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Do I Need an Attorney for a Minor Car Accident?

Posted on October 29, 2020 in

Hiring an attorney can feel like a serious and major decision after any car accident, especially ones that result in seemingly minor injuries. An insurance claim after a fender-bender or a sideswipe may seem easy to settle without an attorney, but not all cases are as simple as they appear. Even minor collisions may require legal representation to ensure you receive a fair and reasonable settlement.

Your Legal Options After a Minor Accident

Many car accidents result in some sort of physical, financial, or emotional damages, even if the collision seems minor. For example, you may sustain whiplash after a rear-end accident and suffer a broken taillight, you will need to seek medical attention and repair your vehicle, which will result in financial losses. You may also experience chronic pain and develop a fear of driving, leading to emotional hardship.

All of these damages are eligible for financial compensation. Since Arizona is a fault-based insurance state, the person responsible for your crash must pay for these losses. You have three options to seek a settlement after your accident.

  • Filing a third-party claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance
  • Filing a claim under your own insurance if you have proper coverage
  • Filing a personal injury lawsuit in civil court

Although circumstances vary from case to case, minor car accidents are not likely to go to the courtroom. Since these accidents usually involve lower settlements and less severe injuries than more serious collisions, you will likely file an insurance claim. If your case does not settle in the insurance process, you may choose to proceed to the courtroom or appeal an insurance denial.

Do You Need an Attorney for an Insurance Claim?

Insurance processes may seem straightforward, but it is important to be cautious when speaking with company representatives. The company’s bottom line is often more important than paying an accident victim full compensation. The adjuster may try to use evidence to prove that you are responsible for the crash or do not deserve the full value of the settlement you ask for, sometimes engaging in bad faith practices.

By hiring a Prescott car accident attorney, you will always have an advocate who understands the true extent of your injuries and what you need to recover. Your attorney can protect your rights during the insurance process in a number of ways.

  • Negotiating with insurance adjusters for a fair settlement
  • Identifying bad faith practices and filing a complaint to remedy them
  • Filing paperwork on your behalf so you can avoid unintentional errors
  • Calculating the estimated value of your claim to avoid accepting a lower settlement than you deserve
  • Explaining the claims process to you and what to expect at each stage
  • Advising the course of your claim and whether or not to escalate to a lawsuit
  • Providing additional leverage during negotiations and signaling to the insurance company that you are serious about obtaining a fair settlement

Collecting fair compensation after an accident can be a challenge. You can face scrutiny at every stage of the claim and be unsure how to approach certain processes. In addition to protecting your rights during the insurance process, car accident attorneys can support your claim by investigating the crash, obtaining witnesses, and more. After seeking medical attention for your accident, contact an Arizona injury attorney to discuss your next steps.