Car accidents are inherently stressful and costly. For victims of minor collisions that result in seemingly minimal damage, the urge to avoid the cost of hiring an attorney is understandable. After all, if the case is straightforward and the damage is minimal, it can seem reasonable to ask if you should hire a car accident lawyer for a minor accident.
A lawyer’s support can be beneficial in the wake of everything that a car accident case requires. An attorney will ensure you seek medical attention, have your vehicle inspected by an objective third party, and negotiate with insurance adjusters for a settlement that fairly compensates you for your losses.
Car Accident Claims Are Rarely as Seamless as They Seem
Under ideal circumstances, the claims process for minor accidents should be straightforward. Victims generally file a personal injury claim with the other driver’s insurance provider. The insurer reviews the claim and fully compensates the victim for medical bills, lost income and future earning capacity, and property damage.
Unfortunately, the process is rarely this straightforward. It is far more common for insurers to attempt to offer an unfairly low settlement.
What You Do After an Accident Can Dramatically Impact What You Receive
Immediately following an accident, victims are strongly advised to call the police and report the accident, document the scene and damages, exchange contact information with the other party and any witnesses, and seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Injuries that seem minimal in the immediate aftermath of a car accident can prove to be more severe and persistent as time passes. Similarly, vehicular damages that seem superficial at first glance often prove to be far more significant as you attempt to repair them. Make sure you receive medical attention to get all of your injuries treated and to secure a connection between the accident and your injuries.
Certain Instances Necessitate Legal Counsel
There are a number of instances where foregoing legal counsel is strongly ill-advised. These include accidents resulting in serious injuries, instances where disagreements over fault cannot be resolved through negotiation, cases involving an inability to reach a settlement agreement with insurers, and cases that require litigation.
In these instances, legal counsel can mean the difference between a seamless process that results in a fair settlement and a headache that results in a lower settlement than you deserve.
Damages Add Up Quickly and Are Often More Serious than They Seem
The number one reason victims choose to forgo legal representation during the claims process is the belief that their injuries and property damages are minor in nature and won’t require expensive medical treatment, won’t result in missed work, and won’t necessitate extensive vehicle repair.
Fight or Flight Responses Can Create False Security
Motor vehicle collisions—even minor ones—are traumatic in nature. In trauma instances, the body goes into a “fight or flight” state of being as the body is overwhelmed with adrenaline. On a practical level, this means victims frequently report feeling little to no pain after an accident. All too often, victims accept low offers only to experience an onslaught of physical problems weeks or months later.
A car accident lawyer understands this reaction and will guide you in taking the necessary steps to ensure there are no hidden injuries that you deserve to be compensated for.
Legal Deadlines Require Fast and Decisive Action
Missing deadlines is easier than you think. As in any state, Nevada’s statute of limitations (NRS §11.190) dictates the time period in which victims can bring forth a personal injury claim. In Nevada, victims have two years from the date of an injury to file a claim.
Gathering evidence, securing medical records, talking to eyewitnesses, and filing a claim all take time. Victims can find themselves staring down deadlines that have approached much faster than anticipated. If these deadlines are missed, so is any opportunity for compensation.
A car accident lawyer will bring years of knowledge gained from working within a state’s statute of limitations to the table to prevent this.
A Car Accident Lawyer Can Protect Your Rights from the Start
Having a car accident lawyer in your corner from the start alleviates the stress of the claims process. It can reduce the chances of being taken advantage of by insurers looking to keep their payouts low. Bernstein & Poisson have been working together to fight for the rights of car accident victims since 1997.
Call (702) 633-3333 for a free consultation with a member of our team. We can discuss whether you want to retain representation rather than whether you should hire a car accident lawyer for a minor accident.