Do you really need to hire a car accident attorney after what might seem like a minor to a medium-degree fender bender? There were more than 5.2 million motor vehicle crashes in 2020, according to the U.S. Bureau of Transportation Statistics. If you're one of the many drivers involved in an accident, take a look at some reasons to hire a lawyer.
Auto Damage May Cost More Than You Expect
The dent in your car's door seems minor to you—and you don't expect to pay a high price to fix it. But this doesn't mean the damage repairs will fall into the budget you've imagined.
Auto damage isn't always easy to fix. An auto body or collision shop may need to order expensive parts, remove entire sections of your car's exterior, or repaint a much larger section of the body than you would expect.
Along with bodywork, it's possible that the collision shop will need to repair parts of your car's safety system (such as lane change sensors) or replace other tech features. While safety and similar tech or smart systems can help you to avoid some crashes, they're also costly to replace.
Beyond the actual cost of repairs, you won't know the extent of the damage until a professional inspects your car. It's possible the crash caused additional damage that goes beyond the minor bangs and dings you noticed after the incident.
A car accident lawyer can walk you through the post-crash process and help you to recoup some (or possibly all) of your financial losses, depending on who was at fault and the circumstances of the incident. Without legal representation, you could get stuck paying for a costly repair bill after a seemingly small accident.
Injuries Don't Always Appear Immediately
Like auto damage, injuries to a person can appear minor at first. The slight stiffness in your neck or other feelings you experience after an accident may seem like nothing more than an annoyance. But over the next few hours or days, you could notice painful symptoms that are clearly the result of the accident. If the incident eventually results in costly medical bills, an attorney can help you to understand the other driver's legal and financial responsibilities.
Insurance Companies Don't Always Cooperate
What is the best-case scenario after a seemingly minor accident? In a perfect world, the other driver's liability insurance would immediately cover the repairs for your car and any bodily injury claims. But the other driver's insurance company may not readily approve your claim. They may want more information, ask for an interview, or request photos and documents.
Whether you're not sure how to handle the insurance company's requests or they outright deny your claim, a car accident lawyer can help. This type of specialized attorney knows how to navigate the insurance system and fight for their client's claims.
For more info, contact a law office like Gayheart & Willis P.C.