You never leave the safety of your home expecting to experience a car accident. Yet, a car accident can occur in an instant and may result in serious injuries and major property damage. Anyone who suffers an accident of that type would rightly think of hiring a lawyer and pursuing compensation for damages.
But what if the accident is minor; a fender-bender so to speak? Since there was no major damage, perhaps you may feel the accident can be resolved rather quickly, without involving a lawyer.
Don’t be fooled. Even if the accident seems to be a simple fender-bender, get advice from a personal injury lawyer with Judd Shaw Injury Law. Call us today at 1-866-909-6894 or complete our online form to get a free case review.
What is Considered to Be a Minor Car Accident?
Minor car accidents are when the damage from the collision is minimal and any injuries are usually not serious. Some examples of damages in minor car accidents include:
- Cracked headlights or taillights
- Busted tires
- Scratches and dents
- Scratched paint
- Cracked windshield
- Broken side view mirror
Typically, the vehicles involved in minor car accidents can usually safely drive away afterward. However, New Jersey has established a law (N.J. Stat. §39:4-130) which states that a driver involved in a car accident must file a police report if there were injuries involved or if the property damage is more than $500. So, even in some cases of minor car accidents, a police report may need to be filed.
Common Causes of Minor Car Accidents
Car accidents, including minor crashes, occur quite frequently in New Jersey. In fact, according to one source, there were 190,783 crashes in just 2020! Common causes of minor car accidents show that, in most cases, these accidents are the result of driver negligence.
Some of these common causes include:
- Distracted driving
- Failing to yield
- Driving under the influence
- Running red lights or stop signs
- Improper lane-changing
- Aggressive driving
- Attempting to park in tight spaces
- Bad weather
- Obstacles on the road
Common Injuries From Minor Car Accidents
In the aftermath of any car accident, it’s always a good idea to get checked by a medical professional. Perhaps a victim of a minor car accident may feel fine initially, but indications of a serious injury may be concealed. In fact, in some cases, such symptoms may take weeks or months before becoming manifest.
Injuries from minor car crashes can range from mild to severe. Some of the most common injuries include the following:
- Bruises, cuts, and abrasions: In a minor car accident, a victim may suffer bruises, cuts, or abrasions on the face, arms, or legs. In some cases, bruises can be an indication of a more serious injury.
- Whiplash: Typically, in rear-end collisions, a victim may suffer whiplash. Whiplash can leave a victim suffering neck pain, headaches, dizziness, and limited neck mobility.
- Soft tissue injuries: A victim may suffer sprains, stretched tendons, or torn ligaments. These types of injuries tend to be very costly with long recovery periods.
- Fractured bones: Sometimes the jolt from the impact of a crash may cause a victim’s bones to fracture. In addition to being extremely painful, a broken bone may require long-term care and physical therapy.
- Spinal cord injuries: A common type of spinal injury that results from car accidents is a herniated disk. Due to the pressure that a herniated disk can put on the surrounding nerves, a victim usually suffers excruciating pain.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI): A traumatic brain injury can occur even in lower-impact car crashes. TBIs include hemorrhage, hematomas, cerebral edema, contusions, and concussion.
This list is not comprehensive, of course. There are several types of other injuries that result from a minor car accident. If you or your loved one has suffered any of these injuries from a minor car accident, an experienced personal injury lawyer can help you get fair compensation for damages.
You Are Entitled to Pursue Compensation for a Minor Car Accident
Yes, you can sue someone for a minor car accident. However, in some cases, a lawsuit may not be necessary. Perhaps, in the aftermath, the at-fault driver agrees that his or her insurance should pay a fair settlement for damages.
Sadly, that rarely occurs. And there are other reasons why a lawsuit may be necessary if a settlement cannot be reached. The following are some reasons you may have to pursue a lawsuit.
Inadequate insurance offers
As mentioned, frequently initial negotiations with insurance companies are rarely settled for a fair amount. Insurance adjusters are skilled at using tactics in an effort to minimize the amount of a claim in order to save the company money. This could even be true of the victim’s own insurance company.
So speak with a lawyer before speaking with an insurance adjuster. Your personal injury lawyer can calculate damages and inform you of a fair settlement amount before you speak with an adjuster.
More severe injuries
What may have appeared to be only minor injuries from the car accident could later be diagnosed as a more serious, or chronic, condition. This diagnosis could drastically increase any settlement amount offered by the insurance company. This would certainly be true if an injury is discovered to be chronic.
In some cases, the amount for a fair settlement may be higher than the insurance company’s limits. In that case, a lawsuit would be necessary to pursue fair compensation.
Potentially liable third parties
In some cases of minor car accidents, the investigation in the aftermath may reveal a potentially liable third party. This could be the manufacturer if it is discovered that a faulty part contributed to the crash. Or, if the cause is found to be poorly maintained road conditions, then a municipality could be found liable. In these cases, a lawsuit could be filed to hold the potentially guilty party liable.
Of course, there are other reasons why a lawsuit may be necessary after a minor car accident. The assistance of an experienced car accident lawyer in the aftermath of the accident is vital. Your lawyer can analyze all the evidence and help you to receive fair compensation for damages you have suffered.
Compensation may account for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Household renovation for disability
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
How Our Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help You
If you have been injured in a minor car accident, contact Judd Shaw Injury Law immediately. A quick call will be worth your while, even if you feel your injuries aren’t serious.
Seemingly minor injuries can worsen over time. The responsible party who caused your injury should pay for your recovery, to ensure you have peace of mind and an enjoyable life ahead of you.
However, it can be complicated to get fair compensation for your losses. Let our law firm help you! Our lawyers have helped clients recover over $240 million for damages suffered. Call us today at 1-866-909-6894 or complete our online form to get a free case review.