Suffering a car accident can be a jarring, stressful experience even if you walk away without any physical injuries. Your car may have significant damage, causing major disruption and expense as you figure out repairs or replacements. So what if it was the other driver’s fault? Can you work with an auto accident attorney to cover your costs if you were not actually injured in the crash?
While you may assume Personal injury lawyers only handle injury claims, a car accident attorney can provide important legal counsel and representation related to property damage, accident disputes, and your rights even if no one was hurt. Here’s what to know about working with a car accident lawyer for a non-injury auto accident.
Do I Need a Lawyer for a Minor Car Accident?
It’s an understandable question. If your recent fender bender caused minimal damage and didn’t result in physical harm, you may see no reason to get an attorney involved. However, there are good reasons you may want to at least consult an auto accident attorney after even a minor car accident, including:
Your Vehicle Sustained Significant Damage
Even low-speed collisions can cause surprisingly extensive damage to vehicles. The repair costs may be extensive enough that your car is totaled. An attorney can help deal with the insurance company and make sure you are fully compensated for the pre-accident value of your vehicle. Having legal support speeds the process and reduces hassles.
The At-Fault Driver is Uncooperative
In a perfect world, the at-fault driver’s insurance company covers repair costs immediately. But sometimes the other driver tries to avoid taking responsibility or their insurer denies your claim. A lawyer can determine fault through official channels, negotiate with the insurer, and take other steps to get compensation.
You Have Lingering Accident-Related Expenses
Beyond just car repairs, you may have additional costs like medical appointments to get checked out, missed time from work for dealing with the accident aftermath, rental car fees, etc. A lawyer helps document these costs and incorporate them into your overall settlement.
The Insurance Company is Difficult to Work With
Insurers don’t have your best interests at heart. An attorney serves as an advocate for you, communicating with the insurance company on your behalf and scrutinizing any settlement offers. They have experience getting optimal results.
So while a minor accident may seem straightforward, calling a car accident attorney ensures you get properly taken care of after the crash.
Do You Need an Auto Accident Attorney No Injury That Wasn’t Your Fault?
When an auto accident clearly wasn’t your fault, you shouldn’t have to pay for the consequences. And working with an attorney becomes important to make sure the other driver and their insurance company handle things properly.
Here are key reasons to contact a car accident lawyer after any not-at-fault collision:
Determine Liability and Fault
Even when you believe the other driver caused the crash, the insurer may balk at a full payout if liability is fuzzy. An attorney conducts a thorough investigation using police reports, accident recreations, witness statements, and other evidence to conclusively prove fault.
Negotiate a Full Settlement
Once your lawyer proves the other driver’s responsibility, they negotiate aggressively with the insurer to cover your total repair costs, medical expenses, lost wages, vehicle rental, and all accident-related costs. Hiring a legal professional significantly increases settlement amounts.
Handle Communication with Insurers
You just need to provide information to your attorney and they’ll handle all communication with insurance adjusters moving forward. This simplifies the process and prevents you from inadvertently saying something that hurts your claim.
Deal with Slow or Reluctant Insurance Companies
Insurers often delay settlements or try to lowball offers, even when you weren’t at fault. Your attorney has substantial experience getting stalled claims back on track and fighting for maximum compensation in such situations.
File a Lawsuit if Necessary
If the insurance company continues to be difficult, your lawyer can initiate litigation by filing a car accident lawsuit on your behalf. This demonstrates you are serious about getting fairly compensated. While most claims settle out of court, your attorney will take legal action if needed.
Help with Injuries Down the Road
Even if you feel fine immediately after the accident, some injuries take time to manifest. Your lawyer can reopen your claim if medical issues appear later. This protects your right to obtain additional compensation if warranted.
Without legal guidance, the insurance claim process after an accident can quickly become overwhelming. Avoid hassles and have confidence you’ll be made whole by hiring an auto accident attorney.
What Damages Can You Get After a Non-Injury Car Accident?
When an auto accident causes vehicle damage but no injuries, your focus is on getting proper reimbursement for your monetary losses. Here are common damages a car accident lawyer can help recover:
- Vehicle repairs – Costs to restore your car to pre-accident condition, or its total value if the insurer deems it a total loss.
- Diminished value – The reduction in your car’s resale value due to it now having an accident on record, even after repairs.
- Rental car – Reimbursement for costs of a rental vehicle while yours is out of commission.
- Towing/storage fees – Payment for any towing from the accident scene and related vehicle storage expenses.
- Lost wages – If you missed work due to the accident, compensation for that lost income.
- Medical expenses – Costs of medical appointments to get examined as a precaution after the accident.
- Pain and suffering – Though your physical injuries were minor, compensation for mental distress related to the accident.
- Property damage – Repair or replacement costs for any personal property damaged in the crash.
Thoroughly documenting each expense makes it more likely you’ll be fully reimbursed. An experienced car accident attorney will handle this process for you.
Do You Need a Lawyer for a Car Accident with No Police Report?
Police reports can provide important documented evidence about what happened in an auto accident, who caused it, and related details. But many minor accidents don’t require filing an official report. Should you still work with an attorney even if you don’t have a police report from the crash?
