Should I Consult an Attorney After a Minor Car Accident?

Take the next four steps: 

  • Sharp automobile glass fragments on the asphalt
  • Even if the collision is small, always share driver information!
  • Take images of ALL of the vehicles involved in the collision.
  • Check yourself for injuries as soon as possible.
  • If you are injured, contact a car accident attorney.

Yes, even if the accident was small, you should consult a lawyer. Here’s the deal… That inquiry has little to do with the vehicle accident and is more concerned with your injuries. If you were wounded in a vehicle accident, you should contact a car accident lawyer as soon as possible.

After a difficult day, you find yourself at a red light. You reach down to adjust the channel on the radio when…BAM! You were struck by another vehicle that was not paying attention. You both exit your vehicles to inspect the damage. You’re both alright, and your automobiles have just minimal damage. It’s been a hard day, so you decide not to contact the cops or share any information between the two of you. Is it really necessary to engage a lawyer after a minor vehicle accident?

Is it really necessary to make such a huge deal out of this? Maybe we can simply forget about it and move on with our lives. After all, you want to go home, and the last thing you want to do is wait by the side of the road, annoy all these other vehicles, and sit here annoyed and upset… so you leave.

That was your first mistake, and it was the worst one you could have done. 

Failure to make a police report after an automobile collision, even if it’s minor, is criminal in most jurisdictions. When you get in your vehicle and drive away, you commit a felony. It makes no difference whether you believe you were not wounded or if the cars were not damaged. Even if it’s simply a little vehicle accident, an accident is still an accident.

Furthermore, after you leave the site of an automobile collision, it becomes considerably more difficult to gather information. Even simple vehicle accidents become complicated. So, whether you want to engage a lawyer after a small vehicle accident or not, this is your chance. Before leaving the site, you should consider contacting the police.

Aside from the legality of the situation, you may have just destroyed whatever prospective claim you had against the other motorist. Even if your vehicle is undamaged. Here’s the issue:

Injuries That Go Unnoticed

According to studies, there are various injuries that may occur in small automobile accidents that do not manifest themselves for several days after the occurrence. You’re smacked from behind, but you’re not hurt and you’re alright. You don’t seem to be injured, and you’d know if you were, wouldn’t you?

Not all of the time. People often associate “injuries” with shattered bones, lacerations, and even brain trauma. Our thoughts turn to serious, life-altering situations. We seldom think about discolored tendons, strained ligaments, or contusions, but we should.

If your body lurched forward, your neck jerked back, or you moved forward suddenly, you may wake up with significant back discomfort the following day or the next. The adrenaline from an accident might conceal an injury. Most Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys would advise you to contact a doctor as quickly as possible to rule out any concealed ailments.

If you leave the scene without notifying the police or your insurance (or both), you will have a tough time proving your personal injury in court, even if you have a medical expert on your side.

The “Other” Person

What if you exchanged information with the other motorist, shook hands, and went about your business without informing the authorities about the small vehicle accident?

You are summoned to court some weeks later because the “other” individual has filed their own lawsuit against you. You know they were at fault, and you know the injuries and property damage they claim you inflicted are exaggerated, if not outright fraudulent. Remember when you opted to leave without filing a report? You’ve officially entered a “you say, they say” scenario.

In reality, most of these outfits will not go you very far. After all, the other person had also departed the scene. But do you really want to go through the trouble and effort it will take to respond to the summons, maybe present for hearings, and fight on your side when you know you were right? You probably have more important things to do!

“Do not admit fault or reveal policy limits,” says another fantastic guideline. That comes directly from the Geico insurance website. Take caution with what you do and say!

What to Do After a Minor Automobile Accident

Perhaps you and the other party did not leave the small vehicle collision. Perhaps slight damage to one or both of your automobiles caused you to second-guess yourself, prompting you to submit a police complaint. You make a claim with your insurers, and the other person is deemed to be to blame. You accept a payout from their insurance company. It seems to be the simplest option and will allow you to have your automobile repaired more quickly.

But wait a second. The payment was insufficient to repair your automobile, and you believe you have an injury, potentially whiplash!

An insurance company is a business, and its bottom line comes first, not yours. If you accept an insurance settlement, the documentation will almost certainly state that you waive your right to future legal action. It’s pretty uncommon for consumers to assume that an insurance company provides fair coverage — and it’s also not uncommon for this to be far from the case.

Even in minor vehicle accidents, you should consult with a personal injury attorney before accepting to any settlement! They can assist you in obtaining the most compensation for your case. That way, you won’t have to pay for your automobile or medical expenditures out of pocket.

But before you go, keep these ten things in mind to avoid doing following a vehicle accident:

  1. Leaving the Scene of an Accident Without Calling the Police: As we indicated in the paragraphs above, leaving the scene of a small vehicle accident without calling the police is a big error. The police report will be utilized in a minor vehicle accident case to assist the court award the proper damages to the plaintiff.
  2. Failure to collect evidence at the scene: Take as many photos as you can, as many phone numbers as you can, and as many accounts as you can from individuals around, and then let your automobile accident attorney pick through what is useful and what isn’t. Simply gather as much evidence as can at the site of the accident as you can.
  3. Accepting Responsibility: Even if you think you are to blame for the little vehicle accident, never accept responsibility. The truth is that you can’t possibly know who is at blame from your vantage point, and you’re just trying to figure out what occurred to create your opinion. Never, ever acknowledge blame. Allow your attorney and the police to determine who is at blame and how much comparative culpability is involved.
  4. Failure to See a Doctor: You should see a doctor as soon as you suspect you have been injured in an accident. If you do not, and you get injuries as a result of the small automobile accident, it may be difficult to trace them to the event rather than to normal wear and tear, making compensation much more difficult.
  5. Not Using PIP: Keep in mind that Florida mandates you to have Personal Injury Protection, which is utilized to ensure that you are covered in the case of a vehicle accident. If you have been in a minor automobile accident, you are under no obligation to make a claim under this insurance coverage.
  6. Failure to Understand Insurance Companies: Insurance companies are, first and foremost, businesses that exist to earn money, which implies that they aim to collect and keep as much money as possible while paying out as little as possible (in principle). When you file a claim, they will attempt to settle for less if possible.
  7. Not Reviewing the Police Report: You must review the police report to ensure that the facts contained in it are correct and that you agree with them. If you do not agree, do your best to make your voice heard right away and have any and all changes made as soon as possible and before signing.
  8. Accepting the First Settlement Check: The initial check and first offer, like most discussions, will be the lowest that the insurance company believes they can make to please you while also insuring they are not overpaying in their assessment and saving as much money on the vehicle accident settlement as possible
  9. Trying to Handle Your Own Case: While you may believe that a small automobile accident does not need the services of a car accident lawyer, we can safely state that clients who engage competent lawyers get settlement checks that are three times greater than those who do not hire an auto accident attorney.
  10. Not Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer: We feel it is in your best interests to engage a car accident lawyer as soon as possible for all of the reasons outlined above and more.

Attorneys are not paid.

Wait… what? The fact is that every lawyer will charge you, yet practically every personal injury lawyer works on a contingency basis. This implies that they deduct their fee from the settlement they get for you. So, if they do not strike an agreement for you, you owe them nothing!

Even better, during a case assessment, most will chat with you for free. You may schedule a consultation with an expert Fort Lauderdale automobile accident lawyer, discuss any compensation offers you’ve received, and inquire about your rights under current state law.

This implies that when it comes to engaging an attorney, money will not be a decisive factor. It also implies that you should consult with a vehicle accident lawyer immediately after your crash. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.