Most people assume that people only need to hire a car accident attorney if they have a major auto collision, but that is untrue. Did you know that 43% of all accidents, including minor accidents, result in injuries?
Regardless if your incident is a minor accident or a major one, you still deserve to receive compensation for your injuries. If you are still on the fence about hiring a car accident lawyer to handle your minor accident, please continue reading below. We will cover what you need to know about hiring an attorney for a minor car accident and who you can contact for a free no-obligation consultation.
Should I Hire an Attorney for a Minor Accident?
Although you technically don’t need an attorney to file a claim with the other party’s insurance company, you may want to at least reach out to one to learn more about your options. Regardless of whether the accident is minor or major, an attorney can help you with the claims process and help you get the compensation you deserve if you suffered injuries due to the accident.
How Can a Car Accident Lawyer Help Me?
Many different benefits come with working with a lawyer for a minor accident. For example, the attorney can handle the entire claims process on your behalf.
This includes creating a claim, submitting evidence, and negotiating with the adjuster for the best settlement for your situation. You won’t have to worry about chasing down an adjuster to get an update on your claim. Instead, your lawyer will take care of that tedious task, and they will let you know if there are any essential updates you need to be aware of.
Extensive Legal Knowledge
Most people assume that an auto accident is relatively straightforward when it comes to injuries, but that is far from the truth. There are so many different legal rights you have that you may not be aware of.
Your team of reputable accident lawyers can help you create the best strategy for your case based on what you may be entitled to. Their extensive knowledge of the law will help you receive the compensation you deserve.
Minor car accidents can still leave you with injuries that put you out of work or that can cause you mental anguish. Car accidents, in general, are exhausting, and they can ruin your plans.
When you’re in this state of mind, how can you be so sure that you can properly handle your claim and fight for fair compensation? Your feelings can significantly impact your case outcome if you cannot separate facts from feelings.
Reputable accident lawyers don’t have the same feelings attached to the case as you do. This allows them to be able to look at the facts and create a strong argument for your claim without feelings in the way.
Prevents Critical Mistakes
Auto insurance companies contact all parties involved in an auto accident as soon as they learn there are injuries involved. This is so they can get to you first before you reach out to an attorney for help. These adjusters know that you are vulnerable, and they prey on that.
The adjuster will ask you for a statement to move the claim process along so they can make their liability decision. It can either be a recorded or a written statement, whichever you prefer.
During the statement process, the adjuster will ask you questions about what happened, and they may ask you questions that are meant to trip you up. If you say something incriminating, the adjuster can use that against you and place some or all of the liability on you.
These adjusters also ask their clients to sign medical release forms so they can try to blame any pre-existing conditions instead of accepting liability for the damages their insured caused. To avoid dealing with that, you can rest assured that your attorney will protect you and your interests.
Car accident lawyers are well aware of the tactics these adjusters deploy against innocent people. Once you have an attorney, the adjuster can no longer try to trick you into saying something you don’t mean, nor can they make you sign any documents or release waivers.
Excellent Negotiation Skills
As mentioned earlier, auto insurance adjusters prey on the vulnerability of injured parties. In addition to getting you to give up your statement, they will try to offer you a settlement worth less than you deserve.
The adjuster may play it up to seem like they genuinely care about you and that the offer they’re presenting you is fair when they don’t care about your well-being, and the offer is likely lower than fair market value.
Trying to negotiate while you’re healing and trying to make sense of the situation is challenging. No one should have to negotiate their worth with an adjuster who is just trying to save their company money.
Instead, you can rest assured that your auto accident lawyer will take care of negotiating a fair settlement based on the circumstances of your case. While they negotiate for you, you can focus on healing and getting back on your feet.
Helps You Access the Best Medical Care
Even if your accident was minor, there could be underlying injuries that may not have yet manifested. This is because your adrenaline is probably rushing, hiding any pain. When you finally rest and seek treatment, you may find underlying injuries that need tending to.
Your accident attorney is well aware of how injuries manifest after an auto accident, so they can point you in the right direction. Most reputable car accident lawyers work with a network of physicians they can refer you to.
