Some vehicle owners are reluctant to report accidents to their insurance company because they are afraid that doing so will trigger a rate hike. Instead of keeping the matter quiet and paying any repair costs out-of-pocket, car owners are urged to report accidents, particularly if they involve another vehicle. Officially documenting accidents ensures that coverage will protect the insured against liability for harming others. Even if a private arrangement is worked out between the two parties at the scene of the accident, many people have a change of heart after returning home and mentioning the accident to others. Either they realize that the damage to their vehicle is more extensive than they realized, or they later develop painful symptoms.
NOTE: The adrenaline rush accompanying a fender-bender can mask immediate symptoms of injury, and soft-tissue damage can take one to two days to show up.