Should I call an attorney After a Minor Car Accident? Find out here!
Sharp shards of car glass on the asphalt after a minor accident. Were you or a loved one recently injured in a minor car accident you didn’t cause? If you sustained any injuries, you’re entitled to financial compensation—and here are some car accident injury lawyers who will help you get it.
What You Should Know About Minor Car Accidents:
You’re sitting at the red light after a long day. You reach down to change the radio station when…BAM! You’ve been hit by another driver who wasn’t paying attention. You both step out of your cars to assess the damage. You both feel fine and your cars have very minor damage. It’s been a very long day so you decide not to call the police to file a report or exchange any information between the two of you. Hey, do you need to hire a lawyer after a minor car accident?
Do you need to make a big fuss about all this? Maybe we can just forget the whole thing and go on about our day. After all, if you want to get home, the last thing you need is to wait on the side of the road, inconvenience all these other drivers, and sit there frustrated and emotional… so you leave.
That was your first mistake and the biggest mistake you could have made.
The Legal Necessity of Reporting Minor Car Accidents:
In most states, failing to file a police report after a car accident, even if it’s just a fender bender, is illegal. It becomes a citable offense when you get in your car and drive away. It doesn’t matter if you don’t think you were injured or if the vehicles didn’t sustain damage. An accident is still an accident, even if it’s only a minor car accident.
Also, once you leave the scene of a car accident, it becomes much more difficult to get the facts straight. So, even a minor car accident becomes murky. So whether or not you want to hire a lawyer after a minor car accident, consider this your moment right here. You should think about calling the police before leaving the scene.
Aside from the legalities of the issue, you may have just ruined any potential claim you may have against the other driver. Even if there is no damage to your car.
What Constitutes a Minor Car Accident?
|Type of Accident
|Low-speed collisions where the front or rear bumper sustains minor damage.
|Parking Lot Incidents
|Scrapes, dings, or minor collisions that occur in parking lots at low speeds.
|Vehicles making minor contact along the sides, often at lower speeds.
|Occur at low speeds and may result in minor damage to the rear of the vehicle.
Common injuries and damages associated with minor car accidents include:
- Soft Tissue Injuries
- Bruises and Scrapes
- Property Damage
- Psychological Impact
Common Misconceptions About Minor Car Accidents
Myth #1: I don’t need to report the accident to the police. Fact: All car accidents—minor and severe—must be reported to the police. Failing to report an accident to the police is illegal and can result in fines or even jail time.
Myth #2: I don’t need to let my insurance company know about the accident. Fact: You should promptly report any car accident to your insurance provider, even if you didn’t cause it.
Myth #3: I feel fine and don’t have any visible injuries. I don’t need to see a doctor. Fact: Just because you feel okay and don’t see any external injuries doesn’t mean everything is fine.
Myth #4: I don’t need to hire a lawyer to handle my case. Fact: If you try to handle your case without legal aid, your chances of securing compensation plummet.
Myth #5: I should accept the first settlement offer I receive. Fact: Insurance companies care more about their bottom line than your best interest.
Why Hire a Car Accident Attorney After a Minor Accident? Legal Expertise and Experience
Car accident attorneys are vital in helping clients navigate the legal complexities associated with car accidents. Their expertise and experience are valuable assets when it comes to seeking compensation for injuries, property damage, and other losses resulting from a car crash. Here are some key aspects of their expertise and experience:
- Legal Knowledge
- Traffic Laws
- Insurance Laws
- Investigation Skills
- Accident Reconstruction
- Gathering Evidence
- Negotiation Skills
- Dealing with Insurance Companies
- Settlement Negotiations
- Understanding Damages
- Assessing Past and Current Damages
- Calculating Future Damages
- Courtroom Experience
- Litigation Skills
- Navigating Insurance Claims
- Handling Communication with Insurance Companies
The Role of a Car Accident Lawyer in Minor Accidents Case Evaluation Lawyers evaluate the viability of a car accident case by examining various criteria and making informed considerations. Key elements in this assessment include:
- Liability Assessment
- Clear Fault
- Traffic Laws
- Injury and Damages
- Extent of Injuries
- Property Damage
- Evidence Gathering
- Accident Reconstruction
- Witness Statements
- Insurance Coverage
- Policy Limits
- Policy Interpretation
- Causation and Connection
- Proximate Cause
- Medical Records
- Comparative Fault
- Contributory Negligence
- Statute of Limitations
- Settlement vs. Litigation
- Negotiation Opportunities
Legal Representation The legal representation process for car accident cases typically involves several stages, each aimed at providing comprehensive support and advocacy for the injured party. Here is an overview of the process and its associated benefits:
- Initial Consultation
- Examination of Case Details
- Investigation and Gathering Evidence
- Thorough Accident Investigation
- Insurance Negotiations
- Handling Communication with Insurance Companies
- Filing a Lawsuit
- Litigation Process
- Representation in Court
What to Do After a Minor Car Accident
You just got in a car accident. Things are a little stressful. Take a minute to breathe, then follow this checklist.
