Why Should I Hire a Lawyer After a Minor Car Accident?
If you are reading this someone may have rear-ended your vehicle and there was not a lot of visible damage.
To you, it felt like a minor accident.
It does not seem as though you were seriously injured, so you exchanged contact and insurance information with the other driver.
You thought it would be no problem to call the police or have an attorney involved. But in the end, you decided to try and handle the insurance claim yourself.
What you may not realize is that, even though this was a minor car accident, there could be long-term effects from the collision.
The adrenaline from a crash, even a minor one can mask immediate pain and injuries.
Apprehension of how the other guy will react to the car accident can also distract you from your injuries.
Are they emotional and angry? Are you?
The fight or flight response can kick in so it is important to take a minute to calm down and assess the situation.
Emotions After a Car Accident
It is very important to keep your emotions in check after a car accident.
Many victims of car accidents are undergoing immense stress and anxiety following their accident but don’t want to appear faint-hearted, especially if the accident was minor.
You do not want to say something that could hurt your claim later so here is a great tip for you, “Do not admit fault or reveal policy limits”.
That’s a direct quote from the Geico insurance website.
It is very important to be mindful of what you do and say!
Some minor car accident injuries are more serious than you think!
It is possible that these injuries do not present themselves until days or weeks after the accident.
If you wait too long to seek medical attention or treatment, the insurance company may try to say that your injuries are not related to the accident.
This would leave you responsible for all of your medical bills.
The Police Report and Failing to Report to Police
In most states, failing to file a police report after a car accident, even if it’s just a fender bender, is illegal.
If you get in your car and drive away after an accident, you can get in trouble. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think you were injured or if the other cars didn’t have any damage.
It becomes a citable offense when you get in your car and drive away.
An accident is still an accident, even if it’s only a minor car accident.
Most police departments or State DOTs charge a fee to get a copy of your police report.
Make sure you get a copy of the report or if you hire an injury lawyer they will get one on your behalf.
6 Reasons to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer After A Minor Accident
- Responsibility: You’ll need assistance determining who is responsible for compensation in order to make an insurance claim. Sometimes, who is primarily liable for the accident might be unclear, and both parties may point fingers at each other without a resolution in sight. A car accident lawyer will assist you in determining which party or entity is responsible for any injuries incurred as a result of the collision.
- Denied Insurance Claims: Insurance companies place a premium on increasing their profit from the premiums that their clients pay and giving them the lowest level of coverage in return. In many situations, this implies denying claims without sufficient evidence or strength to back them up. It is critical to obtain assistance from a car accident attorney while submitting an insurance claim.
- Approved Low Coverage Claims: The insurance company will try to offer you the lowest amount of money possible for your claim. Most people just accept this amount without talking to a lawyer. A car accident lawyer can speak with the insurance company on your behalf and make sure you get the most money possible to cover all of your damages.
- Missed or Minor Injuries Become Greater Over Time: What seems to be no big problem, in the beginning, can actually end up being life-altering and require expensive medical care. Whiplash and Back injuries are the most common delayed injuries that car accident victims suffer for years. A car crash lawyer can help you recover financial compensation for all the losses that you have already suffered and will continue to suffer down the road.
- Time is Not On Your Side: The Statute of limitations begins at the moment of the accident. You have a certain amount of time to bring a claim and if you fail to bring that claim in time you will receive no compensation for your injuries.
- You could be served with a lawsuit by the other party who was involved in the vehicle accident. You’ll need legal representation as soon as possible if this happens to safeguard yourself and your rights.
How to settle a car accident claim without a lawyer?
Here is how you settle a car accident claim without a lawyer
- Evaluate the extent of your damages
- Speak to the insurance adjuster
- Craft your demand letter
- Do your due diligence before going to court
- Await the judge’s verdict and accept the settlement
Additionally, the other driver’s insurance company may give you a lowball offer for your property damage claim.
They may also try to get you to give a recorded statement, where you could accidentally say something that hurts your case.
An experienced car accident lawyer will know how to deal with the insurance company in order to get you the best possible settlement.
Understand that representing yourself isn’t always the best
It is feasible to handle a vehicle accident claim without the assistance of an attorney.
However, this isn’t a smart option. Lawyers have years of expertise in assisting clients in obtaining the compensation they are due.
They can also assist you in expediting the settlement process so you may get your money quicker.
If you do end up having to go to court, they will be able to defend your interests against the insurance company’s seasoned legal team.
Accident Lawyers Get The Clients 3 Times More Money Than Doing It Yourself
Despite the fact that you may believe that a little vehicle accident does not necessitate the services of a car accident lawyer, we can assure you that those who utilize experienced attorneys obtain settlements on average 3X higher than those who do not.
Average Settlement was worth $60,000 more after hiring an accident lawyer.
With Lawyer: $77,600
Without Lawyer: $17,600
CAR ACCIDENT LAWYERS ARE FREE! Unless You Win
The fact is that every lawyer will cost you, but almost every personal injury attorney accepts a contingency fee.
This means they get paid out of the compensation they obtain for you.
So if they don’t reach a settlement for you, you don’t owe them anything!
Even better, most will speak with you for free during a case evaluation.
You can schedule an appointment, meet with a skilled car accident lawyer about any settlement proposals you’ve been given, and find out what your rights are under current state law.
When you consider hiring an accident attorney, the cost should not be a factor in your decision.
