Brian White | June 15, 2022 | Car Accidents
You might question your need for a lawyer to handle a minor car accident. Your skepticism may be justified – it all depends on how serious the accident was. If it was a minor fender-bender, your body suffered no impact, and your airbags didn’t inflate, you might not need a lawyer.
If you suffered anything more serious than that, hiring a lawyer is probably a good idea for several reasons.
Most Personal Injury Lawyers Offer Free Consultations
At the very least, you should schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer after a minor car accident. Since most personal injury attorneys offer free initial consultations, you can speak to a lawyer about whether or not you need their services.
Personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis, which means that if they fail to secure compensation for you, they earn nothing. This gives them no motivation to talk you into hiring them if you don’t need an attorney. More likely, they will refuse to take your case if they believe you don’t need a lawyer. It’s simply not in their interest to take on a case that doesn’t require their services, because there is too little money at stake.
It seems like common sense to assume that if you got hurt, you would know about it. The reality, however, is that you might not know about an injury for hours or even days after it occurs. The most common types of injuries with delayed symptoms are soft tissue injuries (to the neck, for example) and head injuries.
Common symptoms include:
- Back pain
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty concentrating
- Neck stiffness
- Numbness in your hands or feet
- Reduced range of motion
- Shoulder pain
Failure to secure medical confirmation of these symptoms immediately after your accident invites the opposing party to claim that your injuries didn’t occur until after the accident. If the accident didn’t cause your injuries, the defendant owes you nothing – and neither does the insurance company.
One of the reasons you should talk to a lawyer after a “minor” accident is that your claim might be worth more than you think it is. In most cases, you are entitled to far more than simple reimbursement for your medical bills and lost earnings.
A personal injury lawyer can make sure you obtain compensation for every element of your personal injury claim, including the following non-economic damages:
- pain and suffering
- emotional distress
- physical disfigurement
- loss of fertility
- loss of sexual function
- loss of a limb
- loss of mobility
- loss of enjoyment of life
Of course, many of these conditions will not apply to accidents that are so mild that you question whether you even need a lawyer to resolve them. Nevertheless, certain items, such as pain and suffering and emotional distress, could factor into your damages, especially if you suffer delayed symptoms.
The Opposing Party Might Try to Blame You for the Accident
It’s not uncommon for a defendant to try to blame you for the accident – or try to hold you responsible for pre-existing injuries that they falsely attribute to the accident (back problems, for example).
You will need a lawyer if this happens. Holding you partially responsible for the accident is a common tactic because it limits a defendant’s financial liability. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be well-versed in pushing back against this to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.
You Might Make an Error That Could Jeopardize Your Case
There are hundreds of possible mistakes you might make that could jeopardize your case, such as:
- Talking about your case on social media
- Negotiating with the insurance adjuster on your own (unless you are a professional negotiator)
- Apologizing for the accident just to be polite
- Accepting a “lowball” offer because the hospital is pressuring you for money now
There are many other ways to endanger your case that your lawyer can protect you against and warn you about in advance.
The Consequences of Failing to Hire a Lawyer When You Need One After a Minor Car Accident
If you fail to hire a lawyer when you need one, the best-case scenario is that you receive less money than you are entitled to. The worst-case scenario is you will actually have to pay compensation to the driver who caused the accident. Don’t let it happen to you. Contact a car accident attorney after a minor collision to preserve your legal rights and protect yourself against unexpected claims.
Contact the Houston Car Accident Lawyers at Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers For Help
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers
3120 Southwest Freeway, Suite 350
Houston, TX 77098
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – East Fwy
11811 East Fwy, Suite 630-06
Houston, TX 77029
Attorney Brian White Personal Injury Lawyers – South Loop
2600 S Loop W, Suite 293
Houston, TX 77054