Should I Get a Lawyer For a Minor Car Accident?

should i hire a lawyer after a minor car accident

You have the right to take legal action after a car accident, even a minor one. Minor car accidents can leave you with injuries that aren’t immediately apparent or worsen over time and with expenses that pile up. These losses give you the right to seek compensation from those responsible for your accident. Meet with our Charleston, WV car accident lawyers, who can help you file a personal injury claim for accident-related compensation. Your initial case consultation comes free of charge at Warner Law Offices PLLC.

No one wants to cause a fuss after a minor auto accident. After all, if you can drive away from a crash with little in the way of injuries or property damage, you may ask, “Do I need a lawyer for a minor car accident?” 

As it turns out, even seemingly minor accidents can negatively impact you long-term. Seemingly insignificant injuries can turn into chronic conditions, leaving your quality of life far worse than it was. Working with an experienced attorney can put you one step ahead of anyone who might try to deny you your right to post-accident compensation.

To our Charleston WV personal injury lawyers at Warner Law Offices PLLC, no case is minor, even when there appears to be only minimal damage. When you bring your case to our team, you can trust our experienced attorneys to comprehensively and accurately determine the total value of your case. We can help you file a personal injury claim and fight for the financial support you deserve in negotiations or a trial.

Minor Injuries Can Worsen Over Time

It’s fairly common to walk away from minor car accidents unscathed. However, injuries can easily go undetected and worsen over time, often making it more difficult for accident victims to perform daily activities. 

Some of the most common car accident injuries to worsen in the days following a collision include the following:

Perhaps you are proactive and get checked over by a physician after an accident. A general practitioner or specialist can identify these conditions if they appear in the days or weeks following an accident and prescribe any necessary treatment. 

However, most people often shrug off a twinge in the neck or back as something that will go away on its own. Unfortunately, that twinge can become full-blown pain, at which point treatment is more complicated—and more expensive.

Important Steps To Take After a Car Accident

If you are involved in an accident, however minor, take the following steps:

  • Get medical treatment. The most important, immediate step is to seek medical treatment. You may need to call 911. However, some injuries do not appear immediately, so you should seek treatment even if you do not feel pain.
  • Call the police. Have the police document the scene and file an official report. 
  • Document the scene. Take notes and photographs of the accident scene, noting things like skid marks, debris, traffic signals and signs, and property damage. Also, take any witnesses’ names and contact information.
  • Exchange contact and insurance information with the others involved. Get names, license plate numbers, phone numbers, and insurance information. 
  • Notify the Department of Motor Vehicles and your insurance company. You must report accidents resulting in injury, death, or property damage of more than $500 to the Department of Motor Vehicles. You should also notify your insurance company about the crash right away.
  • Do NOT Make Any Recorded Statements. The other driver’s insurance company may contact you for a statement but do not speak to them. 
  • Contact a lawyer. The best way to protect your rights after a serious accident is to have an experienced auto accident attorney in Charleston, West Virginia, represent you.  

Importantly, never admit fault when you are involved in a car accident. Doing so can prevent you from getting your long-term right to compensation. Instead, speak to an experienced attorney first to protect your rights. Moreover, an attorney can help you discuss the nature of your accident with an insurance adjuster. The sooner you can contact a Charleston car accident attorney, the sooner you can protect yourself from the consequences of even a minor car crash.

Infographic of steps to take after a car accident

Investigating the Negligence That Caused Your Accident

Negligence is often the common denominator behind most car accidents. Some typical acts of driver negligence include the following:

  • Distracted drivers 
  • Hit and run accidents 
  • Drivers under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances 
  • Speeding
  • Failing to brake properly
  • Failing to maintain proper control 
  • Failing to signal when turning 
  • Failing to observe weather conditions
  • Inappropriate hazard light use

No matter what negligence caused your accident, you must present evidence to support your claim. A car accident attorney will gather the evidence you’ll need to support your claims and show the other driver was at fault. This evidence can include the following:

  • Statements from witnesses to the accident
  • Testimony from expert witnesses who analyzed the accident
  • Physical debris
  • Photos of the accident
  • Video footage of the accident
  • Medical records
  • Property damage
  • Social media posts describing the accident

Assembling evidence can seem like a daunting task. Hiring a trusted West Virginia car accident attorney is the first step to gathering every piece of relevant evidence for your personal injury claim. 

Estimating Your Damages

A successful personal injury claim entitles you to compensation for your losses. Some common types of damages include the following:

  • Medical expenses
  • Property damage bills
  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish and emotional distress
  • Lost wages
  • At-home care costs

Our auto accident lawyers in Charleston, West Virginia, will coordinate our legal efforts with experts and specialists, working hard to uncover the true value of your losses. 

West Virginia's Statute of Limitations

West Virginia has a deadline for filing personal injury lawsuits, known as a statute of limitations. The statute of limitations for car accident claims in West Virginia is two years from the accident date.

If you miss the filing deadline, you may lose your right to hold the negligent driver accountable and seek compensation for your damages. 

Speak to a Lawyer at Warner Law Offices PLLC for Free

Even minor car accidents can leave drivers and their families with lingering pain and unmanageable bills. Accident victims may be reluctant to pursue legal action. After all, no one wants to contend with legal fees on top of maintenance bills, medical expenses, and other related costs.

Warner Law Offices PLLC recognizes that too many accident survivors reject taking legal action, thinking it’ll be too expensive. That’s why we offer free consultations. Feel free to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer without worrying about the cost. 

During these consultations, you can trust our attorneys to provide you with an honest appraisal of your case. 

Warner Law Offices Can Help You After Minor Car Accidents

Not every car accident makes the evening news. Just because your accident doesn’t initially seem severe doesn’t mean the fallout won’t worsen over time. That’s why acting before the other party can take control of your accident’s narrative is crucial. When you work with a car accident attorney from Warner Law Offices PLLC, you can secure the kind of settlement that can help restore your pre-accident quality of life.

Receiving compensation for your car accident doesn’t have to be a complicated process. For more information about our services available to car accident victims, contact our firm today.

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Attorney Bobby Warner
Content Reviewed by:
Bobby Warner

Bobby has received many accolades throughout the years from both his peers in the legal community, as well as the media. The National Trial Lawyers association named Bobby a Top 100 Trial Lawyer and he has been selected as a Member of the Nation’s Top One Percent. Additionally, he has been named a Best Attorneys of America by Rue Ratings, which also named Warner Law Offices to its Best Law Firms of America.