After a minor crash, you may hesitate to seek legal help. At first glance, it may seem as though you have no significant property damage or physical injuries. However, calling a lawyer after a minor crash helps to protect your legal interests.
At Anderson & Cummings, we have been advocating for victims injured by the negligence of others for decades. Our auto crash lawyers in Fort Worth have recovered millions in compensation for our clients. This history of success includes a $2.3 million settlement for a victim who suffered a brain injury in a car crash.
Minor crashes can still result in some pretty hefty damages, and you should not have to foot the bill for those costs. Below we discuss this topic in greater detail, including why you should still consider contacting a lawyer after a minor car crash in Fort Worth.
Not sure if you have a valid case? Call 24/7 to request a FREE consultation. (817) 920-9000
How Does Texas Define a Minor Car Crash?
Collisions are graded by the amount of property damage and the degree of injuries. In general, a crash is classified as an event that causes property damage, injuries or death.
Minor crashes are typically thought to have little to no injuries or property damage. This outcome may often be correct, but it does not mean you have no claim. Even minor injuries can result in some costly medical bills. You are well within your rights to recover compensation for minor injuries.
Collisions are graded by the amount of property damage and the degree of injuries. In general, traffic incidents that result in any type of collision are classified as an event that causes property damage, injuries or death.
Do I Need to Report a Minor Texas Car Accident to Police?
In Texas, you are only required to report a car accident under certain circumstances. Specifically, you must report a motor vehicle crash if:
- Individuals involved suffered injuries
- There was one or more fatalities
- Property damages of $1,000 or more occurred
- The vehicles involved in the crash are not drivable and cannot be moved
While you have 10 days to report a crash, you should not wait to call. When injuries are involved, any delays in reporting the incident may weaken your claim. Insurance companies, as a rule, consider crashes reported immediately as more reliable.
Additionally, even if the crash is minor, calling 9-1-1 to the scene is a good idea. A police report documents the incident, providing useful information that can help to support your claim.
Are There Reasons for Calling a Lawyer After a Minor Crash?
It is not always necessary to call a lawyer after a crash. A slight bump into another car where there is no visible vehicle damage probably does not require legal help.
However, there are several reasons why calling an injury lawyer in Texas after a minor crash may still be a good idea:
- Your property damages cost more than you thought to repair or replace
- The other driver may dispute who was at fault
- You want to be sure to maximize your claim
- The insurance company will likely try to devalue or deny your minor claim
- There is insufficient insurance available to cover your damages
- The other driver is refusing to cooperate with his or her insurance company
What if the Other Driver Offers Me Cash at the Scene?
Accepting cash from the at-fault driver is a good deal, but not for you. Often those who offer cash after causing a car accident have things to hide. For instance, they may have a history of traffic violations and another incident could cause them to lose their license. They may also be concerned their insurance premiums will go up.
The other problem with cash offers is that your vehicle may have sustained more damage than you thought. Even if it is drivable, you should have your mechanic look it over to make sure there are no hidden dangers that could make driving unsafe or cost you more money down the line.
Diminished Value on Your Vehicle
Getting minor repairs done on your vehicle is also not cheap, and it is worth pointing out that a crash causes your vehicle to have diminished value. This means that even if you get it fully repaired to the point where it looks and drives as it did before the crash, the value is still reduced.
Protecting Your Health
Even more important than the property damage or diminished value of your vehicle is protecting your own physical health. You should always seek immediate medical attention after a car crash, even if there only appears to be minor damage to your vehicle.
Getting examined at the ER ensures you do not have any internal injuries that could become serious if left untreated. Minor accidents can cause serious or delayed injuries. Failing to seek medical care after a crash is not a good idea. If you have delayed injuries, such as whiplash or a TBI, it would be harder to link them to a car crash claim later on if you did not get checked out right away.
Some common examples of serious injuries you could suffer in a minor car crash include:
- Severe bruising
- A head injury, such as a concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Retinal detachment, which could occur if your head hit the steering wheel in the crash
- Sprains and strains
- Internal injuries, such as organ damage or internal bleeding
- Minor fractures
- Knee injuries
- And more
While you may undergo a medical examination and only have minor injuries, that initial examination still costs money and you should not have to pay for it.
What if the Insurance Company Already Gave Me an Offer?
However much you may like your insurance company, it is important to remember that once you file a claim, their goals do not align with yours. The reasons why are simple.
You need full and fair compensation for the damages resulting from the crash. The insurance company, on the other hand, wants to protect its bottom line. If they paid maximum compensation on every claim without pushing back, they would soon be out of business.
A first offer from the insurance company will not include all your damages. It is vital that you realize this whether or not you accept the insurance company’s first offer. It is impossible to know the full extent of your damages, even in a minor crash, so soon after the incident. Once the offer is finalized, you cannot seek further compensation.
Call Our Law Firm To Discuss Your Situation After a Car Crash
At Anderson & Cummings, you can call our firm anytime, night or day to request a case review. Since case reviews are completely free, there is no risk to you and you have the added benefit of learning more about the merits of your claim.
If you have a case and we represent you, there are no upfront costs or fees to pay. We take injury claims on contingency, which means we only get paid if you do.
Call today for a free review of your claim. (817) 920-9000