July 15, 2022 | Car Accidents
Many people wonder if they need an attorney after a minor car accident. Generally, it’s a good idea to hire a lawyer after a minor collision. At the very least, you should schedule a free initial consultation so that a lawyer can evaluate your case.
What Might Happen If You Don’t Hire a Lawyer?
Failing to hire a lawyer after a “minor” car accident could result in the following negative consequences, among others:
- The other party claims an injury or property damage and blames you for the accident.
- A few days after the accident, you begin suffering delayed symptoms (whiplash, for example). The longer you wait to report these symptoms, the easier it will be for the opposing party to claim that the accident is not what caused your symptoms.
- You will be tempted to settle the case yourself and get taken advantage of by an insurance adjuster who probably has much more negotiating experience than you do.
Even if your claim is small, there is no reason to settle for less than what you deserve. And your claim might be worth a lot more than you think it is.
Most personal injury lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. Your legal fees will be a pre-agreed percentage of your awarded compensation – generally between 33% to 40%. If the attorney doesn’t win your case, you typically owe them nothing.
What Will a Lawyer Do To Help You With Your Car Accident Case?
Lawyers cannot offer absolute guarantees in your case. However, the following is a list of benefits you’ll receive if you hire an attorney to assist you.
Offering Useful Advice
Following are just a handful of useful tips that might prevent you from seriously damaging your claim.
- Contact the police right away if someone suffers even a minor injury. Oklahoma Statute § 47-10-107 requires this.
- Oklahoma Statutes § 47-10-104 requires you to exchange names, addresses, VINs, drivers’ licenses, and security verification form information.
- Never sign any document unless you understand what it means and what its implications are.
- Don’t agree to a recorded interview with the insurance company.
- Stay off social media while your case is pending. Don’t erase anything you have already posted because that could be used against you.
- Take photos of the scene of the accident and the damage to your vehicle. If your injuries prevent you from doing this, have someone else (your lawyer, for example) do it for you.
- Get a medical checkup as soon as possible after the accident. You might be hurt and not know it.
Following this advice could result in multiplying the value of your claim.
Communicating With the Insurance Company on Your Behalf
When you have a claim against an insurance company, there is no such thing as casual conversation. Even the most benign statements could be used against you.
For example, saying that you’re “fine” could be used to deny any injuries you might have suffered, even if they seemed minor at the time of the accident and worsened. And “sorry” shouldn’t be used in settlement negotiations, even if you’re just trying to be polite. Hire a lawyer and direct all further inquiries to your lawyer. They will know what to say and what not to say.
Negotiating on Your Behalf
If you decide to negotiate your claim (as both sides typically prefer), you will face a seasoned insurance adjuster with only one goal: to save the insurance company as much money as possible. And if that means denying or underpaying your claim, so be it. A skilled personal injury lawyer knows how to stand up to insurance adjusters and will not fall for any of their tactics.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a Lawyer After a Minor Car Accident
Of course, some claims don’t justify hiring a lawyer. However, an attorney will tell you that right away because if you don’t make any money, they won’t make any money. When a lawyer works on a contingency fee basis, their interests are more or less the same as yours. There is no reason for them to spend time pursuing a weak case that isn’t going to bring in significant income.
Therefore, schedule a free initial case evaluation with a lawyer to see if you have a valid claim, even if you think your car accident was minor. There’s no obligation, and it’ll give you peace of mind.
Contact the Oklahoma City Car Accident Lawyers at McGuire Law Firm Today for Free Consultation
We serve throughout Oklahoma and its surrounding areas: