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Should I Hire a Lawyer for a Minor Car Accident?

Posted on October 2, 2018

Most states require drivers to call the police to report any accidents that result in bodily injury, death, or significant property damage, but what does a driver do after a very minor accident? It’s possible that an insurance claim will be enough to cover the damages from a small fender-bender, but how does a driver tell when it’s a good time to hire an attorney? Attorneys’ fees may be expensive, but hiring an attorney is the best way to maximize your recovery after a car accident.

Determining Fault

One example of when a driver should hire an attorney is if an accident occurs and fault is unclear at first. A driver may believe that another caused the accident, or two drivers could potentially share fault for the accident. Fault can impact an insurance claim or a future legal settlement, so it’s vital for any driver in such a situation to find legal representation.

An attorney can help if an at-fault driver denies liability for a client’s damages or when a client shares fault for an accident. Many states follow comparative negligence laws that allow plaintiffs to recover compensation even if they are partially at fault for their damages. An attorney can help ensure a client does not absorb more fault than he or she deserves and explore additional channels of compensation that may be available to the client. An attorney can also help defend a client who was at fault for an accident and strive to mitigate his or her liability, if possible.

Long-Term Medical Issues From Car Accidents

It’s possible for a car accident to cause only very minor damage to the vehicles involved, but a driver may still sustain serious injuries. Some internal injuries do not manifest noticeable symptoms immediately, or a car accident may aggravate a preexisting condition for a driver. An attorney can help an injured driver determine his or her best options for recovery, and a good attorney will consult expert witnesses who can help shed light on a client’s condition for a jury.

Any type of long-term or permanent injury will require significant medical treatment. An injured driver without legal representation runs the risk of overlooking a few types of compensation he or she may not have even realized were available. If any car accident, even a minor one, results in permanent or long-term injury or disability, an injured driver should hire an attorney. Proving the extent of these injuries, especially proving the damage done to a preexisting condition, is extremely difficult and requires input from expert witnesses.

Settlement Disputes

A driver may also believe he or she can settle a car accident issue with an insurance claim or through the small claims court. However, an insurer may deny coverage for an accident for several reasons, or there may be a dispute over the amount the driver receives. An attorney can help resolve issues with insurance companies and minimize the chances of pushback against legitimate accident claims. An attorney can help draft a strong initial demand letter for an insurance claim and handle correspondence with insurance companies and their adjusters.

Benefits of Legal Counsel

Ultimately, one of the best advantages of hiring an attorney for a minor car accident claim is the injured driver will not have to worry about the legal issues during recovery. An attorney will know the local court system and how local judges approach car accident claims. This not only increases a claimant’s chances of securing compensation for a car accident but will also likely lead to more compensation than the claimant could have secured alone without representation. Even a minor car accident can lead to significant damages, so any driver in such a situation should carefully consider the benefits of hiring a Birmingham car accident attorney.