Should I Hire a Lawyer After a Minor Car Accident in Dallas, Texas?
If you were involved in a minor car accident, you might feel fortunate you were not injured. You might refer to the car crash as a minor car accident or a fender-bender. In that situation, you might wonder if you should hire a Dallas auto accident lawyer for a minor car crash in Dallas, Texas.
Hiring minor injury lawyers might not seem necessary. However, talking to a Dallas car accident lawyer about your car accident claim is always beneficial. What you consider a minor car accident could result in a serious injury, and having legal advice can be beneficial.
What Is Considered a Minor Car Accident in Dallas, Texas?
There is no standard definition of a minor car accident. However, some parties define “minor” as a car crash that does not result in personal injuries. Another term for a car accident without injuries is “property damage only” or PDO accident.
Other parties might define “minor” car accidents as collisions that cause non-incapacitating injuries. These injuries might include minor cases of whiplash or soft tissue injuries that heal in a couple of weeks. Minor injuries do not result in long-term impairments and only require minor medical treatment.
However, what you believe to be a minor injury could be signs of a severe injury. Without prompt medical treatment, your condition could worsen. In some cases, an accident victim develops a life-threatening condition.
The Texas Department of Transportation breaks down car accidents into categories based on the level of injury sustained by the individuals involved in the crash. Those categories include:
- Unknown severity crashes
- Fatal crashes
- Non-injury crashes
- Suspected serious crashes
- Possible injury crashes
- Suspected minor crashes
If a person reports no injuries or minor injuries at the accident scene, the crash may be reported as minor. However, the person might develop serious injuries days after the crash. Therefore, Texas could have more serious injury crashes than reported.
When Should I Hire a Dallas Car Accident Attorney After a Minor Car Crash?
You are required to report car accidents that cause injury or death. Car accidents that disable a vehicle must also be reported to law enforcement.
It is always wise to see a doctor as soon as possible after a car accident. The only way to know whether you sustained an injury is to be checked by a physician. A physician can diagnose your injuries and prescribe a treatment plan.
The next step is to seek legal advice. Reasons for hiring a lawyer after a minor car accident in Dallas include the following:
The Other Driver Blames You for Causing the Car Crash
A common way to avoid liability for a car accident is to blame the accident victim. The other driver or their liability insurance company might try to shift the blame to you.
Under Texas contributory fault laws, you could be barred from receiving compensation if your blame for causing the accident is 51% or higher. If your fault is below 51%, your compensation is reduced by your level of fault.
You Sustained Injuries
All injuries after a car accident should be taken seriously. Minor injuries can develop into more serious conditions.
An injury you expect to heal within a few weeks takes longer to heal and requires additional medical treatment. As a result, you miss more work and have higher medical bills.
Therefore, you could be entitled to reimbursement for your loss of income, costs of medical care, out-of-pocket expenses, and other economic damages. You could also receive compensation for the pain and suffering the injuries cause. Non-economic damages also include emotional distress, decreased quality of life, and mental anguish.
The Insurance Company Denies Your Claim
Contact a Dallas car accident attorney immediately if an insurance company denies your claim. You might have a short time to act to protect your rights to file a claim.
Insurance companies delay claims for many reasons. A common reason is to wear down the accident victim.
The victim becomes frustrated and needs a personal injury settlement to pay medical bills and other costs. The victim accepts a low settlement offer to get money for their claim. Unfortunately, they waive their right to additional compensation when they sign the settlement agreement.
Another reason to delay claims is to allow the statute of limitations to expire. Accident victims have a limited time to file a lawsuit. If the deadline expires, the court could dismiss any lawsuit they file.
Contact a lawyer immediately if an insurance company delays or denies your claim.
The Other Driver Is Uninsured
Drivers in Texas are required to have minimum automobile insurance coverage. However, many drivers break the law.
Call a lawyer if you are involved in a car accident with an uninsured driver. You might need to file a lawsuit against the car driver, which takes time to prepare. An attorney can also help you file claims with your uninsured motorist insurance provider.
Your Child Was Hurt in the Car Accident
Children’s injuries need to be evaluated by a medical specialist. A child’s injuries can have long-term consequences. For example, a child could experience developmental, cognitive, and physical impairments because of car accident injuries.
A child’s personal injury settlement might also need to be approved by a court. An attorney takes care of the legal process while the parents focus on their child’s health and well-being.
What Does It Cost To Hire a Dallas Personal Injury Lawyer?
Many people hesitate to contact an attorney about a minor car accident in Dallas because they worry about the cost of hiring a lawyer. However, most attorneys represent car accident victims for a contingency fee. With a contingency fee, you do not pay any attorneys’ fees until and unless the lawyer recovers money for your case.
Hiring a lawyer for a car accident would not cost you any upfront fees. It also costs nothing to talk with a lawyer for an initial consultation. Therefore, you can get the legal advice you need and find out if you need to hire a lawyer for a minor car accident without worrying about money.