Should You Hire a Lawyer for a Minor Accident?
There is no requirement stating you must hire an attorney to represent you following a car accident. However, there are many reasons why having legal representation will benefit you, even if the accident is considered minor.
Car accidents that seem minor initially can ultimately have significant impacts that may not be apparent at the time, especially in the case of injuries. Adrenaline and emotions can often overshadow symptoms, for instance, and appear suddenly hours or days later. The same can be said of property damage as well. What may look like a minor dent or an easy repair could be masking significant damage.
For these reasons, and many others, working with an experienced attorney is crucial, regardless of whether it is a major or minor accident. An attorney will help with the following:
- Injuries: Even minor fender-benders can result in injuries, particularly whiplash that causes damage to the neck and spine. According to the CDC, 2.3 million people are seen in emergency rooms annually due to injuries suffered in car accidents. Many people mistakenly believe that minor accidents cause minor injuries, if any at all. In fact, minor accidents can result in injuries such as:
- Neck fractures, pain, swelling, and/or stiffness.
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), including brain swelling, headaches, memory loss, fatigue, tinnitus, nausea, vomiting, confusion, and blurry vision.
- Nerve damage.
- Shoulder fractures or pain.
- Broken bones
- Facial trauma from airbags.
You should always seek medical attention following an accident, regardless of the severity. Many injuries, especially internal, do not present symptoms for hours or days and can be life-threatening if left untreated. Medical expenses can add up quickly, and working with an attorney offers the best chance for recovering compensation.
- Property damage: What might appear to be minor damage to your vehicle may turn out to be far more costly to repair than you anticipated. Simply filing a claim is not always successful, nor is it a simple process. Insurance companies are in the business of making money and prefer not to pay on claims if they can avoid them. Without legal representation, your claim might be denied in hopes you will not refile. Hiring a skilled car accident attorney is often your best option.
- Lost wages: In addition to compensation for your injuries and property damage, you may be entitled to recover any loss of income you incur due to the accident. The injuries you suffered may prevent you from working for period of time, such as head injuries that cause blurred vision, headaches, or vertigo, or injuries that require physical therapy before you are able to return to work. Your lawyer may be able to help you recoup those losses.
- Non-economic damages: Car accidents can result in damages with no finite amount listed on a bill. You may be entitled to receive non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, or loss of enjoyment of life. Though without consulting an attorney, many people are unaware of this type of compensation.
Additionally, an attorney will also gather evidence, speak with witnesses, consult experts, help calculate the value of your claim, and handle negotiations with insurance companies. All of this will provide you with peace of mind while you are healing from the accident.
Washington DC Car Accident Attorneys at the Law Offices of Duane O. King Help Clients After Any Type of Car Accident
If you have been involved in a car accident that was caused by another driver’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. One of our Washington DC car accident attorneys at the Law Offices of Duane O. King can take on your case. Call us at 202-331-1963 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Washington, D.C., Alexandria, Virginia, and National Harbor, Maryland, we serve clients in Prince George’s County, including Laurel, Beltsville, Adelphi, College Park, Greenbelt, Mitchellville, Woodmore, Greater Upper Marlboro, Springdale, Largo, Bowie, Capitol Heights, District Heights, Forestville, Suitland, Seat Pleasant, Clinton, Oxon Hill, Temple Hills, and Fort Washington.