Exploring the Value of Hiring a Car Accident Lawyer Even for a Minor Accident
If you’ve been involved in a fender bender on Philadelphia’s Broad Street, you may be wondering what to do next. Many people involved in seemingly minor car accidents ask ‘Should I get a lawyer for a minor car accident?’ At van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin, we’ve seen seemingly minor car accident claims turn into complex cases, some with substantial long-term consequences. Below, we take a look at the complications that can arise from minor accidents and how an experienced attorney can help.
Injured in a Car Accident?
More than Meets the Eye
Minor car accidents, often referred to as "fender benders," may seem inconsequential at first glance, but they can indeed lead to substantial long-term consequences for several reasons:
- Physical Injuries: Even in minor accidents, occupants can experience physical injuries, such as whiplash, soft tissue damage, or minor fractures. These injuries may not manifest immediately but can develop into long-term chronic pain or disability. Injuries from minor accidents may predispose individuals to future health issues. For example, whiplash can increase the risk of chronic neck pain or headaches.
- Emotional Trauma: Car accidents can be traumatic events, and the emotional impact can linger for a long time. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression are common consequences that can persist long after the accident.
- Financial Impact: Repairing even minor damage to a car can be expensive. Insurance premiums may also increase, causing financial strain. Additionally, time away from work due to injuries or car repairs can result in lost income.
- Diminished Quality of Life: Pain or physical limitations resulting from even minor accidents can reduce a person's quality of life. This may affect their ability to engage in physical activities, work, or enjoy hobbies.
- Legal Consequences: Minor accidents can sometimes lead to legal disputes, particularly when it's challenging to determine fault or liability. Legal battles can be costly and protracted, affecting one's life for a long time.
- Pre-existing Conditions: A minor car accident can exacerbate pre-existing health conditions. For example, someone with a back problem may experience worsened symptoms following a minor collision.
- Impact on Relationships: Car accidents can lead to strained relationships, especially if the accident involves multiple parties. Disputes about liability and compensation can create long-lasting tension between the parties involved.
- Medical Expenses: Medical treatment for injuries sustained in a minor accident can be costly. Over time, these expenses can accumulate, leading to financial stress.
It's important to note that the severity of long-term consequences may vary based on the specific circumstances of the accident, the individual's health and resilience, and how the aftermath is handled. Even minor accidents should not be dismissed, and individuals involved should seek medical attention and legal advice if necessary to ensure that any long-term consequences are addressed appropriately.
- Unmatched Support: Navigating the Fallout of a Car Accident
"I was involved in a car accident while 13 weeks pregnant. I didn’t know where to turn until a friend gave me a number and said “Hey, check out this lawyer”. I did just that, and even though the process was long, which I expected, it was the best decision I've made in a long time. In the end, we won! I have to thank Mr. Hartshorn and his team for everything they have done for not only me but my family as well. I could not have picked a better lawyer! Thank you all so very much! On a scale of 1 to 10, you guys are a 100!"- Deasia C. / Client★★★★★
- Seamless Experience: Legal Excellence Meets Compassionate Care
"Wonderful experience with this law firm after getting hit last summer. The whole staff is on top of things and communicates well. A special shoutout to the attorney who handled my case and negotiated my medical bills. I was able to get the care and treatment I needed with minimal stress because they handled it all!"- Amanda A. / Client★★★★★
- Effortless Recovery: Comprehensive Care and Exceptional Communication
"Going with this law firm for my auto accident case was the best advice anyone ever gave me. I was very impressed with my results and the way they handled my case and me."- Ant F. / Client★★★★★
- Prompt and Precise: An Automobile Settlement that Stands Out
“I wanted to thank you for the excellent work you did as my attorney with the settlement of my automobile accident. I know you have a lot of clients, so your prompt responses and attention to detail really meant a lot to me.”- Jarrett H. / Client★★★★★
Real-Life Scenarios: Minor Accidents with Major Long-Term Implications
Scenario 1: The Lingering Effects of Whiplash
Imagine Sarah, a 30-year-old professional, driving along South Street when her car is suddenly rear-ended. The damage to her vehicle appears minimal, and she initially experiences only a slight discomfort in her neck. Believing the incident to be trivial, Sarah forgoes immediate medical evaluation.
