It may be helpful for you to hire a car accident lawyer for a minor car accident, especially if you were injured or if there is disagreement about who was at fault.
Reasons to Hire a Car Accident Lawyer
If a minor car accident does not cause serious damage to either vehicle, the drivers involved may think that there is no need to hire an attorney. In some cases, the parties can work the situation out with each other and with the at-fault party’s insurance company.
A minor accident can cause serious injuries. A rear-end collision, even at a low speed, can cause whiplash. If your car was hit, you may experience back and neck pain and limited range of motion that can affect your ability to work and perform routine household tasks. You may not begin to feel any pain until days after the accident.
Even if it seems clear to you that the other driver was liable for the crash, he or she may argue that you were fully or partially at fault. If the other driver denies liability, his or her insurance company may refuse to pay for repairs to your vehicle, for your medical bills, and other expenses related to the accident.
The other driver’s insurance company may downplay the seriousness of your injuries. If you have whiplash, it may argue that you are exaggerating the severity of your pain or may even claim that you were not injured at all. The insurer may refuse to cover the full costs of your medical care or any other bills for treatment.
Insurance companies may want to deny claims if they can, and if their policyholder is liable, they may offer you a low settlement. An insurer may try to resolve the case quickly by offering an amount that is too little to adequately compensate you for your past and future medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering. You may not realize that the offer is unreasonable, but a car accident lawyer can tell you how much money is fair based on the facts of your case.
What a Car Accident Lawyer Can Do to Help You
A car accident lawyer can review the police report to understand the circumstances that led to the crash. In addition, they can interview you, any passengers who were in the car with you at the time, and any eyewitnesses. A car accident lawyer can also review any surveillance or cellphone video of the crash that may exist to figure out exactly what happened and who was liable.
A lawyer can review your medical records to understand the types of injuries you suffered, how serious they are, what types of treatment you will need and for how long, and how the injuries you suffered in the accident will affect you now and in the future. Based on that information, an attorney can figure out what level of compensation would be fair for you.
How Your Liability Can Affect Your Financial Award
In some cases, two or more parties share liability for a car accident. For example, one person may run a red light and collide with another driver who is texting instead of paying attention to the road.
You may be entitled to compensation even if you were partly responsible for the accident. Under the California Civil Code (CIV) §1714, California follows comparative negligence laws that let people who share liability for a collision recover a financial award.
Contact a Car Accident Law Firm
A lawyer may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf and pursue a financial award to compensate you for your medical bills, lost income, and pain and suffering.
You have a limited amount of time to take legal action. Under CIV §335.1, the statute of limitations two years to file for a personal injury claim or lawsuit in California. If you miss the deadline, you may not be able to file a lawsuit, even if you have a valid case.
If you think that you cannot afford to hire an attorney, that should not be a concern because some law firms operate on a contingency basis. This means they will not collect any upfront fees, and they only get paid if they obtain a financial award on your behalf.
Call Pintas & Mullins Law Firm today at (800) 223-5115 to discuss your case with a member of our staff.