Should I Hire a Lawyer After a Minor Car Accident in Columbus, OH?

A car accident occurs every five seconds in the United States. Although a significant number of them cause serious injuries and even fatalities, not all of them do. Those that don’t result in substantial damage or severe injuries are typically considered minor car accidents. 

Many people wonder whether they should hire an attorney after a minor collision in Columbus, OH. The answer is generally yes. You may see it as a hassle or as unnecessary, but having an experienced car accident lawyer helping you can make a difference in your claim. Learn why you might need an attorney even after a minor crash. 

Your Rights and Responsibilities After a Minor Collision in Columbus

The first thing to understand is what constitutes a minor car accident. These are crashes that result in minimal damage or injuries. 

Some common types of minor car accidents are:

  • Fender benders
  • Side-swipes
  • Parking lot incidents
  • Low-speed rear-end collisions

These types of incidents usually, but not always, result in minor injuries like scrapes and bruises.

In Ohio, you must report a car accident to the police if someone lost their life or was injured or if the accident resulted in $1,000 or more in property damage. However, you should always consider calling 911 after any type of motor vehicle collision.

It’s not always easy to gauge at the scene of the accident how much property damage the accident caused or even whether you have injuries. Many people only realize after the adrenaline has worn off that they have a sprain, whiplash, or concussion. It’s always better to err on the side of caution. 

It’s also crucial to understand that even if the accident was minor, you could have the right to compensation. You may not be able to get that compensation if you don’t file a police report, and you’ll have a much harder time getting a fair deal from an insurance company if you choose not to work with an injury lawyer.

Common Misconceptions About Minor Car Accidents

It’s common for people to assume that because a car accident is a minor one, injuries will also be minor. That’s not always true. The wrong amount of force on the wrong part of your body can result in serious injuries that negatively affect your life. 

Injuries are not just physical ones, either. Any car accident, no matter how minor it may seem, can leave you with trauma. You can experience anxiety, depression, and even PTSD. You shouldn’t assume that a seemingly small crash won’t have serious mental and physical repercussions. 

Another misconception is that you’ll be able to handle negotiating with insurance companies after a minor collision. Just because a car accident is minor doesn’t mean it’s not complex. There may be many parties involved, or there may be a dispute over who was at fault. It’s never a good idea to deal with insurance adjusters without a car accident lawyer by your side. 

Many people also assume they don’t have to notify their insurance company about a minor accident. It’s essential that you promptly let your auto insurance provider know of the accident, even if you weren’t at fault. This is because most insurers require their policyholders to report any accidents.

Letting them know of the accident also helps the claims process begin. In instances when fault is not clear, you may even have to deal with the other driver filing a claim against you, so you want to alert your insurer. 

Why You Should Turn To an Experienced Columbus Car Accident Lawyer

A skilled car accident lawyer has the necessary experience to deal with insurance companies. Insurance companies are always looking for ways to pay as little as possible, so if you try to file a claim yourself, you run the risk of getting minimal compensation. With a lawyer helping you, you have the leverage to get a fairer deal. 

A car accident attorney also provides investigative skills. They will be able to gather evidence relating to the accident, including witness statements, police reports, and more. They’ll be able to present this evidence in a way that proves who was at fault. 

If they can’t do it themselves, car accident lawyers have contacts with leading expert witnesses who can recreate accidents and offer their knowledge and insight. 

An attorney can also help you understand what damages you can claim. The majority of people think they can claim some medical bills and property damage, but there are other options. If you had to miss work because of an injury or because of the treatment for the injury, you could claim lost wages. 

Those who are dealing with a lot of pain and mental distress as a result of the accident may also be entitled to pain and suffering damages. Your lawyer can help you understand what your rights are and how to fight for them. 

Calculating future damages is something else that your lawyer can help you with. If the crash left you with long-term disabilities or injuries, you may not be able to work in the same profession as before the accident, or you may not be able to work at all. This means you’re losing out on wages while also having to pay ongoing medical bills. All of these are future damages. 

So, Should I Hire an Attorney After a Minor Crash in Columbus, Ohio?

Yes. You need professionals on your side who have experience dealing with insurance companies and know the ins and outs of Ohio law. No matter how minor you think the crash is, don’t hesitate to reach out to a dependable and experienced Columbus car accident attorney as soon as possible.

Contact the Car Accident Law Firm of Mani, Ellis & Layne, PLLC for Help Today

For more information, please contact an experienced lawyer at Mani, Ellis & Layne, PLLC to schedule a free initial consultation today. We have convenient locations in Columbus, OH, and Charleston, WV.

Mani Ellis & Layne Accident & Injury Lawyers – Columbus, OH Office
20 E Broad St Suite 1000, Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 587-8423

Mani Ellis & Layne Accident & Injury Lawyers – Charleston, WV Office
10 Hale St Suite 501, Charleston, WV 25301
(304) 720-1000