This site uses cookies.

Should I Hire a Lawyer After a Minor Car Accident?

Consideration was given for the editing and publication of this post.

In summary, yes. It would help if you spoke to a lawyer after your involvement in a car accident. Doing this ensures careful consideration of your legal options and how to proceed. Remember that consulting with a car accident lawyer in Federal Way has more to do with the injuries you've sustained than the extent of the accident itself.

Are you worried about why you need to hire a car accident lawyer despite being involved in a minor accident? Your worry is valid. There are thousands of online searches like this every month. The answer is simple, yes. Speaking to a personal injury lawyer just after your involvement in a minor accident can save you a lot of stress and hassles. In fact, that may be the only reason you'll be able to file and win a personal injury claim later.

Most drivers see minor car accidents as uneventful encounters. However, it may quickly become a nightmare, especially if you suffer hidden injuries or delayed symptoms. Contacting a personal injury lawyer right after the accident can change the entire trajectory of the case. Most injury lawyers will advise that you get checked as quickly as possible. They will also advise that you report the accident to your insurance provider while taking down the other driver's details. These steps are essential for building your case at a later date, especially when you decide to file an accident injury claim.

Consider these scenarios if you're still unsure about speaking to a car accident lawyer after a seemingly minor car accident.

Hidden Injuries 

A minor car accident may not be much to think about but can spark changes that may gravely affect your life and health. Scientific and medical studies have shown that humans can suffer several injuries from minor car accidents. These injuries may not necessarily show up instantly but may gather momentum over the next few days or weeks.

For example, getting hit from behind may send a sudden jolt through your body from the neck downward with no other apparent symptoms. However, this may result in more complex and complicated health issues like concussions and traumatic brain injury at a later date.

Drivers and passengers need to consider injuries as physical and internal alterations that should be addressed instantly. Speaking to a car accident attorney may encourage you to seek medical help, which may uncover any hidden issues.

However, shaking hands with the other person and driving off or failing to make a police report means you may have forfeited your chance of pursuing a personal injury claim.

Claims against you 

There's a chance that you may be sued by the other party even though you didn't think you were at fault. The other party may be looking for compensation for the damages to their vehicle, causing them to file charges against you.

Proving your innocence in this case and ultimately demanding compensation for the original damages you suffered may become tricky and complicated. Consider the costs of hiring a defense attorney to represent you. Although this case may not go far, it will surely affect your pocket and waste your time.

To avoid being boxed into a "you say, they said" situation, it is always better to report your accident to the police, make a report, and speak to your attorney. Your injury lawyer can appropriately document the events of the day while they watch your health and response.

With evidence in place, it'll be easier to counter any claims directed at you or to initiate a personal injury claim based on delayed symptoms or hidden injuries.

What To Do When Involved in a Minor Car Accident

Having established the importance of speaking to a car accident lawyer after minor accidents, you should also know the dos and don'ts of such cases. It is in your best interest to assess the damage done to your vehicle and exchange information with the other driver.

You should also make sure that the appropriate local authorities are informed about the accident. Law enforcement officers will be dispatched to the scene following your call, and a formal report can be made. Ensure that you state all the obvious and important facts, including the date and time of the accident, weather conditions, the extent of damage and any injuries sustained.

Obtain a copy of the police report and take as many pictures and videos of the accident scene. Also, make sure to exchange important insurance information with the other driver. Call your insurance company to report the case, seek medical attention to ensure you're in good shape, and speak to a personal injury lawyer.

Your car accident lawyer will be in a better position to advise you on the next steps to take, whether to pursue an injury claim or not.

Mistakes to Avoid After a Minor Car Accident

Following a minor car accident, ensure that you do not make any of the following mistakes:

Leaving the accident scene without reporting it to the police. Many states consider it a crime to leave the scene of an accident before the police arrive. It can also count against you during the claims process. It is advisable to stay until the police arrive, make a formal report, and obtain a copy of the said report.

Failing to gather relevant evidence. One of the first things to do after a minor accident is to gather relevant evidence proving your position in the case. Take photos and videos of the accident scene. Collect the other driver's insurance information, gather information about eyewitnesses, and record the date, time, and weather condition of when the accident occurred. Also, seek medical attention after leaving the scene.

Not getting medical attention. Not seeing a doctor makes it harder to prove that your injuries were due to the accident you were involved in. It may also cripple your claims case and affect your chances of claiming compensation. Irrespective of how minor you consider the accident to be, seek medical attention as quickly as possible.

Always remember that it is more about the health of the individual than the extent of the car damage in the accident. Speaking to a personal injury lawyer will always pay off and can be your ticket to winning the deserved compensation.

 

All information on this site was believed to be correct by the relevant authors at the time of writing. All content is for information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. No liability is accepted by either the publisher or the author(s) for any errors or omissions (whether negligent or not) that it may contain. 

The opinions expressed in the articles are the authors' own, not those of Law Brief Publishing Ltd, and are not necessarily commensurate with general legal or medico-legal expert consensus of opinion and/or literature. Any medical content is not exhaustive but at a level for the non-medical reader to understand. 

Professional advice should always be obtained before applying any information to particular circumstances.

Excerpts from judgments and statutes are Crown copyright. Any Crown Copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller of OPSI and the Queen’s Printer for Scotland under the Open Government Licence.