Should I Hire a Car Accident Lawyer After a Minor Accident?
Millions of car accidents happen every year in the state of New York. While some of these result in serious injuries and even death, a lot of car accidents are only minor fender benders. But what distinguishes a minor crash from a major one following an accident? And if someone is involved in a minor car crash, is seeking damages and getting help from a personal injury lawyer worth it? For answers to these questions and more useful information on what to do following a minor car accident, read through this blog.
Do You Know the Extent of Injuries and Damage?
Determining the extent of injuries and property damage following a car accident is incredibly important. Don’t worry about the car right away, as your first priority should be getting medical attention, especially if you know you’ve been injured. If you need medical attention right away, don’t hesitate to take a ride in the responding ambulance. This service is likely free, and even if it’s not, this cost will be offset if you’re awarded compensation later on.
At the Hospital
Once you’re at the hospital, you will be examined and treated by a medical professional, and they will have all that is needed to thoroughly examine you and treat you properly. On-site treatment from an EMT is certainly helpful, but you should make a point to see a medical professional at an equipped facility soon after the accident, as they’ll be able to get a detailed profile of you’re injures.
Often is the case that after a minor car accident, involved parties don’t believe they’re hurt as much as they are, only to find out later on they’ve sustained major injuries during and after the accident. A doctor will run a battery of tests to see exactly how you’re injured, and then they’ll document these injuries so you have a comprehensive record. This record will be critical when you go to file a claim. If you don’t get injuries treated immediately, it’ll be hard to prove that these are accident related later on.
Along similar lines, you should have your vehicle looked at after a car accident to ensure that it hasn’t sustained major damage under the hood. Even fender benders can misalign critical components and break parts that cost thousands to repair. You may need to get your car examined by a few mechanics to know just how badly it’s been damaged by the accident.
What if You Don’t File a Claim and the Other Party Does?
Following a collision, you may talk with the other involved party and agree that getting the insurance companies involved isn’t worth it. But it’s not wise to avoid making a claim with your insurance provider. After all, just because you agree to not take action doesn’t mean they won’t.
Moreover, if the other party files a claim against you first, this will make pursuing damages a lot harder. They will be prepared before you are, and this may wrong-foot you and put you on the defensive. With this in mind, you should contact a lawyer right away and tell them what happened. They’ll tell you if pursuing damages is worth it or not, and if you hire a lawyer before the other party files a claim, you’ll be in a much better position when the claim process gets rolling.
You Should Get the Claim Process in Motion as Soon as Possible
Getting the claim process in motion as soon as possible is a good move because evidence depreciates over time. Plus, you’ll probably have to abide by a statute of limitations, and some types of car accidents cases have statutes of limitations that are on the shorter side. For example, if you get involved in an accident with a government entity, you’ll need to file a claim within 30 days.
Generally, you have two years to file a claim against an at-fault party’s insurance provider. Being prepared and on the ball can also show the opposing insurance provider that you mean business, and they may be less inclined to use a bag of tricks on you if they know you’re seeking fair compensation and you won’t rest until you get it.
Determining the Value of a Car Accident Claim
If you’re not familiar with calculating a total damages figure, then you won’t be able to know for sure just how much you’ll need in compensation to offset all expenses associated with the accident. While some fixed costs can be accounted for, you’ll need an attorney to calculate personal injuries that are hard to quantify, like pain and suffering and loss of life enjoyment. You only have one chance to receive the compensation you deserve, which is why you need to account for everything before you seek damages.
Handling the Claim Process on Your Own
While it’s possible to handle the claim process on your own, most individuals don’t pursue this method. It’s better to have an experienced and skilled lawyer on your side. There’s an old adage in the legal industry that says: “An attorney who represents himself has a fool for a client.” If you represent yourself, you may let emotions get in the way and prevent you from achieving the positive outcome you deserve.
Why It’s Best to Talk Things Over With an Attorney
It’s best to hire a personal injury lawyer for a variety of reasons. They’ll make sure the claim process goes off without a hitch, and they’ll take care of the nitty-gritty so you can focus on recovery. They’ll negotiate with involved parties’ insurance providers, and should attempting to reach a settlement prove to be futile, they’ll take the case to court and present your position in front of a judge and jury. And since most lawyers work on contingency, you’ll only have to pay them if you win.
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Call 1-800-HURT-511 right away, as it’s likely the time you have to file a claim is running out.