A fender bender is a minor collision that does not cause major damage to either vehicle and generally does not cause serious injuries to a person in either car. Sometimes, however, a fender bender does result in significant harm.
Swelling and bruises from an accident may not be visible right away. Signs of whiplash often show up hours or days following a collision. Even if you felt fine immediately following the accident, in the days afterward, you may have experienced severe pain, or you may have discovered that your range of motion was limited. According to the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine, even light crashes can lead to fatalities. If you were in the car that was struck and you were pregnant at the time, you may have experienced complications later.
A fender bender lawyer can discuss the specific circumstances that apply to your case and advise you on how to proceed. Ben Crump Law, PLLC, has represented clients all over the United States who were injured in car accidents. We may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to seek compensation for your past and future medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. Call our office today at 800-959-1444 to speak with a member of our staff.
Who Is Liable for a Fender Bender?
Figuring out who is responsible for a minor car accident is often not as simple as many people would expect. In a parking lot, for instance, vehicles typically travel in multiple directions and turn from lane to lane as drivers search for an empty space or try to make their way out of the parking lot. Cars may be turning, pulling into spaces, and backing out, all at the same time.
In a fender bender involving one vehicle that is moving and another that is parked or stopped at a stop sign, the driver of the moving vehicle is usually liable for the accident. That may not be the case if a car is parked illegally.
Vehicles that are traveling in thoroughfare lanes to enter or leave a parking lot usually have the right-of-way, and drivers approaching thoroughfare lanes must yield the right-of-way. That does not apply if a “stop” or “yield” sign is present in a thoroughfare lane. A driver who ignores a sign when another person has the right-of-way may be found liable for an accident.
A driver who backs or pulls out of a parking space must yield the right-of-way to other vehicles that are traveling in the lane. Limited visibility can make it difficult for a driver who is exiting a parking space to see other vehicles, but that individual may still be held liable for a resulting fender bender.
If an accident occurs when two vehicles back out of parking spaces at the same time and hit each other, figuring out who is liable may be difficult. In that situation, both drivers have a duty of care to watch out for other vehicles and avoid an accident. If both drivers started to back out at the same time, or if both motorists claim that they started to back out first, determining who is liable may be challenging.
If two drivers attempt to pull into the same parking space and collide with each other, the one who crossed the stream of traffic to try to claim the space may be held liable. If one driver is mostly in the parking space at the moment of impact, the driver who had not yet entered the parking space may be found liable.
In a fender bender involving three vehicles that collide in a chain reaction, one driver may be found liable for the entire sequence of events. If the first driver hits the brakes to avoid a hazard or to make a turn, and the driver behind that vehicle slows down appropriately, but the third driver is not paying attention and rear-ends the second vehicle, which then rear-ends the first vehicle, the driver in the third car may be found liable for damage to all three vehicles.
A Fender Bender Accident Lawyer Can Help You Seek Justice
Even in a minor accident, figuring out who is liable may be complicated. In many cases, particularly those involving accidents in parking lots, it is not clear who has the right-of-way.
Some drivers do not understand the rules related to driving in a parking lot. Instead, people often focus on snagging an empty space or getting out of the parking lot as quickly as possible so they can get home. That can lead to aggressive driving and accidents in which both parties point the finger at each other.
We can interview you and any witnesses who saw what happened. If a surveillance camera recorded the accident, that video may provide valuable evidence that can help us determine who was liable for the collision. If we find that the other driver was at fault, we may file a personal injury lawsuit against that individual to seek compensation for your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.
If you and the other driver share responsibility for the fender bender, you may still be able to recover a financial award. In many states, comparative negligence laws allow people who suffered personal injuries to obtain compensation, even if they were partly responsible for causing the accident.
Work with a Personal Injury Attorney
If you were hurt in a minor collision, your injuries may still be serious. They may affect your ability to work and to care for your children. The medical bills may be causing your family to struggle to make ends meet. A fender bender accident lawyer may be able to help you obtain compensation.
If you do not think you could afford to hire an attorney, that should not be a concern. Ben Crump Law, PLLC, works on contingency. We cover upfront costs ourselves and only collect a fee if we obtain a financial award on behalf of a client.
Your state’s statute of limitations restricts the amount of time you have to file a personal injury lawsuit. A member of our staff can discuss the statute of limitations where you live and explain how we may be able to help you. Call our office at 800-959-1444 so we can begin working on your case as soon as possible.