Chris Hammons | July 15, 2016 | Car Accidents
According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), there are over 275 million vehicles registered in the United States. That is almost as many cars as people. With that many cars on the road, car accidents are inevitable.
Thankfully, modern vehicles are loaded with safety features, resulting in many of those car accidents being quite minor. But minor or not, accidents are still frightening and frustrating. Between insurance claims, police reports, and repairs, a minor accident could cost hours or even days.
If you are involved in an accident, you may ask yourself, “Should I get a car accident lawyer for a minor accident?” While some may assume that a lawyer will cost too much time and money, this thinking could end up being much more costly.
Why Should I Hire a Lawyer for a Minor Car Accident?
While an accident may be minor, the costs in time and money can be significant. This is particularly true if your vehicle suffered any type of body damage or you suffered any type of injury. Vehicle repairs or recovery could take days or weeks, costing you days of wages, even if the repair bills or medical bills aren’t high.
The insurance company should compensate you for all costs resulting from an accident, but many will make a lowball offer that doesn’t cover everything. What can you do then? How will you get the money you need?
This is the main reason to hire a car accident lawyer after a minor accident. An experienced attorney can help prevent this situation from ever getting to such a point.
Your lawyer has experience dealing with accident scenes and insurance companies. They will investigate the accident, help you document all expenses, and negotiate directly with the insurance company. Your attorney will identify hidden expenses that many people don’t realize are associated with a minor accident.
Should I Get a Lawyer for a Car Accident if I Don’t Suffer Injuries?
How do you know you haven’t suffered any injuries? Most people assume they haven’t suffered any injuries if they don’t feel any pain. However, the human body isn’t that simple. Hidden injuries like whiplash are common in car accidents.
Even with all the safety features that modern vehicles have, you are likely to be injured in some way during a car accident. When two vehicles collide, even at relatively slow speeds, the force directed at the person in the vehicle is usually more than the body can endure without injury.
Unfortunately, many of these injuries aren’t apparent at first. The rush of adrenaline that often kicks in after an accident may keep you from realizing you are in pain. Additionally, the damage may not result in immediate symptoms.
Some of the more common hidden injuries are:
- Concussions or traumatic brain injury
- Soft tissue injuries, which often don’t show symptoms during the first 24 hours
- Whiplash, which may take days to start showing symptoms
- Internal organ damage
Minor injury lawyers know to look for these types of injuries. They won’t settle with the insurance company until a doctor has evaluated your condition and confirmed that you didn’t suffer any hidden injuries. What appears to be nothing today could become a more significant problem a year from now.
What About the Costs of Hiring a Lawyer?
Most people think that if they hire a personal injury lawyer, the attorney fees will wipe away all the money they get from an insurance settlement. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Typically, people who hire an attorney get more money on average, even after attorney fees are deducted, than those who do not.
This is because personal injury lawyers aren’t paid by the hour like other attorneys. Instead, they receive a percentage of whatever money they get for their client. Someone who a lawyer represents is less likely to get a lowball offer from the insurance company. Therefore, just hiring an attorney means you are more likely to get a fair settlement.
But What if the Lawyer Can’t Get Me Money?
Even if your lawyer can’t get any money for you, hiring an attorney is the right choice. You would be extremely unlikely to get compensation without a lawyer. So your situation is no worse in that regard.
But even more importantly, hiring a lawyer costs you nothing. Personal injury attorneys take their cases on contingency. This means that if they fail to get you money, you won’t be charged anything.
In the worst-case scenario, the lawyer might refuse to take your case because you don’t have a claim. But even in that situation, you get a free consultation and experienced legal advice explaining your situation. That is an excellent benefit for a relatively small cost in time.
Always Consult With a Lawyer After a Minor Car Accident
Should you hire a lawyer after a minor car accident? That depends on the circumstances of your accident. The odds are good that you will want an attorney to help you navigate the red tape of the insurance process and negotiate with the insurer. You may even decide to file a lawsuit in some cases.
But whether you eventually hire a lawyer or not, you should take advantage of the free consultation. Experienced attorneys will explain your legal options during that consultation and give you a good estimate of the value of your claim.
Furthermore, if you are in a rare situation where you would be better off not hiring a lawyer, the attorney will tell you that during the consultation. The lawyer won’t benefit financially from lying to you because they only get a percentage of the money they obtain for you.
Since you can never predict when an accident will occur, the best way to protect yourself is to carry the phone number of a car accident lawyer with you at all times. If you do get into an accident, call them immediately after a crash.
Contact the Oklahoma City Car Accident Law Firm of Laird Hammons Laird Personal Injury Lawyers for Help Today
For more information, please contact an experienced Oklahoma City car accident lawyer at Laird Hammons Laird Personal Injury Lawyers to schedule a free initial consultation today. Our law office is located in Oklahoma City.
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