Their working relationship allows you to receive the treatment you need without having to pay anything out of pocket. When you win your case, your lawyer will take care of those medical expenses from the settlement offer you receive.
Helps Expedite the Claim
Most auto insurance companies don’t pay out any settlement offers until you’ve sufficiently recovered from your accident-related injuries. This means that until you’re in a better state, you will have to wait to receive any type of compensation.
When you work with a knowledgeable auto accident lawyer, they can help expedite the claims process. Most claims take time to settle due to waiting for medical documents and gathering other evidence. To ensure that your claim moves along as it should, your lawyer will use their team to stay on top of communicating with the insurance adjuster.
Steps To Take After a Car Accident
After you get into a minor car accident, there are a few steps you should take. First and foremost, stay as calm as you can. Car accidents are scary experiences that can cloud your judgment and make you want to rush to get out of the vehicle. Unless your car is smoking or on fire, keep calm and breathe.
Check for Any Injuries
Because your adrenaline is rushing, you may not notice if you have any injuries. If you notice that you have injuries, call 911 and tell them you are injured.
They will send someone out there as soon as possible to come to get you out of the vehicle. You mustn’t move if you have injuries. Sometimes moving can aggravate the wound, causing you more pain and discomfort.
Move to a Safe Space
If you can, move to a safe environment where you are out of the way of traffic. This helps to prevent another accident from happening. If you cannot move your vehicle, just move yourself and your passengers out of the way of traffic.
If you have any traffic cones you can put out, letting others know that your vehicle is not able to move, put them behind your car. If you don’t, just put on your hazard lights, so the people behind you know to go around the vehicle.
Contact the Local Authorities
If you already called 911 earlier, they should send a police officer to the scene in addition to the ambulance. The officer will take your statement about what happened in the accident, and they should be able to take down the information from the other driver.
If you have to go to the hospital from the scene of the accident, an officer should follow up with you with information about where they moved your vehicle and the police report number.
Exchange Information With the Other Driver
If you are waiting for the authorities to come to the scene, try to exchange information with the other driver. When speaking with the other driver, don’t discuss what happened.
If the other driver is unwilling to cooperate or seems volatile, it is best to stay out of their way while you wait for the police to show up. If you can exchange information with the other driver, you should gather a few key things.
Information you should try to gather from the scene of the accident:
- Driver’s license information
- Driver’s phone number
- Vehicle color, year, make, and model
- Vehicle license plate number
- Auto insurance company name and contact number
- Auto insurance policy number
- Information about the owner of the vehicle
Having this information can help move the auto claims process along quickly. If you are unable to get this information from the other driver, the police should be able to gather this information for you.
Contact an Attorney
As mentioned earlier in this article, an auto insurance company will reach out to you once they learn that you suffered injuries as a result of the accident. The adjuster will want to take your statement to see if there is any fault they can blame on you.
Before you create a claim with the insurance company, it is best to speak with an attorney about your options. The lawyer will instead handle communicating with the insurance company on your behalf, so you don’t have to.
Damages You Can Claim in an Auto Accident
There are several different types of damages you can claim, even in a minor accident. If you suffered injuries, you have the right to seek compensation for those associated medical expenses.
Other types of damages you can claim:
- Lost wages
- Property damages
- Ambulance ride expenses (if applicable)
- Prescription medication
- Over-the-counter medication
- Surgery costs
- At-home care costs
There are other damages, called general damages, that you can claim with the help of an attorney. These types of damages don’t have a specific number tied to them, and they are a bit harder to claim.
An example of general damage is pain and suffering. Your accident attorney will look at your case and see how much you can claim in pain and suffering and if there are any other types of special damages, you can claim.
Compensation for a Minor Accident
Many people assume that they don’t need to seek legal representation if they are in a minor accident, but that is far from the truth. If you suffered injuries as a result of your auto accident, no matter how minor the incident may seem to you, it is best to at least reach out to an attorney to learn about your legal options. Contact us for more information on how we can help you receive the compensation you deserve for your minor auto accident.