Should I Hire a Lawyer if I’ve Been in a Minor Accident?

By Peter DePaolis

While Virginia law does not force you to hire a lawyer if you have been in a minor accident, working with a Virginia personal injury attorney can be a smart decision. What looked like an insignificant collision at the time could end up being much more than you originally thought. Even a fender-bender could involve tens of thousands of dollars of property damage and much more in personal injury damages.

If you are asking yourself, “Should I hire a lawyer if I’ve been in a minor accident?” read on. We’ll explain how a molehill can turn into a legal mountain.

Injuries with Delayed Symptoms

People do not always feel pain immediately from their injuries because of the adrenaline rush of being in a collision, so you might not know that you got hurt until after everyone leaves the scene of the accident or later. With some injuries, like internal bleeding, you might not know that you are hemorrhaging inside until you collapse in a medical crisis. Even fractured bones might not exhibit symptoms until a day or two after the collision.

A Damaged Bumper Can Get a Car Considered as Totaled

You might be surprised at how quickly an insurance company will consider a car to be totaled. Auto repair is expensive, and with all the built-in technology in today’s cars and the lack of replacement parts for older cars, it might not be worth it to try to fix a car after a crash. What looked like a few hundred dollars worth of work at the auto body shop could be much more than you think.

The Other Driver Might Fake or Exaggerate Injuries

Some people think that they should get thousands of dollars in “easy money” if they were in a minor car accident. They might fake an injury or exaggerate a minor wound and see how much money they can get. If you carry only the minimum amount of automobile liability insurance coverage, you might end up having to pay the rest of their damages out of your pocket.

The Other Driver Might Blame You for the Collision

No matter how obvious it seemed that the other driver caused the accident, he might try to lie his way out of liability for your damages by blaming you for the collision. Having a personal injury lawyer on your side could make the difference between getting money from the other driver for your losses and having to pay money to the other driver.

Missing the Lawsuit Filing Deadline Could Cost You Plenty

You have very little time to file a lawsuit to protect your right to compensation from the party who caused the collision that injured you. If your case does not settle and the deadline passes, the law will forever bar you from holding the at-fault driver accountable for your losses. You could end up with a stack of medical bills you cannot afford to pay and nothing to show for your physical discomfort, inconvenience, and emotional distress.

A Virginia personal injury attorney could protect your right to compensation and negotiate directly with the insurance company so that you can focus on rest and recuperation. Contact our office today for a free consultation.

About the Author
Peter DePaolis joined the firm in 1980 and has since represented a large number of individuals involved in automobile collisions, truck accidents, bus crashes, defective products, and medical malpractice cases. A significant portion of Mr. DePaolis’ practice is devoted to working on behalf of people suffering from asbestosis, mesothelioma, and other asbestos-related cancers. He has led his firm’s fight against the asbestos industry and has recovered over $30 million in damages for asbestos victims and their families.