Fender Benders: Do You Need to Call an Attorney?

Oftentimes, these incidents occur when somebody is stuck in rush-hour traffic and, while inching forward, either accidentally hits the car in front, or is hit by the car behind. In many cases, those involved in the minor accident will step out of their cars, look at the damage and see none. They may take note of how they themselves feel, not noticing anything out of the ordinary. In many cases, they may simply shake hands and head off without taking down any information.

However, this isn’t necessarily the best strategy to take. Although, in many cases, there is no damage to the vehicles or the people involved, sometimes damage to one or more of those entities may show up later.

What Should I do if I’m in a Minor Car Accident?

It’s always best to take down as much information about the accident as possible. This includes insurance information and vehicle identification number of the other car, as well as its license plate number and a description of the vehicle.

Also, if the accident happens in South Carolina, make sure to contact the police so that a traffic accident report can be completed. All of this may seem obvious if the collision caused damage or injuries.

It may feel unnatural and unnecessary if neither of those things is apparent. However, it’s essential to do the same amount of due diligence in every case. As they said, it’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

It’s especially important to note that soft-tissue injuries, such as whiplash, might not be apparent at the time of the accident.

If the Collision Caused Whiplash…

If some one suffered whiplash, it may be difficult to prove. Suffering the pain and impact by the victim doesn’t necessarily constitute “evidence.”

Symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Stiffness in neck muscles
  • Loss of full range of motion of the neck
  • Pain and tenderness in the injured area
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision,
  • Pain or stiffness when attempting to look over the shoulder
  • Pain in the shoulder, back or arm
  • Headaches that start from the base of the skull and spread towards the forehead. 

Many people, including car insurance claims adjusters, are skeptical when of injury claims. This is especially true when the injuries show up after a minor accident. Either way, car accident injury victims have the right to fair compensation for damages, injuries, and financial hardships.

Seek Medical Care and an Auto Collision Injury Attorney

Anyone suffereing from symptoms of whiplash should seek medical treatment and consult the services of a personal injury attorney. Contacting an experienced car accident attorney is especially important when there are soft-tissue injuries.

Medical documentation will help support the injury claim, which should be filed as soon as possible. The sooner a claim is filed, the sooner compensation for medical bills, emotional trauma and lost wages can be received. Establishing that care was sought as soon as symptoms were felt will help the case. 

Note that, at the scene of the accident, there shouldn’t be any statements made about injuries. Claiming that you weren’t injured could hurt your chances of getting compensation.

The insurance company can claim that you stated that you weren’t hurt. As a result they can make a case that any injuries were not related to the accident.

What if I Don’t File a Police Report, or Submit a Claim to my Insurance?

If you don’t file a police report or tell your insurance carrier, about the accident, you put yourself at risk. Of course, it’s possible that vehicles and people, alike, didn’t suffer damages. But, if there were any damages, you won’t have any record of them.

As a result of this oversite, you may not be eligible for compensation. At the least, you’ll have to fight much harder to get any sort of settlement.

Another possible consequence could be that the other driver decides to sue. Failing to file the police report means there’s no record of damages to you or your vehicle. Furthermore, failing to contact your insurance carrier could result in liability being put back on you.

In this case, an attorney would need to be paid for out of pocket.

It should be noted that, in some cases, one party can be sued by the other after an accident, even if the police weren’t called at the time.

It’s Critical to Call an Attorney after any Auto Collision

Those hurt in minor traffic accidents may represent themselves in court. Insurance companies will always be glad to work with claimants who simply accept their settlement offers. Especially given that insurance settlements are typically much lower than what the injured party deserves.

It’s important that you consult with a personal injury attorney who can help ensure that you recieve fair compensation. And the settlement amount is usually a significant increase over what had been initially offered.

Having a car accident lawyer to help defend your case will also reduce the length of litigation. Attorneys who are experienced in these types of cases know what needs to be done, and how to do it correctly, every step of the way.

Furthermore, an experienced lawyer will prevent your case being denied based on a technicality. This includes understanding the statue of limitations for filing a claim, as well as which experts need to be consulted for evidence.

Legal representation can negotiate whether a settlement will be paid in a lump sum, or by a payment plan. They can make sure that you get payment for lost wages, or injuries that lead to loss of the ability to work. 

Who Should I Call in Charleston After a Fender Bender?

Residents of Charleston, SC should contact The Hartman Law Firm, LLCFrank Hartman, Charleston’s personal injury and accident attorney, is experienced in these types of cases.

Frank gives all of his clients the attention, advice and legal representation that they deserve. He makes sure that they receive the fair compensation that they deserve.

Contacting Frank’s office is free, so it’s best to call immediately, even before the insurance company. He will tell you if a claim is in your best interest, and what you’ll be facing in court.

If a you or a loved one was hurt in a minor collision, you need to find legal representation right away. The Hartman Law Firm, LLC provides legal assistance for those who have been hurt or killed. Their legal expertise rivals the best around.

To get started, call Frank 24/7 at (843) 300-7600. Or, you can contact him online, or email him at james@thehartmanlawfirm.com. The sooner you get Frank on your case, the sooner you’ll get your settlement and start on the road to recovery.


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Your Free Strategy Session with Frank includes a twenty minute phone call.

  • Get your facts of the case straight to discuss with any attorney
  • Legal issues involved what are you facing?
  • Without guarantees, what defenses you will raise to help them in their case results? Plan of attack.
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