CAR ACCIDENTS AND INSURANCE
On average, you will have some type of car accident once per decade. As an injury lawyer, I see the most serious car accidents.
Many, if not most car accidents are minor. Most are so-called “fender benders.” In these less serious accidents, such a bump in parking lot without any visible damage, it will be tempting to just let it go. However, take photos and at least exchange information (name, address, phone, license plate, number driver's license number, insurance information and any witness contacts).
If it was just you, and you simply backed into a tree in your yard, or your own garage door, and the damage is close to your deductible amount, there is no need to report it to police or your insurance.
However, hitting another vehicle can lead to unforeseen consequences. Damage to cars are often may be much worse underneath than they look from eye level. Many of my clients suffer soft-tissue injuries they themselves did not even think they had at the scene.
If you feel tight, sore or at all affected by the accident, allow the EMS ambulance to take you to Emergency Room. You are in no position to diagnose yourself. While the ER will only rule out the most obvious injuries, it documents your complaints. This can be important later if you injuries prove much more serious than you initially suspected.
Specialists are needed to evaluate back and neck problems, often relying on an MRI scan. Sometimes, inflammation can increase to such an extent that it impinges upon a nerve. This is often the case with someone noticing numbness and tingling in the hands, or down the legs into the feet. These symptoms should never be ignored.
Insurance companies try to get recorded phone statements from the injured parties very early on. If they succeed, only the initially noted injuries will be recorded. This makes it more difficult to tie in later appearing problems later. As such, giving a statement to the opposing insurance company should be viewed for what is. It is a chance for that opposing insurance company to minimize or even deny your claim.
The earlier the wise counsel you obtain, from doctors and an injury lawyer, the less regrets you may have.