In a minor car accident, many victims consider themselves lucky; the damage could have been much worse, and the injuries could have been much more severe. Even though the damage may be minor, there are still a few reasons why you should consider hiring a car accident lawyer.
Below are some surprising reasons that someone could need a car accident lawyer, even if the accident was minor.
The Costs of the Accident Can Be Higher than Expected
Imagine that you are stopped at a red light when a teenager rear-ends you out of nowhere because they are texting and driving. Your rear bumper is damaged, and you are shaken up; otherwise, everything seems fine.
In this case, you and the other driver will likely share your insurance information, file a claim, and move on with your lives. However, even after some victims receive a check from the insurance company to fix the damage to their car, they may not be in the clear.
If you suffered an injury that did not manifest immediately after the collision, you could be left to pay for your own accident-related medical bills if you settle your case too early.
What may first appear to be a minor vehicle accident might evolve into a significant legal struggle requiring professional guidance. Therefore, before settling your claim, it’s best to consult a car accident lawyer to ensure that your legal rights are protected.
The Insurance Adjuster Is Being Unreasonable
While most cases settle before ever getting to a courtroom, insurance adjusters have been known to undervalue even minor accidents. If you have tried to negotiate with the adjuster to come to a reasonable agreement, but the adjuster won’t budge, you may need the guidance of an attorney.
Hiring an attorney will put extra pressure on the adjuster to settle the case and give you fair compensation.
Some Injuries Take Time to Manifest
During a rear-end accident, your body pumps adrenaline and endorphins into your bloodstream. As a result, you may not notice any pain or physical trauma while you are in the heat of the moment.
Rear-end accidents are especially hazardous due to the risk of whiplash. When a vehicle is rear-ended, the force of the impact from the rear vehicle thrusts the victim’s neck forward, potentially causing severe damage.
Depending on the speed at which the rear car was traveling at the time of impact, the victim’s neck could be strained or overstretched in a way that causes intense pain.
One study found that neck injuries may not develop symptoms for some time after a motor vehicle accident.
But once the damage reveals itself, a victim may experience a multitude of symptoms, such as:
- Stiffness and swelling
- Abnormal headaches
- Trouble sleeping
- Memory loss
- Muscle spasms
- Tingling in the arms
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurry vision and dizziness
Chronic pain from strains and other neck injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents may need long-term care and rehabilitation — and the more medical care required, the more bills will accumulate.
There Are Time Constraints in Filing a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Car accident cases are subject to a statute of limitations, which means that a victim is barred from filing a lawsuit against the insurance company or negligent driver after a certain period of time. The statute of limitations in Texas specifies that you only have two years from the accident date to file a personal injury claim.
Although two years may seem like enough time, some injuries take years to heal. Therefore, to increase your chances of receiving fair compensation and prevent your claim from being barred, you should submit a claim as soon as possible.