If you drive a vehicle in Maryland, you have a good chance of being involved in a traffic accident at some point during your lifetime. Except for one year, the number of traffic crashes in Maryland has increased each year since 2014. During 2018, the Maryland Department of Transportation reports 117,750 motor vehicle crashes, including 83,390 property damage crashes. Even when a collision only involves property damage claims, auto accident victims should treat the insurance claim seriously and take every step necessary to protect their best interests when settling the claim.
What Are Common Vehicle Areas Damaged in a Traffic Collision?
The type and severity of the collision determine the location and severity of the property damage. A vehicle may sustain minor damage that can be repaired in a day or two at a local body shop. However, some vehicle damage may require extensive repairs by a body shop and a mechanic. Some vehicles are damaged beyond repair.
Common damages to a vehicle in a car crash include:
- Front and Rear Damage
The front and rear of vehicles often receive the most damage in car crashes because rear-end crashes and head-on collisions are two of the most common types of traffic crashes. Distracted driving is often the cause of these types of car crashes. Front end or rear end damage also occurs in single-car accidents when a driver collides with another object, such as backing into a vehicle or running into a fence, tree, or other object. The fenders on many vehicles today are plastic, and they do not hold up very well in crashes, even in minor collisions.
In addition to the physical damage caused by front and rear-end collisions, the occupants of the vehicle can suffer traumatic injuries in these types of crashes. Whiplash, traumatic brain injuries, broken bones, and spinal cord injuries are common types of injuries in these accidents.
- Driver and Passenger Doors
Side impact collisions can result in severe damage to the driver and passenger doors. In some cases, drivers and passengers are trapped in the vehicle because the damage prevents the doors from opening after a collision. In many cases, a body shop must replace the entire door because of the damage caused by a side-impact collision.
Unfortunately, side-impact or T-bone crashes can also result in severe injuries to the occupants of the vehicle. The side of the vehicle, even vehicles with air bags, does not provide the same protection from a collision at the front or rear end of the vehicle provides because the collision occurs in such close proximity to the occupant.
- Broken Lights and Windows
Headlights, taillights, and windows are another common type of damage resulting from car crashes. The plastic covering these lights does not stand up well in a collision. Windows are also fragile and often break or shatter during a crash. The broken glass from shattered windows causes some of the injuries sustained in car accidents.
- Wheels, Tires, and Engines
Wheels and tires are vulnerable in any type of collision because they are located on all four corners of the vehicle. Anyone who has had to replace a tire because of a nail understands that tires are vulnerable to damage. Simply running over a curb or a pothole can damage a tire beyond repair. Therefore, it is not hard to understand why a collision with another vehicle could cause significant damage to the wheels and tires.
Engines and other vehicle systems are also vulnerable in a car crash. The collision from the crash forces the metal frame into the engine causing damage. In some crashes, the damage to the engine is beyond repair. Engines, transmissions, and other vehicle systems can be extremely costly to repair or replace, depending on the type of vehicle.
Filing a Property Damage Claim After a Traffic Accident
Even though you may not have sustained physical injuries from a traffic accident, your vehicle likely sustained some type of damage. Filing a property damage claim with the other driver’s insurance company should be simple if fault for the cause of the crash is not in question. However, you need to proceed with caution.
Always use a mechanic or body shop that you trust, and you have researched to ensure that your vehicle is in good hands. Also, demand that only new parts are used to make repairs. Many insurance companies want to use aftermarket or used parts to repair vehicles. If you have concerns or questions, consult a Maryland car accident attorney before settling your claim.
Contact a Maryland Car Accident Attorney for More Information
Do you have questions about a car accident claim? Contact Pinder Plotkin by calling 410-525-5337 for a free consultation with one of our Maryland car accident attorneys.