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Should You Hire a Lawyer for a Minor Car Accident?

Car accidents happen to nearly everyone at some point in their lives. People often think about serious car accidents that completely destroy vehicles and cause serious injuries. In reality, many car accidents are mundane fender-benders that will nonetheless cause you significant inconvenience. Aside from the obvious, immediate consequences of destroying any plans you had that day, a minor car accident could burden you with an unexpected repair bill or short hospital stay. While some car accidents very obviously prompt people to lawyer up, sometimes people doubt whether it is worth it.

Even if your accident was minor, you should still consider working with a lawyer. In some cases, even minor vehicle damage can add up to thousands of dollars you need compensation for. Minor accidents can also cause surprising injuries, like back and neck injuries, that you might not notice in the immediate aftermath of the crash.

Call the car accident lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to talk about your case.

Is it Worth Calling a Lawyer for a Minor Car Crash?

You should always speak to a car accident lawyer after you are in a car accident, no matter how small. Minor damage to your vehicle can still be very expensive to repair. Additionally, damage from an accident that might first appear superficial could, in reality, be more serious after your vehicle is inspected. In the worst case, your car could be totaled, even in a minor accident, and you will need to pay for an entirely new vehicle.

Insurance might not necessarily cover all types of damages for vehicles, and you may need to fight for financial compensation in court. Doing so without the help of a car accident lawyer can be incredibly difficult.

Types of Minor Car Accidents

Generally speaking, a minor car accident is one that you can drive away from without much issue. The vehicle might be banged up with dents or other mangled parts, but it can still function on the road. It is still worth contacting a lawyer for many of these types of car accidents, even if they see minor.

Rear-End Collisions

Sometimes, cars follow each other a little too closely on the road and bump into each other. The most common type of damage from this kind of accident is dents in the bumper or fender of the vehicles involved. If the collision happened at lower speeds, both cars might still be able to drive away from the collision. Nevertheless, you should stay put to assess the damage and document the crash. You might even end up with minor back or neck injuries you did not notice at the time of the accident.

Improper Merging

Switching lanes can be dangerous if one or more drivers misjudge how much distance is between their car and other motor vehicles. A side impact could dent your doors or damage your car’s steering if the wheels or axel are damaged. While you might be able to drive away, it will be more difficult than driving an undamaged vehicle.

Hitting a Parked Vehicle

Sometimes, a wayward driver can hit your vehicle when it is parked on the side of the street. The likely difficulty in this situation is that there is no guarantee that the other driver will remain at the site of the crash, especially if you were not in or near the vehicle when the accident happened. Still, make sure to document what you can about the damage to your vehicle.

What to Do After a Minor Car Accident

There are steps you should take right after any car accident to make sure a minor incident does not balloon out of control. Do not leave the scene of the accident, and make sure to cooperate with any police officers or other first responders that come to the scene.

Call Emergency Services

Even if nobody got injured in the accident, you should call 911 so they can get to the accident and assess the situation. Debris from two colliding vehicles could be strewn about on the road, making it dangerous for other drivers, and emergency services might need to cordon off that portion of the street. Moreover, the adrenaline spike from being in a car accident, even a minor one, can hide injuries that may have happened to you. Medical professionals can assess whether you need to be checked out by a doctor or can continue to go about your day after the accident has been resolved.

Get the Other Driver’s Information

Get the other driver’s name and exchange insurance information. If you can, take a picture of or write down their license plate number. Your insurance company and theirs will likely fight over who has to pay for what after the accident, so obtaining the other driver’s information will be of assistance to your insurance company in this process and helps guard against insurance companies claiming you have to pay for something you should not be paying for.

Document the Accident

Make a record of anything you can at the scene of the accident. Take numerous pictures of both your vehicle and any other damaged vehicles. It might be helpful to write down some notes while the facts of the accident are fresh in your memory. These notes could be helpful in any court case or insurance claim that comes after the car accident.

Make sure to talk to any police officers who respond to the accident. They will document your side of the story. While it might be daunting to talk to law enforcement, the less desirable alternative is that the other person involved in the accident talks to the police and gets to tell the story of the accident how they see fit.

Do not admit that the accident was your fault in any way. That must be proven in court. Do not say statements like “It was my bad” or “I messed up.” These phrases may sound innocuous, but insurance companies and courts can take them to be admissions of fault which could harm you in the future.

Hire a Car Accident Lawyer

Retain legal counsel as soon as you can after the accident. Even if you do not plan to file a lawsuit, the other driver might be, and you should prepare for that potential eventuality.

Additionally, a car accident lawyer can help you through any difficulties you might have with insurance companies after an accident.

Call Our Car Accident Lawyers for a Free Case Review

Reach out to our car accident lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 for a free case review.