It also means that after your accident, you should absolutely contact a car accident lawyer. You have nothing to lose and potentially a lot to gain by speaking with one.
Should I call a lawyer after a car accident?
Overall, it is always a good idea to consult with an attorney after any car accident, even if it seems like a minor one. A lawyer can help you protect your rights and ensure that you are fairly compensated for your injuries and damages.
When is it too late to get a lawyer for a car accident?
A lot of people try to go it alone when it comes to what they consider minor car accidents only to discover it’s harder than they realized.
The smart ones will then ask an accident lawyer “is it too late to hire an attorney?”
In many cases, the answer is no, it’s not too late to hire an attorney unless the statute of limitations has expired on your case.
How long does a car accident settlement take with a lawyer?
According to Lawyers.com the average length of a time before settlement without a lawyer was 7 months.
With a lawyer, the length of time for settlement went up to 15 months but the victim was awarded on average an extra $60,000 for the settlement.
What are 8 Things Not To Do After A Car Accident
- Leaving the Scene of An Accident Without Reporting It To the Police: It’s a serious blunder to leave the scene of an accident without informing the cops. In a minor vehicle accident lawsuit, the Police report will be utilized to assist the judge in determining fair compensation for the victim.
- Failing To Gather Evidence At the Scene: Take as many photographs as you can, get as many phone numbers as possible, and collect as many account numbers from individuals near your accident. Let your accident lawyer do their work by sifting through your evidence collection.
- Admitting Fault: When you’re involved in a minor vehicle collision, don’t admit culpability. You have no option but to believe that you are not at fault for the incident because from your perspective, you could never possibly know who is at fault. Never admit guilt. Allow your lawyer and the cops to determine who may be responsible and how much relative blame there is.
- Not Seeing a Doctor: You should visit a doctor as soon as you believe you have been hurt in your accident. If you don’t, and you acquire injuries from the minor vehicle collision, it may be more difficult to link them to the accident and not some other wear and tear.
- Failing to Understand Insurance Companies: Remember that insurance companies are first and foremost a business and they exist to make money. So when you make claims, they will try to settle for less if they can.
- Not Reviewing the Police Report: Make sure to review the police report carefully. Make sure that the facts in it are correct. If you don’t agree with something, speak up right then and there. Get any changes made as soon as possible. Don’t sign until everything is correct.
- Taking the First Settlement Check Offered: The insurance company will usually start with a low offer in order to save money. They want to make sure they don’t pay too much, but they also want to make sure you are satisfied.
- Not Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer: For all the reasons stated above and more, we believe it’s in your best interests to hire a car accident lawyer as soon as possible.
What Are The No-Fault States And What Does That Mean After A Minor Accident?
What does a no-fault state mean? Drivers have insurance to cover their own injuries and damage rather than insuring to pay out to the other person.
No-fault insurance means that everyone is required to file a claim with their own insurance company, regardless of who caused the accident. This type of insurance is common in states where drivers are required to have personal injury protection coverage as part of their auto insurance policy.
The rules surrounding auto accident lawsuits in no-fault auto states are strict. These rules are known as threshold conditions and relate to the severity of the injury sustained in the auto accident.
Why Should I Hire a Personal Injury Attorney in a No-Fault State?
Because of the large number of plaintiffs, many states have modified their laws in order to make the procedure simpler for innocent parties. This frequently allows a victim who was not at fault to be released from the duty of proving that the other driver was at fault before receiving compensation.
This part of the no-fault insurance policy is commonly referred to as personal injury protection.
Because it does provide a limited right to file a lawsuit, despite widespread belief to the contrary, this sort of coverage is frequently misinterpreted.
Individuals may be able to sue for non-economic damages.
However, different states that accept no-fault insurance have different requirements for the lowest amount of compensation required to file a claim.
Some states express the threshold as a certain monetary figure, such as $250,000.
Others express it in terms of the severity of physical injuries. Additionally, no-fault insurance policies deal with medical expenses. The property damage component of the claim works in the same way as it does in at-fault states.
However, in many no-fault insurance claims, the process does not involve litigation.
Under the no-fault state law, each accident victim is compensated for their own medical expenditures and lost earnings. The insured person in some states must utilize his or her personal medical insurance coverage first, and the automobile insurance pays the rest.
In some no-fault states, accident victims are required to cooperate with their insurance companies. An accident victim may be compelled to provide a recorded statement to the insurance company or to go through a medical examination chosen by the insurer. The insurer might have cause to terminate no-fault benefits if the accident victim does not co-operate.
An Accident Attorney Helps You Craft a Complete Case
From evidence collection to negotiations, personal injury cases can be long, difficult, and tricky.
You’re probably already stressed out after an accident, and the last thing you should do is take on a personal injury claim on your own.
Your attorney will work with you to collect all the right evidence, catalog and organize this evidence, and present it to the insurance adjuster to prove the settlement amount you need.
Your car accident lawyer will also tell you that your own actions are not jeopardizing your case.
Insurance adjusters are experts at what they do, and their priority is to protect the insurance company’s financial interests.
For this reason, they may try to contact you, they may try to keep tabs on your social media usage, and they may try to find any reason or way to limit your right to a settlement.
Your personal injury attorney will keep you and your case safe.
In the United States, there are 12 no-fault states including Florida, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Hawaii, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Dakota and Utah.
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