It’s rush hour and the traffic is bumper-to-bumper. Work was long today, and you can’t wait to get home. The driver in the lineup of cars behind you looks down at their phone. They must lift their foot off the brake. It happens in slow motion: they crash right into your car.
Has that kind of a minor car crash ever happened to you or a loved one? What should you do? Though nerve-racking, why would you need a car accident attorney?
What Do You Do in a Minor Car Accident?
If you were in a car accident, no matter how small, there are a few things you need to do. Your car accident attorney won’t be in the car with you, so your first several steps are crucial.
- STOP. Never drive away from the scene of an accident, even a minor one.
- PROTECT THE SCENE. Don’t try to move anything around. Keep the scene and yourself safe. You don’t want to compromise a future personal injury lawsuit.
- CALL THE POLICE. If you leave the scene of a minor car accident without filing a police report, that’s a big problem. Later, when you call your car accident attorney, they need the police report.
- MAKE AN ACCURATE RECORD. Witnesses are key. Get their phone numbers and accounts of what happened. No detail is too small. Your car accident lawyer identifies the most important details for you later on. Also, weeks down the line, the other party in the crash might take you to court. You need to make sure you account for everything.
- TAKE PICTURES. Auto accidents are stressful. They can skew your memory of what happened. Pictures are a fool-proof way to record any damage and evidence you need in the future. You might not even realize all that happened without pictures.
- EXCHANGE INFORMATION. This step is vital. Make sure you have the other party’s contact and insurance information.
- REPORT THE ACCIDENT. File your police report. Also, call your car accident attorney. They will help you with your insurance claim and everything else along the way.
- SEEK MEDICAL ATTENTION. Whiplash, emotional trauma and muscle or bone injuries are just a few medical issues that can come from a minor car accident. Seek medical treatment. Your car accident attorney can get you the right compensation for your medical bills.
Should I Tell My Insurance Company About a Minor Car Accident?
File a police report after a car crash, but also tell your insurance company.
Let’s say that soon after your car crash, you decide to bring your case to court for the right compensation. If you filed an insurance claim and a police report, your car accident attorney has a much higher chance of winning your case.
Keep in mind that you should never admit fault when you call the police or insurance company. Not only will it impede your case if you have to escalate it to the courtroom. But the other person involved in the crash then has more of a chance to take it to court themselves, with you at fault.
Examples of Minor Auto Accidents
Let’s go back to that rush-hour auto accident example. Here are some examples of what to expect with your vehicle:
- Small side dents or scratches
- Busted headlights or taillights
- Front or rear bumper dents
- Cracked windshield
- Damaged tires
Why Should You Hire a Car Accident Attorney Even for a Minor Accident?
Those examples might not seem like much. So why would you need legal representation? Wouldn’t auto accident lawyers just cost more money?
Here are some of the many reasons you should hire a car accident attorney after a minor accident:
- Delayed injuries. There are a lot of injuries that you start to feel days after a car crash: tendon strains, neck pain, head trauma and more. Your medical bills pile up. A car accident attorney knows how to get you the right compensation.
- Opposing claims. To your surprise, you might get a court summons even a month after your car accident from the other party. But what if you weren’t at fault? A personal injury attorney knows what to do.
- Tricky insurance companies. Insurance companies are out for the biggest buck. They don’t want to pay you what you deserve. The best car accident attorney knows how to deal with them.
- Free representation. Almost every personal injury attorney works on a contingency fee. You only pay them a percentage of your payout if they win your case. Either way, you won’t put yourself in a financial hole if you hire one.
If you need a law firm for a personal injury, look no further than The Sandel Law Firm. We don’t have a broad range of cases. Instead, we focus on your personal injury case with insider knowledge. We know that you’re a unique person with a unique case.