of you will file an insurance claim, you might assume that everything can be handled without involving your insurer. However, that might not be the case. Many auto insurance companies actually require you to alert them if you’ve been in an accident, whether you’ll be filing a claim through them or not. You can also contact the other party’s insurance company if the other motorist was at fault for the accident. However, it’s a good idea to speak with your car accident attorney before you do so to ensure you don’t say anything in a recorded statement that could be used against you in any way.

Is it really necessary to contact a car accident attorney?

In some cases, an accident won’t warrant any legal maneuvering. But it’s still a good idea to call your car accident attorney to make certain you don’t make any poor decisions in the confusion of the moment. When your adrenaline is pumping, you’re not in a clear state of mind to assess your well-being or your next steps. That’s where personal injury law firms come in. Whether you opt to file a claim or whether you’ll end up handling the matter privately, at least you’ll know that your rights are protected and that you won’t be taken advantage of during a time of need.

In the aftermath of both fender benders and devastating car crashes, we’re here to help. Please contact our firm today for more information.