Tips For Handling A Minor Auto Crash Claim
Handling a minor auto accident claim is more or less the same as a moderate or serious auto accident. However, there are a few things many people don't know about minor car accident claims. The following tips will help you avoid misconceptions and process your minor accident claim.
Inform the Relevant Parties
The first thing you should know is that you ought to inform the relevant parties, which can include the police and insurance company. Some people might think that they don't have to report a minor accident, which is not the case. For one, most states and virtually all insurance companies require you to report even minor accidents.
In some places, you are required to report accidents that cause bodily injuries or that cause damages above a certain dollar amount. However, since you may not be able to tell exactly how much the damage is worth at the scene of the accident, its best to err on the side of caution and report the accident.
Get Medical Care
Medical care is also advisable after an accident because you can suffer internal injuries that don't have external symptoms. Some injuries also don't show up immediately, but rather days or even weeks after the accident. Unfortunately, delayed medical treatment may complicate treatment later on. At the same time, you need to mitigate your damages after an accident (that includes getting medical treatment).
Avoid Roadside Negotiations
You may be tempted to negotiate with the other driver if your injuries and damages seem minor. Unfortunately, this is a bad idea for more reasons than one. Here are some disadvantages of roadside negotiations.
- You might end up admitting liability for things you are not responsible for.
- You might end up with inadequate compensation from the other driver.
- The other driver might go back on your agreement and sue you later.
If you consider all these things, it's much better to avoid roadside negotiations and pursue the accident claim just as you would with any other accident.
Aim for a Settlement before Trial
Even though everyone has a right to file a personal injury lawsuit, you should aim for an out-of-court settlement if your damages are minor. This is because the costs of pursuing your damages increase when you litigate the case. Legal fees, court costs, witness fees, and other expenses all go up if the case goes to trial. You can cut all these costs by negotiating a settlement.
Don't assume you don't need a car accident attorney because the accident seemed relatively minor. Consult a lawyer before you make up your mind. The lawyer will evaluate your case and come up with an accurate value of your damages.