A typical day driving the streets of Rochester, NY, while doing errands or heading to work can abruptly change when you are hit by another vehicle. Fender-benders are common accidents across the U.S. Data shows that 30% of all car accidents are caused by rear-end collisions. Surprisingly, minor accidents can cause significantly more damage to people and property than thought.
With crashes at lower speeds, individuals may not realize they are injured until days or weeks have passed. Once the body’s defenses relax, symptoms increase, and some can be serious. Whiplash is a common injury from rear-end impacts, and the resulting injuries can lead to chronic pain and mobility problems. Cellino Law knows that minor accidents are often not as inconsequential as believed. When injured by an inattentive driver’s negligent actions or inactions, working with an experienced law team can make the difference in getting the compensation you deserve.
What Is a Fender-Bender Accident?
The term fender-bender got its meaning from vehicle bumpers being bent when cars collide. This term is now used in a broader context to include a range of minor accidents. However, rear-end collisions still comprise the greatest portion of these low-impact crashes. While these accidents primarily cause cosmetic damage to cars, there might be hidden damage to the frame that affects the suspension and vehicle alignment. There can also be significant damage to the car body, paint, locks and latch mechanisms.
What Causes These Accidents?
Distracted driving is the primary catalyst of fender-bender accidents. An astonishing 87% of rear-end collisions happen because of driver distraction. These are common reasons accidents occur:
- Drivers text or engage with content on smartphones and don’t realize how close cars are to them.
- Drivers fail to brake on time because things inside or outside their vehicles divert attention.
- Drivers back up or pull forward without checking around for other motorists (parked or moving) in parking lots or on streets.
- Drivers make incomplete stops and hit cars in front.
Because these accidents often occur at slower speeds, injury severity depends upon the circumstances. Positioning a driver’s body in a car can exacerbate neck and back injuries, or, when not secured by a seatbelt (parked car), drivers can be thrust into the steering wheel. Airbags are intended to deploy in moderate to severe crashes. Some fender-benders occur at moderate speeds, increasing the chances of substantial injuries.
What Injuries Are Caused By Fender-Benders in Rochester, NY?
If you are injured in a car accident, it is essential to get medical treatment. If you notice you are not feeling well or have pain hours, days or longer after a crash, follow up with your physician or go to the emergency room. It is easy to disregard minor accidents without visible signs of injury. However, injuries that take time to develop can still have detrimental effects on your health and well-being. These are injuries accident victims suffer in fender-bender accidents:
- Back and neck injuries
- Head injuries (mainly concussions)
- Soft-tissue injuries
Whiplash is a potentially serious outcome of rear-end collisions. The impact causes the neck to move back and forth rapidly in a whipping motion. In recent years, the effects of whiplash are receiving more attention from the medical community. Whiplash injury affects muscles, tendons, spinal discs and nerves. The displacing of discs and pinching of nerves can lead to chronic and debilitating pain.
Research data shows that supposed minor neck injuries make up 60% of claims for permanent impairment. Additionally, more studies are being conducted on how whiplash neck trauma leads to cervical instability. This condition causes hypermobility, meaning the neck vertebrae move beyond their normal range of motion. A number of serious symptoms accompany this condition, including chronic pain and impaired mobility.
What Can an Attorney Do For You?
Understandably, most individuals don’t know what car accident attorneys do until they need to hire one. These are some matters a lawyer handles for you.
Deals With Insurance Companies
Insurance company interactions are not something most people want to handle alone. Insurance carriers care about bending the outcome of a claim in their favor. Their questions are designed to make you comfortable and get you to talk. The hope is that you say something that will invalidate your claim. By hiring a lawyer, you have someone who steps in and handles communications and negotiations on your behalf.
Protects your Rights
Accident victims are afforded important legal rights they are frequently unaware exist. A lawyer makes your case by using the law to your benefit. Personal injury cases require a depth of legal knowledge that requires years of study and training. Choose an accident attorney with a solid professional background and one who cares about you and your case.
Establishing fault is a critical part of what attorneys do for their clients. It takes thorough investigation and careful legal research to prove liability. Negligent drivers will often refute a claim, even when the facts are evident. A lawyer pushes back and provides legal support for your claim.
Pure Comparative Fault
New York follows the pure comparative fault system if you are partially responsible for your injury in a fender-bender. You can always recover damages unless you are 100% liable. Your attorney protects your rights in these cases and ensures that responsibility is assigned equitably.
Identifies Recoverable Damages
Losses from car accidents are recovered through payouts for economic and non-economic damages. An attorney calculates damages based on these losses:
Economic (Verifiable Losses)
Economic damages include:
- Medical expenses
- Wage losses
- Employment losses
- Property losses
For a fair damage recovery, ongoing losses are calculated in terms of past, present and future losses.
Non-Economic (Intangible Losses)
Non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional and mental distress
- Quality of life changes
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Life-altering injuries aren’t always visible ones. However, the detrimental effects of pain and suffering can be as lasting and devastating as physical injuries.
What Does It Cost To Work With a Personal Injury Lawyer?
Many accident victims don’t realize that most personal injury attorneys take cases on a contingency fee basis. When you work with Cellino Law, you don’t pay fees unless you win. Medical expenses and lost wages are troublesome for injured people, and we don’t add to your financial pressures by charging upfront fees. Instead, we fight for you to receive full and fair compensation, so you have the resources to focus on healing and getting your life back.
Let Us Review Your Fender-Bender Case
If you are hurt in a fender-bender, don’t talk about the accident with the other driver’s insurance company. You need an attorney’s counsel to determine your case’s seriousness. If the facts are clear, a quick settlement might be in order. However, personal injury cases can take unexpected turns, and you may need to seek pain and suffering damages to cover losses.
Presumptions about minor accidents could cause you to lose your chance to recover damages. Cellino Law has a team of skilled, caring attorneys. When you meet with us for a case review, we explain your rights and determine if you have a case. You are under no obligation just to speak with an attorney. If you choose to hire us, our firm has years of experience handling accidents and a proven record of success. Contact us to get started.