The severity of a car accident varies depending on many factors. The angle of impact, the size of the vehicles involved, the speeds the vehicles were traveling, weather conditions, and road maintenance are just a few. Some crashes might total the car but leave the driver without a scratch. Other accidents can lead to only minor auto body damage but cause serious harm to the passengers.
When you are involved in a collision, it’s helpful to know what kind of representation you might need. Should you hire a personal injury attorney for a fender bender? If you’re not hurt in an accident, do you still need a lawyer?
Many people assume personal injury cases are the default for any car accident. In truth, though, accidents where the damage is strictly limited to property don’t necessarily fall under a personal injury claim. Instead, you would need to make a property damage claim against the insurer, negotiating for a payout that covers auto repairs, towing fees, rental car expenses, any valuables that were damaged in the vehicle, etc. Because such settlements are low compared to medical-related settlements, insurance companies are usually inclined to move quickly and process claims, allowing for timely car repairs.
Personal injury claims are much more complicated, and, because the stakes are higher for everyone, they require professional representation. Personal injury lawyers work to help crash victims obtain compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, or disfigurement. Catastrophic injuries can sometimes lead to large settlements. But even common injuries from low-speed crashes may result in medical bills high enough to warrant hiring an attorney.
If you’ve been injured in a car crash, the most important thing to do is see a doctor as soon as possible. Drivers often assume that if an accident barely damaged their vehicle, their injuries must not be very serious. Sometimes, they attempt to ignore their aches and pains assuming that they will feel better in a few days. Unfortunately, insurance companies look for treatment delays. If a driver ignores a soft tissue injury after a crash, but later receives a diagnosis requiring weeks of physical therapy, the insurance company may try to deny coverage. To increase your chances for a fair settlement:
- Always seek timely medical attention after a crash if you’re hurt.
- Keep track of your appointments and follow through with any specialist referrals.
- Document your medical diagnosis and treatments.
Because insurance companies will sometimes try to offer unfairly low settlements, be cautious in your interactions. Before you accept a settlement, it’s important to understand the full medical picture of your injury and what your future expenses are likely to be. Experienced personal injury attorneys have a strong sense of what common injuries cost to treat. Your attorney will handle conversations with the insurance company for you, working to get you the compensation you deserve.
If you’ve been hurt in a crash, you need an attorney who knows how to negotiate with the insurance companies. A team of personal injury lawyers, has the experience and knowledge to get you the compensation you deserve.