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Do I Need an Attorney for a Minor Car Accident?
Posted in Car Accidents on November 1, 2021
Every year, hundreds of car accidents occur on Washington roads. While some accidents are very serious and result in extensive injuries and property damage, many of these collisions are relatively minor. You may wonder if you should seek a Seattle car accident attorney after a minor collision in these situations.
Although you are not required to hire a car accident lawyer, it is important to protect your best interests following an accident. A seemingly minor collision may be more serious than you initially believe, and an attorney can work with you to secure the compensation you need to recover.
Washington Is a Fault Accident State
Washington follows a fault-based system when it comes to car accidents. At-fault drivers are financially responsible for their victims’ damages. Victims have the right to hold negligent drivers accountable for their losses by filing an insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit.
To recover compensation in a Washington car accident claim, you will need to gather enough evidence to prove that the at-fault driver is responsible for your collision. You will also need to prove that you suffered certain damages, like medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Recovering Compensation Is Not Always Easy
The car accident claims process can seem very simple. You may believe that you can file a claim, recover a settlement quickly, and put the accident behind you. However, this process is not always straightforward.
Insurance companies do not always have accident victims’ best interests in mind. The company’s top priority is to protect its bottom line and paying maximum compensation to each and every claimant would ultimately harm the company.
As a result, an insurance adjuster may attempt to offer you a lower settlement than what you deserve. The company may also point to inconsistencies in your story to justify a lower settlement, or to avoid providing a settlement at all. In these cases, you need a lawyer on your side who can handle discussions with the insurance company and advocate for your maximum possible recovery.
In some cases, you may want to escalate your claim to a personal injury lawsuit, which can be very complex. You will need to follow multiple rules and requirements to successfully file and prove your claim. In these situations, you need an attorney on your side who is familiar with Washington personal injury law and can guide you through each stage of litigation.
Your Injuries May Be More Serious Than You Believe
After a seemingly minor car accident, you may believe that you did not suffer any injuries or that the injuries you suffered are minor. However, shock or adrenaline could be numbing the pain, and you may actually be suffering from very serious injuries. Symptoms may not develop until hours, days, or even weeks after your crash.
Common types of delayed injuries include the following.
- Soft tissue injuries, such as whiplash
- Concussion and other forms of head trauma
- Internal bleeding and organ damage
- Herniated discs and other spinal injuries
If you admit that your injuries are not serious or fail to seek medical attention after your accident, you may be unable to obtain the compensation you deserve. An attorney can help evaluate your injuries, assess your damages, and help protect your right to maximum recovery.
If you are involved in a Washington car accident, it is important to consult with an attorney. After receiving medical attention for your injuries, contact a Seattle personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to discuss your next steps.