First Things First
A minor car accident might result in a simple mark on your bumper or a small dent. On the surface, it may seem inconsequential but what many people don't realize is that even seemingly minor accidents can lead to significant legal, financial, and physical consequences.
In this article, we'll explore why hiring a lawyer after a minor car accident is a wise decision and why you should consider the services of The Mike Hostilo Law Firm.
Why You Should Hire a Lawyer for a Smoother Process:
Minor Car Accidents Can Be Expensive
At first glance, the damages from a minor car accident may seem trivial. However, expenses can add up quickly. Repairing a dented bumper or fixing electrical damage to your car's wiring can cost between $800 to $2,000. Plus, there are often hidden costs, such as damage to personal items like eyeglasses or cell phones.
Hidden Costs of Minor Car Accidents
A minor car accident may appear to be just an inconvenience but the financial toll can be substantial. Let's delve into the hidden costs that can accumulate:
1. Repairs Beyond the Bumper
Repair Bills: The costs of repairing even seemingly minor damages, such as a dented bumper, can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars.
Electrical Damage: Sometimes a minor collision can lead to electrical damage in your vehicle (affecting critical components like brake lights and taillights) resulting in costly repairs.
2. Damaged Personal Items
Eyeglasses and Electronics: The impact of an accident can damage personal items, such as eyeglasses or cell phones, adding unexpected expenses to your list.
3. Potential Legal Battles
Comparative Negligence in Florida: Florida's pure comparative negligence system allows accident victims to pursue damages even if they share some responsibility for the accident. This can lead to complex legal battles if the other party claims severe injuries.
Insurance Companies Won’t Always Be on Your Side
Dealing with your auto insurance company should be straightforward, but it's not always the case. Insurers may attempt to settle your claim for less than you deserve. Their initial offer might not accurately reflect your claim's value, and they may dispute the severity of your injuries. This is where legal expertise can make a significant difference.
Challenges with Insurance Companies
Navigating the insurance claims process can be more challenging than you might expect:
1. Inadequate Initial Offers
Underestimating Your Claim: Insurance companies often make initial settlement offers that don't fully account for the extent of your losses, leaving you with less compensation than you deserve.
2. Disputes Over Injuries
Downplaying Injury Severity: Insurance adjusters may downplay the severity of your injuries, making it difficult to secure fair compensation for medical bills and pain and suffering.
3. Comparative Negligence Concerns
Sharing Blame: If you and the other party share responsibility for the accident, the insurance company may use this to reduce your compensation. The Mike Hostilo Law Firm can help you navigate these challenges, ensuring that you receive fair compensation for your minor car accident.
Possible Injuries You May Have Suffered:
Soft Tissue Injuries
Minor car accidents can cause soft tissue injuries like whiplash, which may not manifest immediately. Symptoms such as neck and shoulder pain, dizziness, and headaches can appear hours or even days after the accident.
Delayed Onset of Symptoms
Whiplash Symptoms: Symptoms of whiplash may not appear until 24 hours or more after the crash. These symptoms include pain and tenderness in the neck and shoulders, dizziness, numbness or tingling sensations, headaches, fatigue, weakness, and issues with memory and concentration.
Head Injuries: Even a minor accident can lead to head injuries, including concussions, which may not be evident right away. These injuries can result in significant medical expenses, including hospital stays and rehabilitation.
Head Injuries After a Car Accident
Head injuries are a concern after any car accident, even seemingly minor ones. Let's explore the types of head injuries you might have sustained and their potential impact:
Concussion Symptoms: Concussion symptoms may not be immediately evident but can include headaches, nausea, vomiting, balance issues, double or blurry vision, noise or light sensitivity, and feeling groggy or sluggish.
Hidden Injuries: Sometimes injuries aren't immediately apparent. Seeking medical attention, even if you don't feel immediate pain, is crucial. Hidden injuries like herniated discs or spinal injuries can have long-term consequences.
Recognizing Hidden Injuries
Hidden injuries, which may not manifest symptoms immediately, are common after car accidents. Here are some hidden injuries to be aware of:
1. Herniated Discs
Symptoms: Herniated discs may not cause immediate pain, but they can lead to numbness and pain over time. Treatment options include medications, physical therapy, and in severe cases surgery.
2. Spinal Injuries
Symptoms: Spinal injuries, such as a spinal cord infarction, can lead to symptoms like aching legs and sharp back pain. Physical therapy and rehabilitation are often necessary for recovery.
What To Do After A Minor Accident:
Taking the right steps following a car accident can help you assess your injuries, protect your rights, and obtain the necessary medical treatment. These steps include:
- Assess Injuries: Immediately assess your injuries and those of other passengers and drivers to determine if emergency treatment is required.
- Move to Safety: If possible, move your vehicle to a safe location and turn on hazard lights.
- Call the Police: If there are injuries or property damage totaling $500 or more call local law enforcement to file a police report.
- Provide Facts: When speaking with the police provide factual information about the events leading up to the accident and avoid speculating or admitting fault.
- Exchange Information: Exchange contact details, driver’s license numbers, and insurance information with the other drivers involved.
- Document the Scene: Take photos of injuries and property damage to your car and the other vehicles involved.
- Collect Witness Information: Ask witnesses for their contact information so your lawyer can contact them for their testimonies.
- Notify Your Insurance: Notify your insurance company about the accident immediately and follow their instructions for filing a claim.
Should You Hire A Car Accident Lawyer After Your Accident?
Before speaking with your insurance company it's advisable to contact a lawyer, especially if you believe your case may become complicated.
A car accident attorney from The Mike Hostilo Law Firm can offer legal advice, help with negotiations, and ensure you receive a fair settlement. They will focus on the severity of the incident, the extent of your injuries, and how these injuries will impact your life to help you settle your claim.
The Benefits of Hiring Mike Hostilo Law Firm
Dealing with the aftermath of a car crash can present complexities. Here's why you should consider hiring a car accident lawyer from The Mike Hostilo Law Firm:
1. Legal Experience
We are well-versed in specific laws and regulations, ensuring you receive the full protection of the law.
2. Negotiation Skills
We are skilled negotiators who can work to maximize your compensation, ensuring you receive what you rightfully deserve.
3. Gathering Evidence
At The Mike Hostilo Law Firm we will gather essential evidence including medical records, witness statements, and accident photos, to build a strong case in your favor.
4. Handling Insurance Companies
We will handle all communications with insurance companies, fighting for fair compensation on your behalf.
You’re Not Alone
All in all, a minor car accident can have major consequences. Even seemingly insignificant accidents can result in hidden injuries, unexpected expenses, and legal complications. Hiring a lawyer after a minor car accident is a smart move to protect your rights and secure fair compensation.
The Mike Hostilo Law Firm is here to assist you with all types of cases, ensuring you receive the guidance and support you need during this challenging time.
The Mike Hostilo Law Firm
33 Park of Commerce Blvd
Savannah, GA 31405