Did you know there were over two million emergency room visits due to injuries caused by auto accidents? Some of these injuries came from major auto accidents, whereas others came from minor incidents.
Those who sustain injuries in a minor accident may think hiring a car accident lawyer to handle their case is unreasonable, but that is far from the truth. Regardless of how major or minor, your incident was, you still deserve to receive the compensation owed to you from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Please continue reading below if you recently sustained injuries in a minor car accident. In this brief minor accident guide, we will go over what you need to know about what constitutes a minor accident, your rights in the matter, and who you can speak with for more information.
What Is a Minor Car Accident?
A minor car accident is categorized as an auto accident with minimal damage done to the vehicles involved. When your vehicle has minor damage, you are still able to drive the car after the accident.
Types of minor accidents:
- Fender benders
- Damage to your headlights
- Dent on the front, side, or back of your vehicle
After a minor incident happens, you are typically able to drive your vehicle away and continue to use the car without any issues. You may need to repair the tire or the side of your car, but there isn’t anything a body shop would have to break down your vehicle for. It is important to note that driving your vehicle with a damaged headlight is very dangerous, so make sure you take care of those damages as soon as possible to prevent any further damage.
Should I Report a Minor Car Accident?
Regardless of how major or minor your accident is, it is best to report the incident anyway. You will want to speak with your insurance company about what happened, and you should call the police to the scene to document the incident.
In the event that you get into an accident, later on, you will have documentation of the damages that happened previously. Once the police come to make the report, they will document any injuries or damages caused at the accident scene.
Can I Sue for a Minor Car Accident?
You can sue anyone for anything, including minor car accidents. Of course, it is best to see your options before going this route, as most minor car accidents are handled outside of court.
If you believe that the other driver caused a significant amount of damage or injuries to you and those in your vehicle, you can present a claim to the at-fault driver’s insurance company. From there, the insurance company decides on liability, and if they find their driver responsible for the loss, they will pay for your damages and injuries.
Note About Insurance Company Adjusters
If you’re considering retaining counsel for your injuries and representing your claim, it is best to speak with an attorney before you work with the insurance adjuster. The auto adjuster may try to give you a lowball settlement or place liability on you for the accident.
What To Do After an Auto Accident
After you get into an auto accident, the first thing you want to do is remain calm. Be sure to move yourself to a safe location before calling the police for help.
At the scene, exchange information with the other driver (if it is safe to do so) and take note of any witness contact if possible. If you sustained any injuries, make sure that you seek medical treatment and save any receipts of all medical expenses.
When Should I Sue for My Minor Car Accident?
As mentioned earlier, you have the right to sue someone for the damages and injuries caused by your car accident. Of course, you may be able to settle with the at-fault driver’s insurance company, but there are instances where you may need to bring forth a lawsuit.
Medical bill expenses
No matter how minor or major your accident is, you should seek medical attention if you don’t feel well. Some injuries may not present themselves immediately due to your adrenaline rushing soon after the incident. Some of these injuries take days or weeks after the incident to show up.
At this point, your medical bills may pile up from visiting the doctor’s office often to try to remedy your pain. This is why it is an excellent idea to seek treatment soon after your accident so you can take a record of your injuries related to the incident. When you factor in the cost of your medical bills, the stress the incident caused you, and any property damage, you might think it is time to seek legal representation for help.
Auto Insurance Negotiations
As mentioned earlier, if you try to handle your claim independently, you may face an obstacle where the at-fault driver’s insurance company does not want to pay you what you deserve. If you’ve already gone down the route of speaking with the adjuster to no avail, you may want to consider speaking with an attorney. Most cases settle outside of court, and your attorney will ensure you receive the compensation you need to take care of yourself and your injuries.
Should I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer?
You should seek an initial consultation from an attorney if you are on the fence about hiring one to represent your claim. Most reputable car accident lawyers provide their clients with free, no-obligation consultations where you can discuss the facts of your case.
Even more so, some attorneys offer their services on a contingency fee basis. This means that you won’t have to pay for any legal expenses unless you win your case. Even if you win your case, the attorney deducts their fee from your final settlement before giving you the remainder.
Helps Determine Liability
One of the biggest hurdles in handling a car accident claim is proving that you’re not liable for the incident. The auto insurance company won’t pay for any damages unless they accept liability for the accident.
In order for them to take full responsibility, you must provide the insurance company with a statement about what happened and evidence to prove your side of the story. The investigation part of the claims process is tedious and can be very difficult if you are unsure of what you are doing. Instead, you can rely on a car accident lawyer to gather all the evidence.
This includes any police reports, expert witness statements, and surveillance about what happened in the accident. If needed, a lawyer can also bring on experts, such as an accident reconstructionist, to model what happened in the accident.
Protects You From Other Attorneys
Auto insurance companies have their own set of attorneys they use if someone brings forth a lawsuit against them. If they have to utilize their resources, the insurance company will pursue you with all the resources they have. This type of pressure can significantly affect your mental health and financial standing if you aren’t prepared.
When you retain an attorney to protect your interests, you can rest assured that you have a trusted advisor who will answer any questions or concerns you may have. Your personal car accident lawyer will also prevent the insurance company from taking advantage of you.
What Damage Can I Claim?
In an auto accident, you have the right to claim any property damage and injuries. This also includes any lost wages, medical bills, and other expenses related to the accident.
Depending on the facts of your case, you may be able to claim non-economic damages such as pain and suffering or mental anguish. Non-economic damages are a bit harder to calculate on your own as they encompass factors surrounding your well-being. To ensure that you receive the proper compensation for all damages owed, it is best to seek help from a reputable car accident attorney.
Receive the Compensation You Deserve
Not only do you deserve to receive the compensation owed to you in a minor auto accident, but you also deserve to have the correct type of representation from a car accident lawyer. Auto accidents, no matter how minor or major, are traumatic events that no one should have to deal with on their own.
Contact us if you or someone you love sustained injuries in an auto accident. We are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have about the claims process and if you have a case, even with minor auto damage.