Should I Hire A Lawyer For A Minor Car Accident

February 11, 2024

By Promoting Justice

The decision to hire a lawyer may always seem like a tough call, especially if you have been involved in a minor car accident. On the one hand, it may feel as if you can handle your case without anyone’s assistance. On the other hand, however, you may be too overwhelmed to face the legal process – and all the possible complications that may arise – on your own. Deciding whether you can comfortably and confidently represent yourself without compromising your right to recovery is no easy task. At Shillen Mackall Seldon & Spicer, we sincerely believe that the decision to lawyer up should not be taken lightly. We completely understand why someone who has just been involved in an accident may not want to hire a lawyer, especially if the accident is minor. To ensure money is not a barrier to seeking representation, they offer free consultations to prospective clients to give them a chance to experience the quality of help that they may be able to get from us. Schedule a free case evaluation by calling (802)457-4848 to discuss your situation. 

What Is Considered a Minor Accident?

Distinguishing between minor and major accidents can be difficult when you are one of the people involved in the accident. All accidents feel significant when you are a victim. However, there are some differences that can help you determine a minor accident from a major accident. 

A minor car accident is a collision that causes limited impact and usually results in relatively minimal to no damage to the vehicles and/or little to no injury to vehicle occupants. Some examples of minor car accidents include:

  • Fender bender. A fender bender is a term used to describe a minor accident in which vehicles are only slightly damaged. Fender benders usually occur at low speeds (less than 25 mph) and often happen in busy traffic areas such as intersections or parking lots. 
  • Rear-end collision. These accidents happen when one vehicle hits the backside of another car. The damage caused by a rear-end collision is often limited to the rear bumper and taillights of the car. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, collisions where a car crashes into the back of another car account for about 29% of all accidents on American roads. 
  • Sideswipe. A sideswipe is a minor car accident where two cars collide while driving parallel to each other. Sideswipes often happen when changing lanes on a multi-lane road or when a car is turning at an intersection. 
  • Parking lot accident. Accidents in the parking lot may happen due to drivers not paying attention and backing up into other parked or moving vehicles. The damage caused by a parking lot accident is usually limited to the sides or bumpers of the car. 

What Injuries or Trauma Might Someone Have After a Minor Car Accident?

Coming out unscathed from a car accident is always a blessing, but even minor accidents can result in injuries. Much of the time, these injuries tend to go unnoticed, and they may worsen if left unattended. Common types of injuries associated with minor car accidents include: 

  • Whiplash. A vehicle occupant may suffer this type of injury when their neck is suddenly jerked forward and backward, causing damage to the muscles and ligaments. According to RUSH University Medical Center, an estimated two million Americans experience whiplash every year. 
  • Bruises and scratches. A victim of a minor car accident may experience some bruising due to the impact of the collision or scratches from contact with shattered glass or other objects inside the car. 
  • Soft tissue injuries. Soft tissue injuries refer to damage to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments and can range from minor strains to more severe tears. They can be caused by sudden impact or twisting movements during a crash. 
  • Lacerations. Lacerations are cuts or tears in the skin caused by broken glass or other objects inside the car during an accident. 

In addition to injuries, victims of even minor car accidents may face trauma such as mood swings, difficulty sleeping, new fears and phobias, and high stress and anxiety levels that do not go away. A study hosted by the National Library of Medicine indicates that as much as 25% to 33% of car crash victims experience post-traumatic stress disorder for at least 30 days after the accident. The lawyers at Shillen Mackall Seldon & Spicer may be able to reduce some of that stress by managing the complex and confusing aspects of your case so you can focus on recovery.

Why You May Need a Lawyer After a Minor Car Accident

A lawyer may play a crucial role when it comes to overseeing a legal case and helping people pursue the compensation to which they may be entitled. Some of the ways a lawyer may be able to help, even if someone has been in a minor accident, include:

  • Meet the procedural requirements. Having legal counsel can take much of the guesswork out of a legal case. With a lawyer on their side, individuals may enjoy peace of mind knowing that they will be able to adhere to all the procedures, rules, and requirements their case entails. A lawyer may be able to help ensure that the claim proceeds in accordance with the applicable Florida, New Hampshire, or Vermont laws. 
  • Deal with the insurance company. The task of filing a claim and handling the claims process is not necessarily easier when someone is involved in a minor car accident, especially if the other driver is underinsured or uninsured. The American Bar Association notes that the vast majority of personal injury cases are resolved outside of court, but it does not necessarily mean the insurer will be cooperative or reasonable when processing a claim. Unrepresented claimants may be easy prey for insurance companies who may take advantage of their vulnerability and lack of legal knowledge to settle the claim for less than the claimant deserves. A lawyer may be able to ensure the claimant is compensated fairly for their claim.
  • Do the legal legwork. Filing a claim and pursuing compensation involves a lot of paperwork and confusing rules, even if the accident is minor. A lawyer may be able to take care of the entire legal side of the case so the injured person can focus on their health and work. A lawyer may also do this more effectively to maximize the compensation and expedite the claims process. 

Being involved in an automobile accident is never fun or exciting, even when there is little to no damage to the vehicles and no injuries. In fact, most people wish the accident never happened in the first place because it disrupts their everyday life and adds a lot of unnecessary stress. 

Let a Lawyer Review Your Car Accident Case at No Cost to You

The car accident lawyers at Shillen Mackall Seldon & Spicer have been assisting accident victims with their legal needs since 1980. If you have been involved in an accident – even if it is a minor car accident – you might want to reach out to one of their offices in Florida, New Hampshire, or Vermont, and set up a free case evaluation. For more than four decades, they have offered exceptional and exclusive representation to accident victims. Call (802) 457-4848 to schedule a free consultation and get a review at no cost to you.