Car accidents happen all the time. In fact, studies from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics have found that there are likely 13 car accidents occurring in the U.S. every minute.
It is, therefore, likely that you could end up experiencing a minor fender-bender from time to time, simply due to how common car accidents are. Say that both you and the other driver are uninjured, your airbag doesn’t go off and your car has only suffered a scratch or dent – not enough for major repairs. In this scenario, it’s only normal for people to not want to involve the police or their insurance companies. Yet, this hands-off approach might make the situation worse.
You may have suffered hidden injuries
It will benefit you greatly to get the police involved in the event of an accident. In most cases, people experience an adrenaline rush and don’t realize they’ve suffered hidden injuries. Even in a minor accident, the victim could experience the following injuries:
- Whiplash: occurs when the head violently rocks back and forth, putting pressure on the spine and neck muscles
- Internal bleeding: ruptured organs aren’t immediately apparent and often need professional medical evaluation
- PTSD: a psychological injury that may cause depression, anxiety and flashback symptoms
- Spinal trauma: can lead to nerve damage and paralysis
- Brain trauma: may cause permanent mental and physical health repercussions
As a result, you should consider contacting the police and getting a report of the accident that can be used if you later find you need medical attention.
You may be legally required to report your accident
Legally speaking, you must contact the police and file a report of your accident if the following occurs:
- One or more drivers involved is uninsured
- Someone was killed, injured or there was at least $500 worth of property damage
If you have been injured in a vehicle accident, you need to take time to become aware of your legal rights. Depending on your circumstances, you may be owed considerable compensation.