Absolutely. Smart lawyers know how to build a strong claim even without an official accident report. Some techniques they use include:
- Thoroughly interviewing you, passengers, and any witnesses to get accounts of the accident while fresh.
- Visiting the accident scene as soon as possible to take photos and measurements.
- Reviewing any related documents, like medical reports or vehicle repair estimates.
- Researching factors that may have contributed like weather conditions, road hazards, etc.
- Hiring accident reconstruction experts to analyze the evidence.
- Checking surveillance cameras near the crash site for visuals.
- Subpoenaing cell phone location data if necessary.
The bottom line is that a skilled car accident attorney conducts a detailed independent investigation. Police reports are helpful, but your lawyer can still establish the at-fault driver’s liability without one.
Questions to Ask a Car Accident Lawyer During a Consultation
If you decide to pursue legal representation after a car accident, take advantage of initial free case consultations to ask key questions to ensure an attorney is the right fit, such as:
- How much experience do you have handling car accident cases similar to mine?
- What’s your strategy for building my claim and negotiating a settlement from the insurer?
- What types of damages can you help me recover?
- How do you determine how much to seek in compensation from the at-fault driver?
- Will you communicate with the insurance company directly on my behalf?
- How long do you estimate the settlement process will take?
- What’s the timeline for receiving compensation checks?
- What’s your fee structure? Are any upfront costs required?
- What distinguishes you from other car accident attorneys?
- Can you provide references from past clients I can contact?
Get clear, detailed answers to better understand your lawyer’s experience and approach. Their responses will indicate if they seem fully prepared to take on your auto accident case.
Mistakes to Avoid After a Non-Injury Car Accident
It’s smart to consult an experienced car accident attorney to avoid missteps that could undermine your claim. Here are key mistakes to steer clear of:
- Failing to call the police – Even for minor accidents, you want an official report documenting what happened.
- Neglecting to take photos – Thoroughly photograph damage, the accident scene, skid marks, etc. while still fresh.
- Not getting checked out by a doctor – Visit an ER or doctor promptly just to verify you don’t have hidden injuries.
- Delaying vehicle repairs – Fix your car quickly to prevent the insurer arguing that some damage occurred later.
- Accepting the first settlement offer – Don’t take the first check hoping for a quick resolution. Consult an attorney to ensure maximum compensation.
- Talking too much to insurers – Keep discussions with the insurer brief and let your lawyer handle negotiations. Don’t admit fault.
- Waiting too long to get help – State laws limit how long you have to file a claim. Contact a lawyer promptly.
Why Hire Us As Your Car Accident Attorney?
If you’ve been in an auto accident caused by a negligent driver, our accomplished auto accident lawyers can help. Here’s what sets us apart:
- Decades of car accident experience – We’ve helped accident victims get rightful compensation for over 25 years. Our record of success speaks for itself.
- We travel to you – To make things easier, we’ll come to your home or workplace for consultations.
- Dogged negotiators – We fiercely negotiate the maximum possible settlement from insurers based on every damage you incurred.
- Personal attention – A dedicated attorney is assigned to your case and answers your calls and questions. You won’t get handed off.
- No-hassle process – We handle everything, including communicating with insurers, filling paperwork, documenting damages, etc.
- No upfront fees – We don’t collect payment until you receive your settlement, maximizing compensation in your pocket.
Don’t navigate a car insurance claim alone. Contact us for dedicated legal guidance and a smooth settlement process.
Conclusion: An Attorney Can Help Even if You Weren’t Injured
Suffering a car accident brings enough disruption and stress to your life without adding financial burdens and negotiations with insurers. Even if you escaped without physical injury, having experienced legal representation on your side makes a significant difference in getting all accident-related damages covered. retaining an auto accident attorney ensures the liable party is held fully accountable while you focus on getting your life back on track. Don’t assume you’ll need to just eat the costs related to your accident. Contact our office for a free consultation about how we can help you successfully resolve your non-injury car accident case.
Frequently Asked Questions About Non-Injury Auto Accidents
What should you do at the scene of a minor car accident?
- Pull over safely, turn on hazard lights, set out flares if you have them. Check to see if anyone is hurt. Call 911 to report the accident, especially if there are injuries. Take photos of damage, skid marks, location, etc. Exchange insurance info with the other drivers.
How much does a car accident lawyer cost if there are no injuries?
Most car accident attorneys work on contingency, meaning there is no upfront cost and they take a percentage (typically 30-40%) of your final settlement as their fee. There are no charges if you receive no recovery.
How do you negotiate without a lawyer?
You can negotiate directly with the insurer, but having an attorney usually leads to far greater settlement amounts. Document all accident-related costs and communicate politely but firmly that you expect to be fully reimbursed.
What evidence helps a car accident property damage claim?
Police reports, photos/video of damage, repair estimates, receipts related to accident costs, witness statements, crash reconstruction assessments, and surveillance footage if available help prove your losses.
Can someone sue if they only had property damage?
Typically you can only sue for economic damages like repair costs or rental cars, not for pain and suffering without physical injuries. But a lawyer sends a message you are serious about full reimbursement.