Big or small, a car accident can be a major financial burden and can have long-lasting medical complications. But do you still need a lawyer even if your car accident was minor? It’s a good idea to hire a car accident lawyer if you’ve been in an accident, even if there do not seem to be any major injuries or damages.
Ask a Car Accident Lawyer: Do You Need a Lawyer for a Minor Accident?
If you ask any car accident lawyers in Bryan Texas, they will all agree that even minor accidents may require legal representation. There are several scenarios in which you may need to have legal counsel for a minor car accident, such as if there are liability issues or difficulty settling with the insurance company. Let’s explore the most common reasons you will need to hire a lawyer for your minor car accident.
Unclear liability is the number one reason to hire a car accident attorney. Even for minor accidents, if drivers can’t agree on who is responsible for the accident, this can make it difficult for insurance companies to offer appropriate settlements. In fact, when there is an unclear liability in an accident, your insurance company may not release a settlement at all.
In Texas, comparative negligence is triggered when there is unclear liability in an accident. When your case involves comparative negligence, you need the expertise of a lawyer to gather evidence to prove why you are less than 51% responsible for the accident. This will ensure that you receive at least part of the settlement you are entitled to, even if you are partially responsible for the accident.
What Are Common Car Accident Causes?
There are several common causes of car accidents in Texas. For example, accidents frequently involve driving under the influence, which can lead to fender benders or even pedestrian injuries. Aggressive driving and distracted driving are also common causes of minor car accidents. Finally, violating road laws, such as speeding in school zones or neighborhoods, can cause minor accidents.
Denied Insurance Claims
You will likely need to hire a lawyer if your insurance company has denied your claim for any reason. Usually, an insurance company will only deny a claim if they doubt the liability in your case. However, with the help of a lawyer, you will be able to receive fair treatment from your insurance company. This is because insurance companies are more likely to treat you fairly when they know you have legal representation.
A lawyer is also necessary when it’s time to negotiate your settlement. Even for a minor accident, it’s possible that your initial settlement offer may not be adequate to cover the costs of damages to your vehicle or your medical bills.
In particular, if you had to take time off of work to recover from an injury, you may be dealing with lost wages that need to be replaced by an insurance settlement. Because an insurance company will likely not negotiate fairly with you directly, a lawyer can provide the evidence and leverage necessary to receive a fair settlement.
How Long Do Settlements Take?
It’s hard to estimate how long it will take to receive your settlement, particularly if your settlement offer cannot be settled outside of court. For example, the insurance company may offer an initial settlement a few days or weeks after your accident, but if you decide to negotiate the settlement with your lawyer, reaching a final offer can take several weeks or months.
If your case goes to court, it can take even longer depending on the complexity of your case, whether a jury is involved, and the disposition of the other driver involved in the accident. For the most part, it’s more expedient to finalize your settlement through mediation than a court trial, since this will allow you to access your fair compensation more quickly.
Finally, you may need to hire a lawyer if you suffered any injuries related to your accident. Even minor injuries can have complications later on. For example, if you bumped your head during a car accident, but it was decided you didn’t have a concussion, it’s still possible that complications from this minor head injury could appear in the coming weeks or months. Since injuries can be unpredictable, it’s a good idea to work with a lawyer who will seek a settlement offer that compensates for any potential injury complications
If you’ve been in a minor car accident, it’s still a good idea to contact a lawyer. A lawyer who specializes in car accidents will have the knowledge to help you establish liability, negotiate your settlement, and even seek compensation for potential injury complications. The process of getting your settlement may take several weeks or months, even for car accidents with only minor damages and injuries.