Most South Carolina drivers know that if they’re involved in a major
car accident, they’re supposed to call the police, possibly an ambulance, and secure a
personal injury attorney to help them file a claim against the at-fault driver. But when
it comes to fender-benders, too many people fail to file a police report
or file a claim at all.
What is a fender-bender exactly? It’s a minor accident that occurs
at a low speed and involves either a fender or bumper. Most people fail
to file a police report or even an insurance claim because they think
the damages are too minor and inexpensive, but they can be taken by surprise
when they learn how costly a fender-bender can be.
Minor Fender-Benders Can Cost Thousands
While the damage in a fender-bender may appear to be insignificant, there
could be a lot more damage than what the drivers see at first glance,
especially when the vehicles are very different sizes and the bumpers
are not at the same heights.
For example, if a Chevy Suburban strikes a Fiat 500, the Fiat can sustain
significant property damage, even at low speeds. The Insurance Institute
for Highway Safety conducted a
study into the huge cost of mismatched bumpers, of which the Institute said
this: “SUV bumpers that don’t line up with those on cars can
lead to huge repair bills in what should be minor collisions in stop-and-go
Joe Nolan, the Institute’s chief administrative officer said, “SUVs
and cars share the road. The problem is they don’t share the same
bumper rules, and consumers end up paying the price.” According
to the study, when an SUV with a high bumper collides with a regular-sized
passenger car at 10 mph, the total damage to both vehicles ranges between
$2,995 and $7,444 depending on the particular vehicle models involved.
Why Do I Need to File a Fender Bender Claim?
Even if you believe the damage is less than $500, you should still file
a police report and inform your insurance company. Here’s an example
why: Suppose the other driver is at-fault, but he or she waits weeks before
reporting their injuries and they blame you for the accident.
You could face a lawsuit and be potentially liable for their medical costs
without there being any type of police report or official record of the
accident, one that you were not the cause of! Also, when you report a
seemingly minor accident, you’re protecting yourself in case something
starts rattling, something starts hurting, or if you discover that the
actual property damage is far more than you originally thought.
To file a car accident claim in Columbia, SC,
contact our firm today!