- Prioritize Your Safety
- Check for injuries, and call 911 for immediate medical assistance if you need it.
- Contact Law Enforcement
- Report the accident to the local police.
- Exchange Information
- Share your contact and insurance information with the other drivers.
- Collect Evidence
- Gather photo and video evidence to support your claim.
- Seek Medical Attention
- See a doctor or visit an urgent care clinic for a thorough examination.
- Contact an Attorney
- Consult with an attorney before informing your insurance company.
- Notify Your Insurance Company
- Promptly notify your insurance provider to initiate the claims process.
Signs You Need a Car Accident Lawyer You know it’s time to hire a car accident attorney if you run into one or more of the following roadblocks after your minor car accident.
- Your injuries are severe
- If the accident resulted in serious injuries requiring medical treatment.
- Liability is unclear
- If determining who caused the accident proves to be more difficult than expected.
- Multiple parties are involved
- The more parties that are involved, the more complicated it will be.
- You had a pre-existing injury
- If you had a pre-existing injury that the accident only made worse.
- You don’t understand legal procedures
- If you are unfamiliar with legal processes.
- You’re experiencing persistent pain
- If you experience persistent pain or if your injuries affect your ability to work.
- The opposing party won’t cooperate
- If the other party involved or their insurance company is uncooperative.
Choosing the Right Car Accident Attorney Criteria to Consider If you want to hire the right car accident attorney, look for these five criteria.
- The lawyer should have experience handling car accident cases like yours.
- Track Record
- The lawyer should have a track record of winning similar car accident cases.
- Fee Structure
- The lawyer should put your needs above their own.
- The lawyer should have a wealth of resources.
- The lawyer should have mostly positive reviews from former clients.
Questions to Ask Here are some of the questions you should ask any car accident lawyer you’re considering hiring.
- How long have you been practicing law?
- Do you specialize in pedestrian accident cases?
- Have you handled similar cases before, and what were the outcomes?
- How do you plan to approach negotiations or, if necessary, litigation?
- How will we communicate, and how often can I expect updates?
- What is your fee structure, and are there any additional costs I should be aware of?
- How involved will I be in the decision-making process?
- Will you keep me informed about major developments in my case?
- Will you personally handle my case, or will other attorneys in your firm be involved?
10 Mistakes to Avoid After a Minor Car Accident But don’t move on just yet, remember these 10 things to avoid doing after a car accident.
- Leaving the Scene of An Accident Without Reporting It To the Police
- Leaving the scene without reporting it is a major mistake.
- Failing To Gather Evidence At the Scene
- Collect as much evidence as possible while still at the scene.
- Admitting Fault
- Never admit fault; let your attorney and the police determine fault.
- Not Seeing a Doctor
- See a medical professional as soon as you feel you have sustained injuries.
- Not Taking Advantage of PIP
- Claim from Personal Injury Protection if you have been involved in a minor car crash.
- Failing to Understand Insurance Companies
- Remember that insurance companies are businesses.
- Not Reviewing the Police Report
- Review the police report to ensure accuracy.
- Taking the First Settlement Check Offered
- The first offer is often the lowest; let your lawyer negotiate for a fair settlement.
- Trying to Settle Your Case
- Experienced attorneys often secure larger settlements.
- Not Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer
- It’s in your best interests to hire a car accident lawyer.
Auto Accident Attorneys Are Free Wait… what? The truth is that every attorney will cost you, but almost every personal injury attorney works on a contingency basis. This means that they take their fee out of the settlement they achieve for you. So, if they don’t settle for you, you don’t owe them anything!
Even better, most will talk to you for free during a case evaluation. You can make an appointment, speak with an experienced car accident lawyer, talk to them about any settlement offers you’ve been given, and ask about your rights under current state law.
This means that money won’t be a deciding factor when you are thinking about hiring an attorney. It also means that you should speak to a car accident lawyer following your collision. You have nothing to lose and potentially a lot to gain.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What will my car accident lawyer do?
- Your car accident lawyer will help you throughout the legal process, from the initial case evaluation to litigation.
- Will my car accident lawyer deal with the insurance companies for me?
- Yes. One of your lawyer’s roles is to handle all communication and negotiations with insurance companies involved in your case.
- Do I need an attorney to get a car accident settlement?
- While you don’t technically need an attorney to reach a settlement, your chances of securing a satisfactory settlement increase significantly when you hire a lawyer to represent you.
- What is a fair settlement for pain and suffering?
- No dollar amount can make up for the pain and suffering you’ve experienced as a result of your car accident. However, financial compensation can help ease the financial burden associated with the aftermath of a car accident, which will give you peace of mind.
Get the Help You Need After Your Minor Car Accident
If you were involved in a minor car accident in Florida, there is an option, give the car accident lawyers at Steinger, Greene & Feiner a call today. It will cost you nothing to speak with a member of their team, and they are more than willing to review your legal rights with you to be sure you understand each of your options in depth.