Is It Worth Getting a Lawyer for a Minor Car Accident?
No car accident is the same. While some are severe and cause injuries to the people involved and damage to the vehicles, others are not as serious. But does an accident require talking to a lawyer, no matter its severity? Or can people deal with minor accidents all by themselves? Read on to find out.
Minor Accidents Defined
Minor accidents can be defined as any car accidents that result in no injuries to the people involved and only minor damage to the vehicles. Such damage can include dents, scratches, broken windows, or something similar.
On the other hand, major accidents are all accidents that involve physical injuries to the parties involved. Likewise, they involve severe damage to the vehicles, which require long and expensive repairs. An accident is seen as major even if there are no physical injuries, but the vehicles suffer a lot of damage.
Is Calling a Lawyer Necessary?
Most of the time, parties can settle a minor accident all by themselves. The parties involved should exchange numbers and contact details and assess the damage. They should take photos of the scene, record any witness statements, and write down their recollection of events.
Then, the parties can file insurance claims and settle matters with insurance companies. In most cases, this process goes smoothly. The parties get the funds they need to repair their vehicles and move on as if nothing has happened.
Still, while calling a lawyer is not a must, reporting the accident to the police definitely is. Apart from the fact that not doing so is illegal, filing a report is often the necessary basis for any insurance claim in the future. Thus, parties should always report the accident and then proceed as stated above.
Are There Any Exceptions?
However, settling some minor accidents can also require the assistance of a lawyer. For example, an experienced lawyer might be able to get the insurance company to offer people a bigger settlement than it otherwise would.
It is rather easy to see why that might be. A seasoned car accident attorney might notice certain facts and evidence that the parties involved can easily miss. These may include anything from the actual severity of the vehicle damage to some other possible factors that can be used in a claim.
Furthermore, an insurance company will always take a claim filed with the assistance of a lawyer more seriously than the one a person files on their own. It will not state that officially, but that is how the process works. Lawyers can easily notice small details and demand more money, which insurers want to avoid. But remember, always tell the insurance company about a car accident, even if it is a minor one.
Minor Car Accidents: What to Do?
The best thing to do in the case of a minor car accident is to find the middle ground. The party should not hire an attorney to file a claim for every minor thing. Instead, they should get a consultation at a law firm where an attorney can look over the case and offer legal advice.
Doing so is the best way to ensure that parties do not miss any evidence and that they truly get the compensation they deserve. In most cases, law firms offer these types of consultations for free, or they charge a rather small fee.
Either way, such a consultation will help the involved parties figure out where they stand and what type of compensation they can get. It will also minimize the possibility of the insurance company offering a low settlement. All in all, a consultation with a competent lawyer can often make all the difference when settling a case.
To Sum Up
Most of the time, people can file insurance claims after minor car accidents all by themselves. If there are no physical injuries, such as a broken neck or a whiplash, and the damage to the vehicles is minimal, no lawyer is necessary.
However, consulting a lawyer is still worth it. While people can always settle with an insurer, aggressive auto accident attorneys can help them make certain that the settlement is decent and that they get the money they deserve. Thus, talking to a lawyer, even if it is just once, is the smart thing to do. That is the case no matter what type of accident has occurred.