Should I Get a Lawyer for a Minor Car Accident?
When to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer
Car accidents can be frightening and unsettling experiences, even when they’re minor. In the state of Virginia, dealing with the aftermath of a car accident can raise several questions, including whether you should hire a lawyer. While not all car accidents may require legal representation, it’s essential to understand the potential benefits of having a lawyer by your side. Here, we’ll explore the factors to consider when deciding whether to get a lawyer for a car accident in Virginia.
Personal injury cases are filed when an individual is injured in an accident due to another party’s negligence. Car accident claims typically fall under the heading of personal injury lawsuits when there is a physical injury as a result.
Virginia’s Comparative Fault Rule:
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again. Rule #1 is DO NOT ADMIT GUILT of any sort. Don’t even apologize to the other driver, or any law enforcement officers that may arrive on scene.
Virginia follows the “contributory negligence” rule, which means that if you are even partially at fault for the accident, you will not be entitled to compensation. Insurance companies use this rule to their advantage and attempt to prove that you were partially responsible for the accident in an attempt to deny your claim. Having a lawyer can help protect your rights and ensure that you don’t unfairly bear the blame for the accident.
Determining the Severity of the Accident:
First and foremost, it’s crucial to assess the severity of the car accident. Minor accidents typically involve low-speed collisions and result in minimal damage to the vehicles involved. Even if there are no immediate symptoms of injuries, it would be worth contacting a lawyer immediately to go over the case details. Oftentimes, injuries like whiplash won’t display symptoms until a few days after the incident.
Outside of physical injuries, it will also be important to assess the damage to your personal property, as this is something that you can get compensation for. Today’s vehicles are designed to bend, break and fold at certain frame areas in order to protect the vital cargo inside – YOU! Even low speed collisions can lead to a totaled vehicle due to repair costs that ensue. Damage to personal property is another form of compensation that can be recovered after an accident, so if your vehicle is significantly damaged, you’ll want a skilled professional on your side.
Dealing with Insurance Companies:
Insurance companies are known for trying to settle claims for the lowest possible amount, even in minor accidents. They might pressure you to accept a quick settlement that may not fully cover your damages or future medical expenses if injuries develop later. A talented personal injury lawyer in Virginia can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and advocate for a fair settlement that accounts for all your losses.
In some cases, injuries resulting from a minor car accident may not immediately present noticeable symptoms. Whiplash, concussions, and soft tissue injuries are examples of injuries that might not be immediately apparent. A lawyer can help you understand the full extent of your injuries, gather relevant medical documentation, and ensure that you receive adequate compensation for your medical bills and pain and suffering.
As such, it is incredibly important that you also seek medical attention following an accident, even if no injuries are apparent. Licensed medical staff may be able to diagnose and find issues that haven’t shown signs or symptoms yet. Part of the compensation that should be paid out by the at-fault party would be the cost of your medical expenses.
Virginia has specific statutes of limitations for filing personal injury claims. Missing the deadline would result in forfeiting your right to seek compensation. An attorney can ensure that all necessary paperwork is filed correctly and within the applicable timeframe.
While minor car accidents in Virginia may seem straightforward, they can quickly become complicated when dealing with insurance companies and the state’s comparative fault rule. Consulting with a personal injury lawyer after a minor car accident can provide valuable insights into your legal rights and options. By having a skilled attorney on your side, you can navigate the claims process more efficiently, secure fair compensation, and focus on your recovery. Remember to choose a reputable lawyer with experience in personal injury law to ensure the best possible outcome for your case.
At Korslund Law, we offer a free consultation for fact finding and discovery of the details of your case. This helps to remove any fear of financial burden on your part, and also allows you to determine if you’ll have a case to seek compensation moving forward.
So, Should I Get an Attorney for this Accident?
With no risk to you, the answer to the initial question of “should I get a lawyer for a minor car accident” – is a resounding YES. At the very least, you should consult with one of our Virginia Beach car accident lawyers even if the accident seems insignificant.
Based on the facts discussed during the free consultation, you’ll have a better idea of where to stand. If we recommend that you move forward with a personal injury lawsuit, our in house team of experts will be ready to guide you through the whole process from there.