Over 5 million car crashes are reported in America every year. In 2019 alone, total police-reported cases were 6,756,084.
While most accidents only result in property damage, it is never a good idea to assume that you have not suffered severe injuries just because the accident seems minor.
The truth is that even a seemingly minor fender bender or a sideswipe could result in injuries that could become a big issue. If you have been in a minor road accident and wondering if hiring an attorney is the right thing to do, this guide can help you clear that up.
Some Injuries May Not Be Apparent
It’s perfectly normal to feel fine after an accident. But feeling okay doesn’t mean that you are.
Some injuries such as whiplash, concussion, and other internal injuries may take longer to show or present as something entirely different, like a slight headache. Unfortunately, the longer it takes to diagnose or treat these injuries, the worse they become.
So, your priority after an accident should be getting medical attention, starting at the scene before going to the ER. Once you get to the ER, the doctor will run some tests and recommend a treatment regime.
A day or two after your accident, you will likely receive a call from the at-fault party’s insurer disguised as a follow-up. Sometimes they can offer to settle, and because you feel relatively fine, you could choose to take the offer.
The problem with taking the offer is that you will also need to sign a release form relinquishing your right to pursue further compensation. That is why you would better hire a lawyer than engage the at-fault insurer on your own.
It Does Not Cost You Anything
To many people, mentioning a lawyer brings to mind costs they cannot afford and so opt to go it alone. But the truth is, contacting a lawyer may not cost you anything. At least not on your consultation and through your case.
First, most car accident lawyers offer free initial consultations. In the free consultation session, you get the chance to share the details of your case, and the lawyer gets to evaluate it. If it is not worth pursuing with a lawyer, they will let you know, and you won’t have to pay anything.
If it’s worth pursuing, you still do not have to worry about the cost. Most car accident lawyers offer their services on a contingency fee basis, meaning you only pay after they win your case and you recover compensation for your damages. If they lose your case, you do not pay anything.
The contingency fee can vary between lawyers and ranges from 25 percent to 40 percent of the payout.
A Lawyer Increases Your Chances Of Getting Fair Compensation
It is possible to pursue a car accident lawsuit on your own. However, the odds of getting a fair outcome are pretty low. Because of your inexperience in handling car accidents, you are bound to make mistakes that could cost you.
Some of these may include creating gaps in your medical treatment, discussing your condition with the at-fault insurer, or using social media in a manner that compromises the value of your settlement.
According to statistics involving a personal injury lawyer in your car accident lawsuit can improve your chances of a fair outcome by a significant margin. First, the presence of a lawyer will command respect from the opposing side.
Also, a lawyer takes over all the negotiations with the other side, upholds your rights, and helps you avoid mistakes that could compromise your chances of a fair outcome.
A fair outcome should adequately cover all damages resulting from an accident, such as the cost of treatment (past, present, and future), property damage, lost wages, and non-economic injuries such as pain and suffering, psychological pain, disfigurement, etc.