Minor auto accidents occur across many areas of Idaho, from smaller communities to major urban centers like Boise, Nampa, or Pocatello. While many drivers might dismiss or downplay the impact of fender benders, these crashes can often hide more severe damages and injuries.

If you are hurt in a fender bender, it could cost thousands of dollars in medical bills and leave you with long-term pain and emotional distress. Learn how an Idaho car accident attorney from Great West Injury Law can protect your rights and get the financial support you’re entitled to.

Debunking the Myth of the ‘Minor’ Accident

Fender benders are often considered minor since they usually cause less vehicle damage than more severe collisions. These accidents tend to happen in places like parking lots, four-way stops, or intersections, often at slower speeds than high-impact crashes.

Just because a crash is considered minor doesn’t mean the injuries will be minor too. Take whiplash as an example; it’s a common neck injury from minor crashes that can cause pain, stiffness, memory issues, headaches, and other long-lasting symptoms, sometimes for years after the accident.

After a fender bender, no matter how minor it seems, it’s crucial to protect your rights. This means getting medically evaluated to check for and treat any injuries, even if you don’t think your injuries are severe. It also involves talking to an experienced auto accident lawyer who can investigate the crash and advise you on what legal steps you can take. If you put these steps off, by the time you realize your injuries aren’t getting better on their own and the insurance company isn’t going to cooperate, it becomes significantly harder to get the compensation you deserve.

Common Injuries in Fender Benders

Even if the accident only dented your vehicle, the extent of your pain, injuries, and psychological trauma may be more severe. Common injuries after a minor accident include:

  • Whiplash, especially in frontal and rear impacts
  • Soft tissue injuries, such as strains, sprains, and bruises to muscles, tendons, and ligaments that can make it difficult to return to work
  • Cuts and abrasions
  • Concussions, which can cause issues with memory, mental focus, and mood
  • Psychological trauma, such as anxiety, depression, vehophobia, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Insurance Challenges After a Fender Bender

Insurance companies typically try to protect their own interests when paying out claims. This can mean downplaying the accident’s severity and resulting damages to avoid a high settlement. You may face the following challenges when seeking compensation in an auto accident claim:

  • Damage underestimation: Insurance providers may downplay or underestimate the extent of your damages and injuries, offering settlement amounts that are too low to cover your expenses.
  • Delayed injuries: Many symptoms of injuries can show up several days or even weeks after the accident. This issue can complicate your claim or cause insurers to question the legitimacy of your injuries.
  • Fault determination issues: The other party’s insurance company may disagree over which party is at fault, potentially delaying claims processing.
  • Difficulties proving invisible symptoms: Psychological trauma and some forms of soft tissue injuries are typically harder to prove because they don’t leave visible wounds. You may need extensive medical documentation to prove your claim.

Protecting Your Rights After a Minor Crash

All car accident victims have rights and deserve compensation, regardless of the severity of the impact. Follow these tips to protect your rights and maximize your chances of recovering damages:

  • Seek Medical Care: Arrange a thorough medical evaluation after a fender bender, either at the emergency room or a primary care appointment. Keep all documentation of medical visits and treatment plans related to your injury, including hospital bills, rehabilitation logs, prescriptions, or diagnostic testing results.
  • Document as Much as Possible: Gather as much evidence of the accident as possible, including photos of the accident scene and your injuries, police reports, doctor’s notes, and witness statements.
  • Get Contact Information: Exchange contact details and insurance information with all involved drivers. Write down names, addresses, phone numbers, driver’s license numbers, license plate numbers, insurance policy numbers, and other relevant details.
  • Seek Legal Advice: A skilled Idaho car accident lawyer can represent you throughout the claims process and help you avoid mistakes that could delay or lessen your compensation. They can also calculate the extent of your damages and injuries and help you recognize low settlement offers.

Contact Great West Injury Law Today

The personal injury lawyers at Great West Injury Law stand ready to defend your rights following any car accident, including fender benders. We can take on the insurance companies for you, offer experienced legal advice and guidance, and fight relentlessly to secure the compensation you deserve for your injuries.

Contact our legal team today for a free consultation.