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Is It Worth It to File a Claim for a Fender Bender Accident?

Nobody expects a car accident to happen, yet collisions occur very often in the Los Angeles area. Some crashes are fender benders that involve relatively minor property damage and personal injuries, while other collisions are much more serious and can result in life-threatening or fatal injuries. While motorists in Southern California usually know that they must report a severe collision involving serious injuries and property damage, accidents that seem to be minor often are treated differently. Yet as experienced Los Angeles car accident attorneys, we want to emphasize that you may be eligible to file a claim for financial compensation even if you were involved in a fender bender. 

You never know how serious a seeming fender bender might actually be until you have been assessed by a healthcare provider and have discussed the facts of your case with a dedicated California auto accident lawyer. As such, if you are wondering whether it is worth it to file a claim for a fender bender accident, we want to encourage you to get in touch with a lawyer who can help you. It certainly may be in your interest to begin the process of filing a claim for a fender bender collision in Los Angeles.

Report the Collision and Discuss the Case with a Los Angeles Car Accident Lawyer

When you are involved in an auto accident of any kind in the Los Angeles area, it is in your best interest to report the crash as California law requires. According to California law, anytime there is a collision in which a person is injured or property damage exceeds $750.00, you must report the accident to the California Department of Motor Vehicles within 10 days from the date of the accident. If you do not report the accident in a timely manner and the crash involved physical injuries or property damage in excess of $750.00, your driver’s license could be suspended.

 In many fender bender lawsuits, it might seem as though the property damage is relatively minor, and everyone involved in the accident might look as though they have not sustained any personal injuries. As such, you might assume that you do not need to report the accident and you do not need to file a claim. However, it is critical to remember that a fender bender can actually be more serious than it first appears, and you may be required by law to report the crash. Moreover, if you do not file a claim, you could lose your ability to obtain the financial compensation you realize you need to cover your losses. To prevent a situation in which you fail to report an accident you are required to report, or your act or omission limits your ability to obtain financial compensation after a collision, you should seek advice from our Los Angeles car accident attorneys as soon as possible. Regardless of whether it seems like the collision is relatively minor, you should have an experienced lawyer on your side who can evaluate your case.

Your Fender Bender Might Not Actually Be So Minor

Like we mentioned above, if you are wondering whether or not it is worth your time and energy to file a claim for a Los Angeles fender bender accident, we want to emphasize that the crash ultimately could be much more serious than it initially seemed.

In terms of property damage, it might look as though your vehicle has only sustained a relatively minor dent or only requires a new bumper. However, once you take it into the shop, it may turn out that the damage is more extensive than you guessed, and it certainly may cost more than $750.00 to repair the damage. In many cases, fender benders end up resulting in thousands of dollars in property damage.

Moreover, even if you do not think you sustained an injury that requires medical attention, you cannot be sure until you see a healthcare provider. Many types of fender bender injuries, like whiplash or a traumatic brain injury (TBI), may not produce signs or symptoms for hours or even days. When you do have an injury that requires treatment, the costs could be significantly higher than you are expecting. If you do not seek immediate treatment and begin the process of filing a claim, the issue of comparative fault could come into play in your case. While California’s comparative fault law follows a “pure” comparative fault model, your damages award ultimately could be reduced when you do file your claim for financial compensation.

Potential Disadvantages to Filing a Claim for a Los Angeles Fender Bender

You should never simply assume that it is not worth it to file a claim after a fender bender. To be sure, you should discuss the facts of your case with a car accident lawyer before you decide how to proceed with your case.

It is important to recognize, at the same time, that there may be some disadvantages to filing a claim after a Los Angeles fender bender. If the total amount of property damage is less than your insurance deductible, or if the other driver is willing to cover the cost of the property damage assuming it is in fact minimal, it may be possible to have the damage repaired more quickly than if you go through the insurance claims process. Yet anytime someone did sustain a physical injury, it is important to move forward with a more formal claims process. It will be difficult to know how your injury will heal, what kind of follow-up treatment may be required, and what the ultimate financial costs of your injury are likely to be.

Contact a Los Angeles Auto Accident Lawyer Today

If you were involved in an accident that seems like a fender bender, you should still seek advice from an experienced Los Angeles auto accident lawyer as soon as you can. Not only can a fender bender be more serious than you might initially think, but you also may be entitled to obtain compensation for your losses. Whenever a collision occurs, no matter how minor it might seem, it is critical to get in touch with a lawyer who can help. Contact Fisher & Talwar today to learn more about the services we provide to clients in a wide variety of auto accident cases in the Los Angeles area.