When you’re involved in a motor vehicle accident, even if it’s a minor one, you’ll most likely be in shock for at least a few hours. During that time, you may not feel pain or discomfort and think you’re fine. Subsequently, however, you may realize that your body has suffered more damage than you initially thought. This applies to minor accidents as well as more severe ones.
It Was Only A Minor Accident
We often think that smaller accidents result in smaller injuries. This isn’t necessarily the case. The severity of an impact depends on several factors, including:
- The age and physical condition of the accident victim
- The angle and location of the impact
- Mitigating factors such as illness of the accident victim
- The size of both vehicles
- The mechanical condition and safety features of the impacted vehicle
- Whether alcohol played a factor
It’s important not to make any statements, such as “I’m fine” until you’re sure that you really are. Time limits vary but in many states, accident victims have up to a year to file a claim. Don’t sign away your rights even if you’re pressured to do so by the insurance company.
A Small Collision Can Hurt
Even if you were involved in a small collision, your body can suffer substantial damage. The abrupt cessation of a forward moving vehicle can cause head, brain, body, and extremity injuries. An experienced car accident lawyer can help you document the condition of your vehicle and your body so that you don’t miss any vital details.
The Damage To Your Vehicle
The visible damage sustained by your vehicle can provide substantial evidence of the severity of the crash. However, even if your vehicle sustained only minor damage, your body may have received severe damage. There’s no set standard for bodily damage received in a vehicle accident. A minor accident may have no effect on one person but totally debilitate another.
It’s important to thoroughly document the condition of the vehicle, both before and after the crash, as well as any injuries that may appear subsequent to the accident. According to the NHTSA, even though current vehicles are equipped with improved safety features, the cost of injury accidents continues to rise.
If The Accident Wasn’t Your Fault, Or Even If You Think It Was
Don’t admit guilt at the scene with statements such as “It was my fault” or “I shouldn’t have pulled out in front of you.” These types of statements may adversely affect your rights to file a personal injury claim. Vehicle accidents require at least two people to be involved, so the other person probably had some degree of negligence even if you think the accident was your fault. If you’re involved in a vehicle accident, you should immediately consult a car accident attorney. Obtaining legal advice is the best defense if you were injured but think you may have a liability in the collision.
Legal Expertise Counts
Many times, an experienced car accident lawyer can help you obtain a larger settlement than you would otherwise be able to. Often, the insurance companies want to process their claims quickly and will minimize the damage done to your vehicle. An experienced car accident attorney may be able to spot damage that the insurance company overlooked or tried to hide. This can adversely and substantially impact your claim, so be sure to have an experienced car accident lawyer with you when dealing with an insurance company.
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