About 13 car accidents happen every minute across the United States. If you recently have been involved in even a minor collision, an attorney can help you get compensation and avoid legal trouble down the line.
It’s always a good idea to work with a lawyer post-collision. This is true even after a minor car wreck.
Read on for some benefits of working with a minor car accident lawyer in Georgia.
Minor Issues Can Cause Major Problems
First, it’s important to note that not all small crashes are created equal.
Some might truly be fender-benders that leave no more than a scratch. Still, even these “minor accidents” can leave dents on your car or cause problems with chipped paint.
These can become bigger issues later even if you deemed it a “minor accident” initially. For example, chipped paint can cause rust that damages the structural foundation of your car with corrosion.
It’s tough to know what’s what until you get home and look over your vehicle. It’s even harder when damages sometimes take weeks to become obvious.
Even worse, your vehicle isn’t the only one that may have damages more serious than you think. The person who hit you may also realize that their car has worse problems down the line. This might cause them to come back and try to get money from you, even if they also brushed the issue off at first.
An attorney can help protect you when damages aren’t what they initially seem to be. They’ll get you compensation if your vehicle sustains even minor damages. They’ll also defend you if the other driver comes back to bother you in the future.
Seemingly “Minor Problems” Can Be Deceptive
Many people think it’s silly to call the police or involve the law in any way after a tiny fender-bender. Some drivers laugh it off, shake hands, and part ways when they see no damage to the vehicle. They may not even exchange contact information.
This might sound like an easy and convenient route if there’s no apparent property damage. But there could be damage that you’re not seeing that comes to light later, in which case there’s a lawsuit waiting to happen. Damage also could be internal since a tap in the right place will jostle your car’s inner workings.
Even if you haven’t exchanged contact information with the other driver, they’ll likely still have your license plate number. There’s also probably security footage of the accident somewhere. If they find a problem (or say they found one) later, there are methods through which they can find you.
It’s a Matter of Trust
There’s also the issue of trust. When you mutually part ways with a stranger after a fender-bender, there’s nothing to say that they won’t call the police to file a report later. It’ll become an issue of he-said-she-said, and the “we agreed to laugh it off” defense won’t hold up in court.
They also could claim that you’re at fault, even if you weren’t. They could say that you caused pre-existing property damage that you had nothing to do with. They could also exaggerate the incident to try to get more money from your insurance company (or your pocket).
It’s important to call the police right after a fender-bender, file a report, and get a lawyer. This can help protect you from legal issues and even hit-and-run accusations if the other driver proves untrustworthy.
You Don’t Know the Costs
Most people agree that calling the police and hiring a lawyer for a minor car accident is necessary if damage equates to over $500. A little dent or scratch after a minor car wreck doesn’t always qualify. However, in some cases, it might.
You can’t immediately know the exact costs of property damage at the accident site. Even something that doesn’t look like much might be an expensive fix. A lawyer can help you get car accident compensation that will cover unexpected expenses, but only if you call them.
You May Have Sustained Injuries
Even minor car crashes can cause a lot of physical pain. However, this pain isn’t always immediately obvious.
In fact, feeling fine isn’t even a good sign in many cases since internal injuries don’t always physically manifest. This makes them easy to write off, ignore, or even flat-out not notice until you’re in immense pain.
Low speeds also can create a lot of damage by putting force on your tendons, ligaments, muscles, and bones. Spine research professionals even state that over half of injuries from car crashes happen when cars are going 6-12 miles per hour.
You might not feel them right after an accident because of shock, fear, or other endorphins. The pain will start after these chemicals wear off.
These injuries are likely to send you to the hospital, where you’ll be hit with hefty medical bills. Car accident compensation usually includes damages to cover those bills, but you won’t get this money unless a personal injury attorney advocates for you.
Insurance Companies Won’t Help You
If you do have problems down the road that require money to fix, you’ll need to call your insurance adjuster.
Most insurers don’t accept your full claim even when that claim is a small one. They want to save money, so they’ll offer you a tiny settlement. This can be hundreds of dollars less than you deserve, even if the accident truly was minor.
They also may try to get you to admit fault where there was none. They may get you to understate how much damage there was. Attorneys know how to avoid these pitfalls.
A lawyer for a minor car accident can help you negotiate with your insurance company – and the at-fault driver’s – to ensure that you get a fair settlement.
Work With a Minor Car Accident Lawyer
While many people don’t think they need a minor car accident lawyer, hiring one can save you from serious legal problems in the future. Now that you know why, it’s time to begin building a case with the best car accident lawyer in Georgia.
Our team is committed to using our 25+ years of experience to help you get legal compensation post-collision. Contact Scholle Law to schedule a free consultation and discuss your specific case.