If you’ve recently been in a minor car crash, you might wonder whether it’s worth hiring a car accident attorney. To avoid further problems, most accident victims should speak to a lawyer as soon as possible to find out whether they should claim compensation, to get help with insurance claims, and to protect themselves from lawsuits by the other party.
Do You Need a Car Accident Attorney After a Small Accident?
After an accident, you might think that everything is all right and the damage is minor. But after the initial shock has worn off, more serious issues could surface. What’s more, the other party might file a lawsuit, or you could run into trouble with your insurance company.
Since many of the best law firms offer free initial consultations, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t reach out and discuss your case with a professional. A good attorney can help you examine the evidence and make sure that you’re not missing out on money that could pay for your car repairs, medical bills, and the loss of income during your recovery period.
There Might Be Hidden Injuries
Every year, 3 million people are injured in car accidents in the US, and 2 million of them suffer from permanent health issues as a result. Initially, you might believe that the minor crash you were in didn’t cause any damage, but this might not be correct. The body produces a lot of adrenaline during a crash, which might initially mask the extent of your injuries.
As your hormone levels normalize within a few hours or days, you’ll start to feel worse. But if you didn’t file a police report at the site of the accident, you might not be able to claim compensation for your medical bills and loss of income. After a crash, you should always file a report, then speak to a doctor. A few days later, you should retain a lawyer, who can help you figure out the next steps and file your insurance paperwork.
Dealing with Insurance Companies and Difficult Situations
It’s likely that you’ll have to make an insurance claim to cover the costs of your accident, which might include damage to your car and losses caused by your injuries. Although an insurance policy’s purpose is to protect you, the adjusters are likely to offer you a lower amount than you’re entitled to. This is because the company is trying to reduce its losses and pay out as little as possible.
A good lawyer can negotiate with the insurance company and help you get the correct amount. What’s more, they can help you deal with special circumstances. For example, around 13% of US drivers are uninsured. If you’ve had an accident with an uninsured motorist, you’ll have to check whether your own policy covers the losses or, if not, whether it’s worth filing a lawsuit and requesting compensation directly from the driver.
The Other Party Might File a Lawsuit
It is estimated that around 10 million crashes go unreported every year. But if you and the other driver verbally agree not to report what happened, there’s no guarantee that they will uphold their end of the bargain. Even if the accident was clearly the other motorist’s fault, there’s a small chance that they will file a lawsuit and attempt to sue you for damages, especially if there were no third-party witnesses.
While those types of claims usually go nowhere, they can significantly disrupt your life and, in some cases, even require you to appear in court. To prevent this from happening, you should always report the crash and then retain a lawyer. That way, you can reduce the stress and anxiety that comes with a personal injury lawsuit.
What to Do After an Accident
So, how should you conduct yourself during and after a car crash? The priority is always to make sure everyone is safe. Check whether there are any serious injuries and call emergency services if necessary. Then, you should call the police and report the incident. While you wait for help, you’ll have to exchange insurance information with the other driver and take pictures or video footage of the scene of the accident.
If there are any eyewitnesses, you should also attempt to get their contact details. This information could prove invaluable as you build your case. When the police arrive, respond clearly to all their questions and make sure a report is filed. Once you’ve left the site of the accident, visit a doctor’s office to have your injuries examined. Finally, you can call a College Station car wreck attorney, who will examine the evidence and determine where to go from here.