Is It Worth Getting a Lawyer For a Minor Car Accident?

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Accidents happen suddenly and when you least expect them. If you have been involved in an accident, including a minor one, you need to remember the to-do list to limit confusion and uncertainty. The first thing is to call 911 to report the accident, then do a quick check to determine if you or the other people at the scene are injured. The other important steps include getting the other driver’s contact details.  You should also get contact information from the witnesses if any. Finally, take photos of the damages and injuries incurred after the accident. Having a police report on the scene to write a report is highly recommended. Lastly, seek medical attention where necessary. Then, you can start looking at the legal process. You can get in touch with the Law Offices of Joan M Lauricella; they offer free consultation on accident-related cases.

 Although you may be tempted not to hire a lawyer if injuries are not evident, the accident wasn’t your fault, or you have plenty of time to pursue a claim. Here are the main reasons to do so: 

Get legal counsel and representation

Getting a lawyer to represent you in court will help you have a stronger case in court. This is true even for cases that are settled out of court. People who choose self-representation may be at a disadvantage because the defendant’s lawyer can use the lack of representation to poke holes in your case and render you vulnerable. This scenario may lead to your case being dismissed on procedural or technical grounds. Having a legal representation will also give you peace of mind since your lawyer will work in your best interest.

It is a requirement in law

When an accident occurs, always make a point of exchanging contact information with the other parties involved, however minor the accident is. If both of you feel fine, check the car to assess for signs of damage.  Since an accident is an accident, a report must be made even if the accident is minor. Failure to report an accident is illegal in most states and could land you in serious problems. You also stand a chance of forfeiting any claims that may arise from the accident. States have a statute of limitations that govern aspects like personal injury claims and liability resulting from traffic accidents.  

You may receive a court summon 

Suppose you decide not to report a minor accident. In that case, you may be surprised to receive a court summons because the other driver may choose to report the incident, thereby leaving you at a disadvantage. Even if the summon does not lead to anything, avoid the temptation of admitting fault. This will safeguard your rights and ensure you don’t waste the court’s time. A personal injury lawyer will explain everything to you and keep you well-informed.

You may suffer hidden injuries

A minor car accident may turn out to be a serious injury a few days later. People often mistake associating injuries with major traumas and life-threatening conditions such as head injury and broken bones. The probability of making this mistake may be higher if you feel “fine” or assume there is nothing serious to warrant medical attention. To be on the safe side, never walk away from the scene of an accident before submitting a police report or insurance report. Lack of the report can make it very difficult to persuade a judge even if you have a medical report from a physician showing proof of injury.

Negotiating with the insurance company

Car accident claims include an entire medical cost (both current and future), lost wages, the award for pain and suffering, and disfigurement. If an assessment of a minor accident leads to compensation, the insurance company may move quickly to offer you a settlement. Since insurance companies are in the business of making money and will do everything to safeguard their bottom-line, accepting insurance settlement may mean limiting your compensation and giving up the right to sue. A personal injury lawyer will do their due diligence to ensure you get the best outcome in such situations, whether you are involved in a minor or serious accident.

Attorney service is offered on a contingency

The majority of personal injury attorneys operate based on contingency. In the arrangement, the attorney will wait to deduct his fee after a settlement is reached. You will also owe the attorney no fees if nothing is forthcoming. By hiring an attorney, you will also benefit from a quick evaluation to know whether a settlement is in the offing. This means you lose nothing by hiring a personal injury attorney.

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