It was just a “fender bender” – are you entitled to compensation after a minor car accident?
The answer depends – even if there was minimal property damage to your vehicle, you are entitled to recover money from the defendant or their insurance company to compensate you for your injuries – even if the injuries are relatively minor – and pain and suffering.
In this article, we will discuss when you may need an attorney to help you get paid after a minor car accident, including:
- What we mean by “minor car accident,”
- When you need an attorney after a minor collision,
- Why you should always get checked out by EMS or your doctor after an auto accident, and
- What compensation you may be entitled to after a minor car accident.
What is a “Minor” Car Accident?
What do we mean by “minor car accident?”
People may refer to a car crash as “minor” when there is little or no property damage to the vehicles – a fender bender, for example, or any slow-moving collision where the vehicles are not badly damaged.
The thing is, even if your accident did not result in twisted metal lying in the roadway and fatalities, you are entitled to recover damages for any injuries that you suffered – even if they were relatively minor.
When You May Need an Attorney for a Minor Car Accident
If you are injured in a collision that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to recover damages regardless of the severity of your injuries. If you have little or no expenses from your injuries, you may not find an attorney who will take your case.
Even if you have a few thousand dollars in dollars, it may not be enough to justify the time and expense for a law firm to handle the case for you. If you have injuries, though, it may be worthwhile to have an attorney review your case and decide 1) how much your recovery could be, and 2) if it is worthwhile to prosecute the case on your behalf.
Although some personal injury attorneys will turn down minor car wreck cases, other attorneys will take the time to help you recover. The bottom line is – if you required medical treatment, and if your damages are sufficient to justify paying a personal injury attorney’s fees at the end of the case, you can find an attorney who will help you.
If you were injured, you were taken to the ER in an ambulance, and you have doctor bills and other expenses that were caused by the crash, then you are also entitled to pain and suffering, and, in some cases, punitive damages.
If you have any injuries and expenses resulting from the crash and you are not sure if an attorney can help you, call us for a free case review to find out if we can help.
When You Don’t Need an Attorney for a Minor Car Accident
There are also times when it is not likely that a car accident attorney can accept your case – remember, there must be sufficient damages to pay the attorney fees (which pay the office staff and expenses that keep a law firm’s doors open).
- If there were no injuries and the crash did not result in financial damages, you probably do not need to contact an attorney.
- If there was property damage only, but no personal injury, you should not need to contact an attorney unless the other driver’s insurance company is refusing to pay for the repairs to your vehicle.
- If you suffered minor injuries in the crash and you have some medical bills or other expenses caused by the crash, you may want to contact an attorney to find out if your case is one they would be interested in.
“Minor” Car Accidents Can Result in Serious Injuries
Even when there is only minimal damage to the vehicles in a fender bender or slow-moving collision, there is the potential for serious injury in every car crash.
Minor car accidents can result in injuries like:
- Concussions or traumatic brain injuries (TBI),
- Broken bones,
- Cuts and bruises,
- Strained muscles or tendons, and
- Soft-tissue injuries like whiplash.
Always Get Checked Out After an Auto Collision
Some injuries are what we call delayed-onset injuries.
Whiplash, soft tissue injuries, internal bleeding, concussions, and TBI may not be apparent immediately after the collision, and many people will think aches and pains are normal or not think about the aches and pains at all while the adrenaline is still pumping after a car crash.
When you refuse to get checked out by EMS, or you refuse to take the ambulance ride to the hospital, and you go to see a doctor a week or two later because your headaches are getting worse, what will the insurance company say about your claim that the crash resulted in a traumatic brain injury (TBI)?
They are going to attempt to say that you were not injured in the car wreck, and, therefore, they do not have to pay for your damages…
Always get checked out immediately, even if you feel okay or you just have minor aches, because conditions like internal bleeding can worsen if they are not caught and treated, and because you don’t want to take a chance on giving the insurance company an excuse not to pay.
What Compensation Are You Entitled to After a Minor Car Accident?
Your compensation after any car wreck, even a minor car accident, will depend on who was at fault, the seriousness of your injuries, the amount of your medical bills, and other factors.
Regardless of the severity of the crash, you are entitled to compensation for:
- All medical expenses, current and future, including ambulance bills, ER bills, doctor’s bills, medications, medical equipment, surgeries, and long-term care when needed,
- Pain and suffering,
- Lost wages and future lost income,
- Emotional distress and mental anguish based on diagnosed conditions like PTSD caused by the crash, and
- Punitive damages when the defendant’s conduct was intentional or grossly negligent.
Your Myrtle Beach car accident attorney on the Axelrod Team knows how to prove liability and damages, and we know how to maximize your recovery based on the unique facts of your case.
If you suffered injuries, but you are not sure whether you are entitled to damages after a minor car accident, call now at 843-353-3449 or email us through our website to talk with an experienced personal injury lawyer today.