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Hidden Risks of Florida Fender Bender Accidents

A young woman hurting after being in a fender bender car accident

In Florida, “fender bender” describes a minor car accident, but there’s no specific legal definition for it in state law. These accidents can include being hit from behind at a low speed, swerving into another vehicle with minimal contact, or a parking lot nudge. Despite their minor nature, all fender benders are legally considered accidents. Many believe that they don’t need to involve the authorities in such small incidents and drivers can just sort it out themselves. However, this is a misconception, as the law might require police involvement. 

If you were injured in a car accident in Miami, or anywhere in Florida, you deserve an experienced car accident lawyer and established law firm by your side. Even minor fender benders can have unforeseen complications.  Contact Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP and our car accident attorneys can handle all aspects of your case, ensuring you receive the compensation you deserve.

What To Do After a Fender Bender in Florida

Following a fender bender in Florida, taking the right steps can greatly impact the outcome of any potential claims or legal issues. Here’s what we recommend to do:

  1. Safety comes first. If possible, move your vehicle out of traffic. Florida law requires clearing the roadway if you can do so safely.
  1. Call the Police: While not always mandated, calling the police is a wise and useful action. They can document the accident, providing a report that’s valuable for insurance and legal purposes.
  1. Swap contact and insurance details with the other driver. This information is crucial for filing a claim in the future. 
  1. Take photos of the accident scene, including all damages, license plates, driver’s licenses, and any relevant details. If there are injuries, photograph those too, if appropriate.
  1. Avoid admitting responsibility at the scene, even if you are certain that you caused the accident. Speak to the car accident attorney first. Your perspective might be limited, and fault can be complex to determine.
  1. Remember, Florida operates under a comparative negligence system. Even if you’re partly at fault, you might still be eligible for compensation if the other party bears more responsibility.
  1. Be cautious when dealing with the other driver’s insurance company. They may try to minimize their client’s liability by attributing more blame to you. Politely decline discussions and inform them you’ll be seeking legal advice.

Why You Should Report Police In Fender Bender Accidents?

While a fender bender accident might seem minor at first sight, Florida law recognizes the potential for unforeseen consequences. That’s why the law mandates reporting any accident that causes injury, death or property damage that exceeds $500. While this threshold seems high, rising car part costs mean even minor dents or scratches can reach it. Also, the initial evaluation of the vehicle damage can be misleading, as it may reveal structural or mechanical problems later. Having a police report in such situations gives the victim a reference point for further insurance or legal claims. 

Beyond legal concerns, the human body’s complexity adds another layer of risk. Even low-speed collisions can trigger surprising health effects:

  • Masked Pain: After a fender bender, the body’s natural response – adrenaline rush can mask injuries, making them seem minor initially. However, seek medical evaluation even if you initially feel unharmed. Symptoms might worsen or appear days later. 
  • Head Impact Dangers: Hitting the head on the steering wheel, dashboard, or window can lead to serious brain injuries, including concussions, regardless of the accident’s severity.
  • Airbag Deployment Risk: While saving lives, airbags can also cause injuries. They can inflict facial abrasions, fractures, or internal injuries due to their force. Be aware of this potential and seek medical attention. 
  • Vulnerability in Smaller Vehicles: Vehicle type and occupant position matter too; smaller vehicles and front-seat occupants face a higher injury risk due to closer proximity to the impact zone.
  • Sudden Force’s Toll: The collision’s force, particularly in low-speed rear-end collisions, can cause whiplash, characterized by rapid forward and backward head movement. This can result in neck pain, stiffness, and headaches. Soft tissue injuries can also occur, leading to pain, swelling, and reduced mobility.
  • Hidden Internal Injuries: Internal bleeding or organ damage may occur without immediate symptoms.
  • Delayed Signs: Additionally, pre-existing conditions can exacerbate the severity of collision-induced injuries. It’s crucial to monitor for delayed symptoms that may not manifest immediately. Therefore, a medical check-up post-accident is vital for safeguarding health and supporting future claims.

Remember, a seemingly minor fender bender can have hidden consequences, both physically and emotionally. Don’t add the burden of potential future medical costs and lingering health concerns to the already stressful situation. Seeking professional help and securing a police report immediately safeguards your well-being and protects your rights in the long run. Prioritize your health and peace of mind. 

Act Fast After Miami Car Accident to Secure Compensation

While you might think a fender bender is just a bump in the road, remember: Florida law has your back, even for seemingly minor fender bender accidents. But legal protections have time limits. You only have four years from the accident date to file a lawsuit. Don’t let this clock tick down – be proactive and seek legal counsel immediately. Defendants and their insurers waste no time protecting their interests. Don’t fall behind. 

Our Miami auto accident attorneys are here to help you recover what you’re owed. We fight for clients to get compensation for:

  • Vehicle damage: Repairs, replacements, and diminished value due to the accident.
  • Medical bills: Emergency care, ongoing treatment, physical therapy, and future medical needs.
  • Lost wages: Compensation for missed workdays and potential future earning capacity limitations.
  • Pain and suffering: Acknowledging the emotional and physical toll the accident took on you.
  • Other losses: Disfigurement, loss of enjoyment of life, and mental anguish.

Contact Us Today

At Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP, our car accident lawyers have helped many motor vehicle accident victims recover full and fair compensation for their injuries. If you were hurt in a car accident, please contact us today to schedule your free, no-obligation initial legal consultation. Call us at 305-371-2692.