Do I need a Lawyer for a Minor Car Accident Injuries?

Approximately 17,000 car accidents happen every single day here in the United States. Many of these crashes are minor fender benders involving individuals with no apparent injuries at the time of the accident. If you have the misfortune of being in a minor car wreck, you may be so happy that the accident wasn’t more serious that you just move on with your life without a second thought—until you start to feel the not-so-subtle signs of a hidden injury. These injuries can present days after an accident occurs, and by then, they can become quite serious. car-accident-injuries_bakersfield-kern-county

There are various types of car accident injuries that don’t always show symptoms right away. These include: 

  • Concussions
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Whiplash
  • Back injuries
  • Soft tissue damage
  • Internal organ damage
  • Internal bleeding

If you happen to have one of these injuries, it’s possible that you won’t exhibit any symptoms for days or even weeks later. You may not know how hurt you really are until you undergo a complete medical evaluation by a doctor. 

Even if you have been involved in a minor car accident, it’s important to consult with a lawyer to preserve your rights and to maximize your chances of obtaining fair compensation should you experience latent injuries. In the meantime, there are a few things you can do to help your case. 

Understand the Statute of Limitations

If you are in an auto accident and then later on discover that you have a related injury, you should know that you only have two years to file a claim against the other party in the state of California. This statute of limitations starts on the date that you learn about the full extent of your injuries. In most cases, you won’t be able to pursue compensation after this time frame. If you decide to hire a lawyer to represent you, you can be sure that they will work hard to keep your case on track to avoid missing this key legal deadline. 

Receive Prompt Medical Attention 

It’s recommended to visit your physician right after a car accident, even if you don’t think that you have any injuries at the time. You may have an underlying issue that requires immediate and ongoing medical treatment. Make sure that you have access to each test or procedure performed on you, including X-rays, blood work, surgical notes, and treatment summaries. Having these medical records readily available for your car accident lawyer can help you achieve a more optimal outcome for your case. These records also protect you should there be any question on when you found out about your injuries, which is critical if you happen to be close to reaching the statute of limitations. 

If you don’t visit the doctor within a reasonable time frame, the other side might also argue that your injuries aren’t serious enough to warrant damages, or they might attempt to avoid liability altogether by claiming that you received the injuries due to an unrelated incident. It would be difficult for you to prove without having accurate and timely medical records. You can protect yourself from this kind of scenario by seeking prompt medical attention after you experience any minor car accident. 

File an Incident Report

Police officers often won’t come to the scene of a minor car accident in California. If this is the case for you and you’re worried that the other party will deny fault, it is imperative that you have a detailed record of what actually happened. You should call or visit the nearest police station and file a report for the accident. Before you leave, make sure you have the contact information of the other party as well as any witnesses to the crash. You will be able to explain everything about the incident in your report, which can help move your case forward more quickly. You can submit this evidence to the insurance company, along with any photos or videos that you may have taken of the scene.   

Avoid Quick Insurance Settlements  

If your auto accident was caused by another party, their insurance company will look to settle the matter as quickly and as cheaply as possible. They will likely send you an initial offer before you even have a chance to understand the full scope of your injuries. It’s important not to sign the insurance company’s release until you have been fully evaluated by a medical professional. If you do, you will be unable to obtain more money from the insurance company, even if you uncover an injury related to the accident at a later date. 

Before you enter into any agreement with the insurance company, you need to know which injuries you have and how they might affect you in the long-term. If you need rehabilitative care, you will need to consider those costs along with the immediate medical care that you received. 

Additionally, insurance company representatives are known to use misleading strategies in attempts to get individuals to say things that will harm their chances of recovering maximum compensation. There are obviously many factors to consider before you decide to settle with the insurance company. It’s in your best interest to consult with a lawyer to help you deal with insurance companies and to ensure that you don’t underestimate the overall value of your claim.  

What to Include in Car Accident Injury Claims

A car accident can take an emotional, physical, and financial toll on your life. These effects can last for weeks, months, or even years after the accident. If your injury is debilitating, you may be unable to return to work in the same manner as before the crash. You may also have to wait for your vehicle to be repaired, leaving you without necessary transportation for some time. If your car accident was due to the fault of another driver, you should know that you may be able to pursue compensation for more than just your medical bills and vehicle repair costs. You may also be eligible to receive damages for lost wages and, in the event of a serious injury, even your future lost income. Depending on the specific circumstances, your claim could also include an amount for any pain or suffering that you have experienced due to the accident. 

The best way to know what to include in your claim is to consult with a knowledgeable auto accident attorney in Bakersfield. They will be able to review the specific details of your case, prepare the paperwork for your claim, speak to the insurance company, and advise you through each step of the process so that you don’t have to deal with it alone. 

Schedule a Consultation Today

Whether you have been involved in a minor car accident or a serious collision, the Law Office of Kyle W. Jones is prepared to review your case and address your possible car accident injuries. We work with accident victims all over Bakersfield and the surrounding valley. Our auto accident attorney will work hard on your behalf to maximize any compensation that you may be eligible to receive for your injuries. To get started, contact our firm today to schedule a no-obligation consultation with an experienced Bakersfield car accident lawyer. 


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