Should I Hire a Lawyer for a Minor Traffic Accident?
If you are involved in a minor car accident, say a fender bender or an impact with another car resulting in minor damage, you might ask yourself, should you hire a lawyer or try and resolve it on your own?
Alabama is one of a handful of states that follow the “contributory negligence” doctrine. That means even if you contributed just one percent to the accident, you might find it much more difficult to obtain compensation for the cost of your accident – your medical bills, property damage, and lost wages.
Contributory negligence is often argued by the other side to negate any responsibility for the accident, even if he is 100% responsible for causing the accident. They will try and blame you for contributing to the accident in order not to have to pay your compensation.
Considering the extra hurdle that you have to cross in Alabama to prove your personal injury case, hiring an Alabama car accident attorney may be critical in having a successful claim against the at-fault driver.
Lawyers and Minor Vehicle Accidents
Your attorney will have the task of proving the other driver was 100 percent at fault for the minor vehicle accident.
Here’s how they can help you at this time:
Investigation – For one thing, they can begin gathering the evidence needed to make your claim before that evidence disappears. It’s always best to talk to witnesses when their recollection is freshest and examine the scene, the car, and the police report.
Negotiation – Your Alabama car accident attorney can begin the negotiations with the insurance agent. If the events of the accident are not disputed, the other side may make you an offer soon after the accident. This rarely is the best offer you will receive. It’s more likely geared to making you go away since that insurance company does not work for you. Your lawyer can handle all communications with the goal of reaching a fair settlement, so you are not tempted to jump at the first offer.
Fair Settlement – Your legal representative has experience in car accidents and their relative value. Unless you have been involved in many, you may not.
For example, you may be compensated for:
- Medical expenses including trips to doctor, ambulance, rehab, medical equipment, imaging, among other costs
- Property damage, such as your vehicle
- Lost wages while you are recovering
- The value of any reduction in your workload and compensation as a result of your accident
- The value of pain and suffering as a result of the accident
Your lawyer will consider all of the expenses following your car accident based on the experience he has gathered over the years in calculating all of the costs of the accident.
On the other hand, you may underestimate the actual value of the accident and what it is costing you.
This is a time when you are recovering from your car accident. Some injuries may not even be evident immediately following the accident. Traumatic brain injury, a herniated disc, or a concussion may not manifest right after the crash when your adrenaline is elevated.
Having an experienced advocate by your side lightens your load and allows you to pay attention to your injuries at a time when you need to focus on recovery.
Alabama Law and Car Accidents
Under Alabama law, you must report even a minor car accident if it involves at least $250 in damage, personal injury, or death.
Your lawyer will tell you it’s important to report the accident and generate an accident report. Police may have found the at-fault driver was DUI at the time of the accident, failed to yield the right of way, or was speeding.
Knowing this will maximize your chance of being compensated for your injuries.
Your Experienced Legal Advocate
If your minor car accident is not even one that you will report to insurance, make sure you are not suffering from delayed injuries. If you do have injuries, you may need to seek compensation even for a minor vehicle accident.
In that case, J. Allan Brown will be your advocate to identify the at-fault party, overcome the contributory negligence hurdle and assess all of your medical and financial damages.
The consultation is complimentary. Call the Law Office of J. Allan Brown, LLC in Mobile to discuss your options at 251-220-3199.