It's possible to have a heavy-duty fork that'll hold up in a wreck. Also depends upon the orientation of the impact forces as well. If you catch some air and aimed the front-end downwards, so that you hit with the fork-blades vertical, the fork wouldn't bend much, but the frame can end up bent.
if the paint is cracking, pick some of it away with the tip of a knife or razor and see if the metal is cracked underneath. Cracks without deformation/elongation of the metal is typically fatigue and it'll probably start extending the crack adn cracking elsewhere. However forced bends aren't usually too much of a problem if they're minor and the geometry's not compromized.