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When you’re in a minor automobile accident your first impulse may be to simply let it go. This is hardly surprising as most people are hesitant to involve local authorities and insurance companies unless absolutely needed. You’re courteous to the other driver, you exchange contact information, and you both go on your way. While on the surface this appears more convenient it can lead to further issues later on. Even minor automobile accidents can cause injuries and these injuries may not always be apparent.
According to research from the National Safety Council there are over twelve million auto accidents a year involving over twenty million cars. Among these accidents are over five million non-fatal ones. Not everyone injured in these accidents were aware of injuries at first. That is because the accidents they were involved in were not major ones and they felt fine at the time. Remember there are at least sixty accidents every minute of every day in the United States and a lot of them would be considered minor fender binders. Not all injuries are apparent at first and what first felt like only a few bruises can become something far worse. After endorphins and adrenaline can hide fresh injuries. It is only with the passage of time that the true severity of an injury becomes apparent.
Automobile design has started to favor stronger and stiffer designs in an attempt to make the cars more durable. While your car may be mostly unharmed by a minor accident you may not be. The car does not absorb much of the force of the impact and the resulting transfer of force causes a whiplash effect on any driver and passengers. Whiplash can cause all manner of neck injuries and also facial injures due to striking a solid surface such as the dashboard or steering wheel. Your back and joints are also susceptible to what doctors call MIST (Minor Impact Soft Tissue Injuries). For example even a mild whiplash effect can cause bleeding and small breaks in your vertebrae. This type of injury along with other soft tissue damage can be hard to detect at first. Even a mild accident can lead to years of aches and pains.
When you find yourself in sever pain a few days after a minor accident it is not too late to report it to the police. A lot of people mistakenly believe that you have to file a report at the scene of the accident immediately after it has occurred. You can file a police report after the accident itself has happened. This allows you a long enough time-frame for any injuries you may have to become apparent. Another form that you should keep in mind to file in the state of California is the DMV SR1 form. This form reports on death, property damages greater then $750, and all injuries no matter how minor so be sure to get it filled. This along with hiring an attorney, getting a police report, and filing a claim with your insurance company helps build your case.
Now you may think a police report that was written after the fact may not have much use. Despite the police not having written the report at the scene of you accident it can still be useful. To help bolster the information in the report lawyers can call eyewitnesses. Live witness testimony is a powerful thing in court and it supports your documented statements.
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