Should I Hire a Lawyer After a Minor Car Accident in Lakewood, CO?
Minor car accidents regularly occur in Lakewood, Colorado. If there is little to no vehicle damage, it is common for people to refrain from filing a police report. Most people choose not to share insurance information if no one is visibly injured.
Life is busy, and it can seem like an intelligent choice. However, the consequences of a minor car accident can take time before they begin to cause issues. Being informed about your civil duty and rights is important in a minor car accident.
Let’s explore why hiring a lawyer after a minor car accident is wise. Whether you believe the damage was minimal or not, it may still be in your best interest to do so.
The Legal Consequences of a Car Accident
In Colorado, you are required to notify the police after any accident that results in injury, death, or damage. Failing to do so is illegal, even if it’s just a fender bender and no one is visibly injured. It becomes a crime when you get in your car and drive away.
Leaving the scene of a minor car accident is a significant mistake if you fail to file a police report. This is because you can still be owed damages for any harm caused. Failing to file a police report can prevent a judge from awarding the appropriate damages.
Hidden Injuries: The Unseen Consequences of Minor Car Accidents
The aftermath of a minor car accident may initially seem inconsequential. It’s essential to recognize that some injuries might remain hidden, not manifesting until days or weeks after the incident. These invisible injuries can significantly impact your ability to live as you intend.
Common hidden injuries include:
- Soft Tissue Injuries
- Back Injuries
- Internal Injuries
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
The potential for hidden injuries to impact your physical well-being and finances is significant. Contacting a car accident lawyer is an imperative step. They will work to protect your rights and seek the compensation you deserve.
The Cost of Hidden Injuries
Understanding the potential consequences of hidden injuries is crucial. It is even more necessary to recognize the specific burdens they can impose.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), the average cost of a non-fatal injury sustained in a motor vehicle crash in the United States is around $40,000. This cost encompasses medical bills, rehabilitation, and ongoing care.
Hidden injuries can result in time off work for medical appointments, recovery, and rehabilitation. Losing consistent income can compound the negative effects of a minor car accident.
Pain and Suffering
While difficult to quantify, the pain, suffering, and diminished quality of life resulting from hidden injuries can have profound effects. These intangible costs should be noticed when seeking compensation.
Some hidden injuries may require ongoing medical care, such as physical therapy or chiropractic treatments, adding to the overall recovery cost.
As you navigate the aftermath of a car accident, understanding the potential financial implications of hidden injuries underscores the importance of seeking appropriate compensation and legal guidance.
The “He Said, She Said” Dilemma
Imagine this scenario: You’re involved in a minor car accident. Both parties exchange information and maintain civility throughout the interaction. You decide not to report the incident to the police, thinking it was a minor inconvenience you could quickly put behind you.
Fast forward several weeks, and a legal challenge emerges. To your surprise, you receive a summons to appear in court. The other party involved in the accident has initiated a claim against you.
They allege that you were at fault for the accident, and they are seeking compensation for injuries and property damage. Moreover, some of these claims may appear exaggerated or untrue. This situation plunges you into a “he said, she said” dispute.
This is a common legal challenge in such cases. Fortunately, these lawsuits rarely progress in the courts. However, dealing with the associated hassle, time, and potential legal proceedings can be emotionally and financially draining.
Should I Accept the Insurance Settlement Offer?
If you and the other party are responsible and report the accident and share insurance information, you can still be left financially vulnerable. This can happen even when an insurance company finds the other party at fault, and you are offered a settlement.
At the moment, it may seem best to accept the settlement. Life is busy, and moving past the accident as quickly as possible makes sense. The problem is that the settlement may not cover the actual costs of the accident.
Insurance companies often aim for lower settlements to limit their expenses, even in minor accidents. Their priority is minimizing financial liability, which may result in inadequate settlement offers.
Consulting a personal injury attorney is a wise step to secure the compensation you need to address hidden costs and unforeseen injuries from such incidents. This will help you avoid dipping into your finances to cover repair and medical expenses.
Contact an Auto Accident Lawer Today
In the wake of an accident, time is of the essence. Delays can result in complications, particularly when dealing with insurance companies and legal matters. The longer you wait, the greater the risk of missing out on crucial evidence or timelines that could bolster your case.
Take initiative and protect your interests. Don’t face the aftermath of a car accident alone. Our experienced car accident lawyers are here to help you understand your legal rights and ensure you receive the compensation you deserve.
Contact Our Lakewood Car Accident Law Firm For Help Today
Matos Personal Injury Lawyers – Lakewood Office
550 S Wadsworth Blvd, Suite 300, Lakewood, CO 80226
Hours: Open 24 hours daily