The Unfolding Consequences:
- Persistent Whiplash: In the weeks that follow, Sarah's neck discomfort escalates into severe pain, ultimately leading to a diagnosis of whiplash. The condition disrupts her work routine, causing her to miss several days on the job.
- Emotional Toll: The ongoing pain not only limits her physical activities but also takes an emotional toll. Sarah finds herself grappling with anxiety and depression, which significantly diminishes her overall well-being.
- Financial Burden: The accumulating medical expenses and costs for physical therapy become a financial burden. Additionally, her insurance premiums rise, and the loss of income due to missed work exacerbates her financial stress.
- Long-Term Suffering: Even years after the accident, Sarah continues to experience neck pain and faces unresolved mental health challenges.
Scenario 2: A Seemingly Inconsequential Intersection Collision
John, a 45-year-old engineer, finds himself in a minor accident at the crossroads of Broad Street and Race Street. The front bumper of his car sustains damage, but he feels physically fine at the moment and declines medical attention.
The Unfolding Consequences:
- Undetected Injuries: As time passes, John begins to suffer from back pain and frequent headaches. It turns out the accident aggravated a pre-existing back issue.
- Chronic Discomfort: Despite undergoing physical therapy, John's back pain persists, affecting his job performance and ultimately leading to job loss.
- Legal Complications: A disagreement arises between John and the other driver involved in the accident concerning who was at fault. This results in a drawn-out legal battle, adding to John's stress and financial woes.
- Financial Strain: The mounting medical bills, legal fees, and loss of income create a financial crisis that threatens John's long-term stability.
- Strained Personal Relationships: The ongoing stress from the accident and subsequent legal issues adversely affect John's marriage and friendships.
In both Sarah's and John's scenarios, what initially appeared to be minor vehicular accidents led to substantial long-term repercussions. These real-life examples illustrate the complexities that can arise from delayed injuries, emotional distress, financial hardships, legal entanglements, and strained personal relationships. It is crucial to consult with a seasoned attorney following any car accident, no matter how inconsequential it may initially seem.
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How an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Can Help
The experienced car accident attorneys at van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin can be valuable allies in the aftermath of a minor car accident, despite the perception that such accidents are inconsequential. Here's how hiring an experienced attorney can help:
- Medical Evaluation: An experienced attorney can recommend or connect you with medical professionals who can thoroughly evaluate your condition, even if your injuries seem minor at first. This can help ensure that any potential long-term or hidden injuries are identified and properly treated.
- Insurance Claims: They can assist in dealing with insurance companies. Even minor accidents can lead to disputes with insurance providers over coverage and compensation. An attorney can handle negotiations on your behalf, making sure you receive a fair settlement
- Legal Guidance: Attorneys can provide legal guidance and ensure you understand your rights and responsibilities. They can explain the relevant laws in your area, including time limits for filing claims and any contributory negligence rules that may apply.
- Documentation: Attorneys can help you gather and preserve evidence, such as accident reports, witness statements, photographs, and medical records, to support your case. This documentation can be crucial if you decide to pursue legal action.
- Negotiation Skills: Skilled attorneys are experienced in negotiating settlements. They can work to maximize the compensation you receive for property damage, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages.
- Liability Determination: In some cases, liability may not be clear-cut, even in minor accidents. An attorney can investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident to determine fault and liability, which can be important if multiple parties are involved.
- Legal Action: If the other party involved in the accident disputes liability or refuses to provide fair compensation, an experienced attorney can initiate legal action on your behalf, taking the case to court if necessary.
- Protection from Legal Pitfalls: Attorneys can help protect you from common legal pitfalls, ensuring that you don't say or do anything that could harm your case. They can also help you avoid accepting a settlement that's less than what you're entitled to.
- Advocacy for Long-Term Consequences: Experienced attorneys understand that even minor accidents can have long-term consequences, and they will advocate for your rights and needs. This includes accounting for future medical expenses and potential lost earnings.
- Reduced Stress: Dealing with the aftermath of an accident, especially when there are disputes or injuries involved, can be extremely stressful. An attorney can handle many of the administrative and legal aspects, allowing you to focus on your recovery.
Consult With Us
Is the question ‘Should I get a lawyer for a minor car accident?’ weighing on your mind? Contact van der Veen, Hartshorn and Levin and schedule a free consultation. We’d be happy to review your case and help you determine the best approach to take in recovering compensation.