A car accident occurs when a vehicle hits or damages another vehicle, or object which may or may not result in an injury to a person or animal. You don’t necessarily need to own a car to be an accident victim. It can happen to anyone, you can simply be walking on the sidewalk or as a passenger returning from work. It can be quite a dramatic experience for anyone to be involved in a car accident even a minor car accident. Minor car accidents happen every day all around the world. Sometimes it’s insignificant to the point that you don’t need to get the insurance company involved. The question that you may be asking yourself is “should I hire a lawyer for a minor car accident”.
Minor Car Accident That Does Not Require A Car Accident Lawyer
It is not necessary to hire a car accident lawyer if the car accident does not include another car, animal or person. For instance, you drove the car out of your garage, unfortunately, the door got a minor car scratch and thankfully you did not sustain any injury because you were driving at a low speed of approximately 5km per hour. In this case, you may not need to contact the insurance company, much less for an accident attorney. However, if you do own a Ferrari or Mercedes and the door was scratch, you should contact your insurance company to cover the cost because painting a door of such a high-end car can be very expensive. Other than that you can repair the scratch yourself or contact an auto body repair and painting shop.
Minor Car Accident That May Require A Car Accident Lawyer
You may have been involved in a minor accident where you were not the driver, you were simply riding your bicycle on a glorious sunny day and a car ran off the road and onto the sidewalk where you were. The automobile did not hit you but it was so close that it caused you to fall off your bicycle, and you found yourself beneath the vehicle. You looked at yourself and saw no visible injuries. You told the driver that you are fine but your bicycle was not that lucky. The driver made a police report and submitted a claim to his insurance company, where the legal team and adjusters were ensuring that their business remains profitable and their client is satisfied. You were shortly contacted by the insurance lawyers to accept the offer of settlement to repair your bicycle. You believe the compensation was fair and accepted the offer. Two weeks later you began experiencing neck pain and headache so you visited the doctor’s office. There the doctor informed you that the aches and pains were due to the car accident.
Another example of a minor car accident that may require the intervention of a car accident lawyer is low-speed collisions. If a car was hit from behind, at the side, or in front etc… at low speed, most people believe that you cannot sustain any personal injury if the collision speed of the vehicle is low. This is not true! Medically speaking whiplash in a minor car accident begins at 10 km/hour. Even at these low speeds. A vehicle can also not be moving but with a sudden impact, your body can jerk forward causing a whiplash that you may experience two to three days after. Whiplash can cause a wide range of symptoms, which may include:
- Pain and soreness
- Difficulty moving
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Confusion, memory loss, and other cognitive problems
These symptoms can result in accident victims not working or losing their jobs and unable to perform daily activities such as taking a bath exercising or eating. Also, there could be future unforeseen medical costs and fees that you may have to pay. You may require consistent, medical treatment, hospital visits to the doctor’s office, as well as physical therapy, medication, and rehabilitative care.
If you are uncertain that you are at fault or you believe that the accident was staged you should consider hiring a lawyer. It is sad to say but scammers are looking to make money by deliberately causing a car accident to sue for car property damage and medical injuries. These scammers are so organized that they even have fake witnesses, doctors and lawyers to support their claims. There are several types of staged accident that these criminals employ to rob insurance companies and cause you suffering in the process, such as:
- Panic Stop – the scammers drive their vehicle in front of you and then suddenly slam on the brakes without giving you sufficient space or time for you to apply brakes.
- Drive Down – the scam artist will wave at you to turn or merge at an intersection. When you begin to turn, the scammer will speed up enough to cause a crash. The scammer will then claim the victim appeared out of nowhere.
If you believe you are a victim of a staged car accident resulting in an increase in your insurance premium and personal injury you should seek the advice of an attorney.
Every car accident is unique, and injuries can take many forms. If you were part of a minor car accident in which objects, people, or cars were involved, then you probably should seek an attorney who is knowledgeable in car accident law to ensure that you are correctly compensated and receive the best representation possible. Hiring a car accident lawyer is required in some cases especially when injuries occur. It is best to talk to a lawyer sooner rather than later because depending on the state in which the car accident happens the limitation period for filing your claim may expire. Retain an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible so he/she can help you secure evidence that might otherwise be lost. This also provides them with more time to conduct a thorough investigation of your claim.
How to Locate Car Accident Lawyers Near Me?
If you have decided to get a lawyer to represent you with the legal matters you can easily reach a car accident lawyer in your area online using Google Map. It is less stressful and reassuring when a lawyer represents you. You can follow the steps below to easily locate several well-known car accident lawyers near you:
Step 1 – Go to Google Map
Step 2 – In the search box type in “car accident lawyer (and your location)” (example: car accident lawyer in New York, auto repair lawyers in Texas, etc…) and press enter.
Step 3 – On the desktop view, you will see a listing of lawyers or law firms located on the left. On your mobile phones, the auto repair lawyers nearby will be located below the map.
Step 4 – You can click on the “website icon” on the desktop view to learn more about the law firm or click on the “direction icon” to learn how to get to the lawyers’ location. On the mobile view, you have the option to click on the “phone icon” to contact the lawyer immediately.
What To Do In A Minor Accident
- Stop and do not keep driving. When you get in a minor accident sometimes parties involve in the accident just continue to drive and this is not a good idea. This is illegal and immoral, just stop the car and do not continue driving, you cannot understand or see the whole picture until you stop and get out of your car to analyze the situation.
- Report the matter to the authorities. You may need to contact the police or/and call a specific accident number. It is recommended to report the matter immediately because the information is easier to recall. If you are harm or injured in any way you should deal with that first. However, we are focusing specifically on a minor car accident so you should report the matter instantly.
- Take pictures of the scene and damages. You need to take pictures from all different angles and directions where the accident occurred since pictures can bring the truth to reality when your memory cannot. Soon as you get in your car and drive off there will no longer be any proof that the accident occurred, your pictures may be the only thing that may help you win your lawsuit.
- Move the cars off the road. Being a minor accident the cars should be able to move to prevent traffic or chaos on the street. You don’t want to ruin hundreds of other person life because your car is taking up a lane when you could of simply move your car onto a side street or parking lot.
- Exchange information with the parties involved in the accident. It’s very important to get the names, driver’s permit, car license and insurance policy because this will be necessary when reporting the incident to the police and your insurance company. Also if you do exchange information before leaving it will be difficult to get the information later since you have limited information to contact the other parties involved.
- Get witness information. If there was anyone that you can identify that witnessed the accident ask them if they will be willing to submit a statement. Exchange information with them as well.
- Contact your insurance company. When you call your insurance company you will need to report the accident to see if it necessary that you submit a claim. If you decided to submit a claim, you will need to get an understanding of your deductible and coverage, submit a statement of the accident, provide the police report and other relevant documents. Err on the side of caution and report the incident because you may not be aware of the injury you sustain immediately.
It’s often best to consult a car accident lawyer shortly after an automobile accident to help you decide what to do. Having a car accident lawyer in the insurance claims process can yield a stronger outcome, even in minor accident cases. Minor traffic collisions can result in injuries. If those injuries are minor, the innocent party might only have a small claim. Small claims court is reserved for disputes below $10,000.00 in total damages. Whereas motor vehicle and negligence claims of damages totaling more than $10,000.00 are civil actions in the Superior Court. You may probably want to take your matter to a small claims court if your case cannot be resolved at the insurance claim level.