The first thing you should expect is that at some point, you or someone you love will be in a minor collision. That`s just statistics. The average driver will have an accident once every 17.9 years. That gives you multiple opportunites for a fender-bender. Most accidents don`t end in injury or death. But they all end in inconvenience at the very least. Those figures only take the driver under consideration. If you think about all the passengers, everyone`s chances of being involved in some type of unplanned vehicular event is rather high.
If you are at least 80 and have never so much as put a dent in the trashcan with the bumper of your car, go out right now and buy a lottery ticket. You have already beat the odds.
Regardless of what age you happen to be, if you are a driver or routine passenger, there is a good chance the fates are not done with you just yet. Don`t waste time being afraid of what might happen in the future. Instead, be prepared. Here are three things you can expect when you have a collisions:
Expect Some Repairs
When it comes to cars, there is no such thing as minor damage. Even the slightest damage amounts to a giant bill. You can count on some type of collision repair to be a part of the deal. There are good reasons to go ahead and get the repair even if you think you don`t really need it.
It makes you look like a bad driver. It doesn`t matter if you ran into the shopping cart or if the shopping cart ran into you. Your car says something about you to the rest of the world. If you end up in traffic court with a case that is hard to adjudicate, prior damage to your car might work against you. It says that you have been in accidents before.
It also suggests that some of the new damage was from an old accident. Don`t let damage reduce the value of your car and paint you in a bad light. Call your insurance company and get it fixed.
Expect a Doctor`s Appointment
It doesn`t matter how good you feel immediately following an accident. You could be suffering from common back and neck injuries without being aware of it. The pain from an injury might take a while to register becuase you are hopped up on adreniline after the crash. That often masks injuries that can range from mild to servere.
If you do not go see a doctor immediately after the accident, that fact will be used against you when you eventually file a claim. One of the first things an accident attorney will tell you to do is see a doctor if you haven`t already. Get scanned, and wear whatever brace you are given.
Don`t make it easy for the other side to cheat you out of your rightful settlement. See a doctor right away and avoid a worse injury down the road.
Expect to Be Sued
That shopping cart is not going to sue you. But if your accident involves another person, even a passenger, expect to hear from their attorney at some point. You might think the other driver is at fault and that it is an open and shut case. You would be sadly mistaken. There is no such thing. It is surprisingly difficult to determine who is at fault.
Even if they were at fault, you still might not win the case if it could be proven that you were driving distracted, or intoxicated, or otherwise impared. If you had an open container of adult beverage in the car at the time of the accident, the other circumstances don`t really matter. You are going to lose.
Sure, you might have a very neighborly conversation with the other person, exchanging insurance and contact information. But the moment the other person calls an attorney and sees a doctor because it started hurting a few days later, you are on the hook. When money and damages are involved, things seldom end as cordially as they began.
The vast majority of accidents are minor. When your bumper comes in contact with another, expect to get repairs, see a doctor, and call a lawyer.