Should I Get a Lawyer for a Minor Car Accident
You’re driving through an intersection when another driver blows through a stop sign and hits your car. Luckily, no one was catastrophically hurt and the front bumper took the bulk of the impact. Do you even need a lawyer for such a minor accident? Most of the time, the answer is yes. If damages and injuries in a vehicle accident are minor, you may avoid seeking legal representation. However, without a lawyer to act on your behalf, you may not receive the compensation you deserve. No matter how minor the damages or injuries may seem, it is often a wise idea to seek advice from a qualified car accident lawyer in Atlanta, Ga.
What to Do After a Minor Car Accident
Knowing how to handle a minor car accident can help ensure a favorable outcome down the road. Even a minor car accident can cause emotional turmoil, especially if you’re not sure how to proceed. When you’re unprepared, you may fail to gather the information you need from the other driver which can cause delays with the insurance company. It’s important to realize that even a small accident can result in expensive repairs and medical bills.
Immediately after a car accident, you’ll want to check for injuries. If you or a passenger is found to have injuries or are experiencing pain, call an ambulance immediately. Also, look around at the accident site. If you see smoke or smell gasoline, keep your distance from the vehicle. It’s important to remain calm and in control as you speak with the other driver. After calling the police, exchange phone numbers and insurance policy information with the other driver. If possible, take photos of the driver’s insurance card and license, as well as the accident scene.
Even if you are found not to be at fault, report the accident to your car insurance carrier. The phone number should be listed on your policy or insurance card. You will also want to obtain a copy of the police report as soon as possible. If you suffered no injuries and feel that you can obtain adequate compensation for any damages to your vehicle from the other driver’s insurance company on your own, you may not need a lawyer. In fact, most lawyers will not become involved in a case involving solely property damage, since, in most cases, a lawyer cannot impact the value of your car repairs.
Circumstances When You Should Hire a Lawyer
There are certain circumstances in which it is best to obtain the advice of a lawyer. In cases where liability is unclear or there is a dispute between drivers regarding who is responsible for the accident, you should talk to a lawyer. You may also want a lawyer when an insurance settlement has been initiated. A lawyer will review the offer to determine if it is an acceptable amount based on the individual case. If the payment is not accurate, a lawyer can negotiate a better payment on your behalf.
You may also need a lawyer on your side if your insurance claim is denied. Often times, technicalities are the cause behind denied claims. Even technicalities that are minor in nature can cause the innocent party to suffer stress and wasted time as they try to remedy the problem. When you hire a lawyer, he or she can contest the denial and help you obtain the compensation that you are legally entitled to.
Even minor car accidents can cause unexpected medical problems. In some cases, a minor injury can exacerbate an existing condition resulting in chronic pain. When this occurs, you need a lawyer to help you navigate your legal options. After suffering an injury from a car accident, the victim may not be able to return to the same line of work or may have to abstain from their favorite recreational activities. This can not only affect the victim but also the victim’s family, especially if there is a loss of wages. These types of factors are all considered when a lawsuit is in question.
Hiring a Lawyer After a Car Accident
Not all automobile accidents result in debilitating injuries or extensive property damage. When car accidents are seen as trivial, it’s easy to move on with life and accept what the insurance company offers. However, most drivers will find out later on that contacting a lawyer even in minor car accident cases is a good practice.
Remember, a lawyer will generally not charge you until you receive your settlement, meaning there is no reason to delay your lawsuit. It is usually well worth your time to schedule a meeting with a lawyer soon after the accident to see where you stand.
Before you can continue with a lawsuit, you may need to comply with certain rules such as filing a police report within a certain amount of time. Each state has its own set of requirements that need to be followed. Failure to follow these rules and regulations can result in the inability to sue. That is why it’s important to talk with a legal expert who is familiar with local, state, and federal laws pertaining to car accident claims. Your lawyer will ensure that you do not do anything that could possibly jeopardize your right to sue the responsible party.
If this is your first car accident or if you are unfamiliar with the settlement process, you may not receive fair treatment after your car accident. Most automobile accident cases settle out of court, meaning the defendant’s insurance company will likely make you an offer. If you choose to accept this offer, you give up your ability to proceed with a lawsuit. A lawyer can evaluate your case to see if this is the best option for you.
Schedule a consultation with a qualified Atlanta personal injury lawyer at The Dixon Firm, P.C. to learn more about how to best handle your minor car accident case.