Although minor car accidents might not lead to catastrophic injuries or significant damages to your car’s drivability, it doesn’t mean that you don’t need to see a doctor or follow up with the case. Whether it’s a major or a minor car accident, you’ll need the legal assistance of a car accident lawyer. Our team of legal experts from Pacific West Injury Law has years of experience dealing with different car accident scenarios, so we know how to approach your case and get the best outcome.
What Is Defined as a Minor Car Accident?
An accident qualifies as minor if it involves less severe injuries and property damages than major car accidents. These accidents can happen, like rear-end collisions where the front part of a car hits the rear end of another vehicle. In such circumstances, your insurance provider will likely cover the damages.
Here are some of the incidents that you can classify as minor accidents:
- Dents on body and door panels
- Scratches in the paint
- Cracked tail lights and headlights
- Scuffs from barriers, tires, and other objects
- Punctured tires
- Dungs in the windshields or hood from debris or gravel
After a minor accident, you can still drive from the accident scene since your car doesn’t need to get totaled.
Reasons Why You Should Hire an Attorney After a Minor Accident
You shouldn’t let your perception of the severity of the car crash damages determine whether or not to seek legal assistance. Here are reasons why you should consider hiring a car accident attorney.
After a minor accident that led to some injuries, it’s easy to assume that the injuries you sustained were also minor. However, studies have shown that some injuries and symptoms after minor car crashes will only show up after some days. You may feel fine due to the adrenaline, but you feel worse after several hours, days, or weeks.
Note that injuries go beyond head trauma, broken bones, or lacerations. Some of the possible injuries you may sustain after a minor car crash include:
- Stretched ligaments
- Internal bleeding
- Soft tissue injuries like contusions, sprains, tendonitis, and strains
All these injuries are common after a minor car accident, and they can have severe impacts on your life. This is a major reason why insurance adjusters contact minor accident victims as quickly as possible to try and minimize the chances of fighting for more compensation once you realize you sustained injuries. In case an insurance agent calls you, tell them you’ll give feedback after consulting a personal injury attorney before talking about the minor accident.
Dealing with the Other Driver
Sometimes, the other driver can try to bring a claim against you. They can even report the incident with lots of exaggeration that you caused the injuries and property damages. Therefore, after a minor crash, exchange the vital details with the other driver, take as many photos as possible around the scene, and report the accident. This way, even if the other driver tries to say you were at fault, you have already protected yourself from the hassles of answering summons and appearing at hearings.
Also, while at the accident scene, be careful with what you say to the other driver, such as revealing your policy limits or admitting the fault. Even if you believe you were at fault, don’t admit the fault. Let the police and your lawyer do the investigations and know who was responsible for the accident and the amount of comparative fault at play.
Should I Call the Police After a Minor Car Accident?
The decision to involve law enforcement officers depends on various circumstances and facts of the specific accident and the state where the incident happened. Many states will require you to report the incident if it involves an injury. Still, some states will require you to report the accident, even if it involves only vehicle damages.
One thing that you should always do is to exchange contact details with the other driver and their insurance company’s information. This is a requirement in all states for drivers who have been in a car accident. If the other driver is uncooperative or doesn’t have insurance, you can request the involvement of a law enforcement agency to help you obtain these details.
Still, the other driver may be cooperative, but a dispute can arise about who caused the accident. This should also prompt you to call law enforcement officers such as the county sheriff, highway patrol, or municipal police, depending on your location. The investigating officer will record the circumstances of any evidence at the accident scene and record interviews with witnesses and other drivers.
Common Causes of Minor Car Accidents
Minor accidents happen more often, as some go unreported. This is mostly the case when the involved parties decide to solve the issues themselves, mainly when the incident results in minor damages. Some of the causes of these minor accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Parallel parking mistakes
- Turn signal errors
- Backing into an unseen car
- Traffic collisions when a driver tailgates
- Sliding on a wet road into another car or a stationary object
These are only a few reasons that lead to minor accidents. Sometimes, bad luck, driver awareness, and road conditions might be all that is needed for these incidents to happen.
Seek Legal Assistance from an Experienced Lawyer from Pacific West Injury Law
If you are involved in a minor car accident, don’t walk away from the scene or just exchange contacts with the other driver. Keep in mind that insurers have a team of adjusters and attorneys on their side, who are always ready to evaluate your claim in the insurance company’s interest. That’s why you need a team of experienced and skilled lawyers by your side.
At Pacific West Injury Law, our car accident attorneys will conduct the necessary investigations and fight for you to get proper compensation. Contact us for a free review of your case. No matter the situation of the accident, we will know how to handle it.