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Car tips & advice | 08.04.2014 - 17:27

Fender Bender Trouble 5 Mistakes that Could Really Cost You

If it hasn't happened to you yet, you can bet it will happen to you one day. Be prepared for a fender bender so you don't make these costly mistakes.

Many have the idea that being involved in a fender bender accident is not as serious as being involved in an accident that causes a great deal of damage. It is this thought process that can get you into trouble and cost you money in the long run if you are involved in such an accident. If you've never been in a fender bender, it's tough to know what to do when it happens—you'll likely be stressed and frazzled during the experience, so you might not be thinking clearly. Here are five common mistakes that you do not want to make when involved in a fender bender.


Discussing Who is at Fault

After a fender bender occurs, drivers will often get out of the car and check on the well-being of one another. While this is something that any caring human being should do, the conversation should end there. Do not discuss any aspect of fault of the accident with the other driver. In addition, be careful of the terminology you use with the police. While you should always be truthful, you should never say anything that could be misconstrued as fault in the accident.


Not Calling the Police

It is a common occurrence for the at-fault party to not want to contact the police after a fender bender to avoid points being added to their license. You must protect yourself and your property first in these situations. Therefore, you should never agree to not call the police. It is very important to have a police report to document the accident when you file for insurance.


Not Reporting to Insurance

You should never trust the at-fault party in a fender bender to settle for damages without reporting to insurance. You cannot trust that this person will have the ability to pay for the damages to your car or your medical injuries. According to a personal injury attorney in Chico, CA, you must always be sure that insurance information, such as the insurance company and policy number, has been documented by the police at the scene of the accident, and always report the accident to the insurance company as well.


Not Taking Care of Medical Injuries

If you have been involved in a fender bender, you normally would not think that you could suffer from serious injury. This is simply not true. For example, whiplash is a common injury in fender bender accidents that should always be examined by a doctor. In some cases, whiplash can affect a person for years after the injury occurred. You need to be sure you are fully compensated for your injuries.


Settling Too Quickly

When offered a settlement from an insurance company following a fender bender, be sure that you have been fully indemnified for your injuries and damages to your property. Giving in to pressure from an insurance company to take a quick settlement can cost you money in the long run. Don't give into the pressure to settle quickly—hold your ground and you'll end up getting what you want (and what you deserve) in the end.


The key to successfully settling a fender bender claim is to follow all the same protocol for any other type of accident, not matter how serious. If you take your time through the claim, you will be more likely to receive the compensation you deserve. No matter how good of a driver you are, you will likely be involved in a fender bender or two during your life. If you are prepared with the correct protocol you will be less likely to make these common mistakes.

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