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Do I Need an Attorney for a Low-Impact Rear-End Collision?

March 26, 2024

Do I Need an Attorney for a Low-Impact Rear-End Collision?

The Short Answer: Yes, You Probably Need a Lawyer

Look, getting rear-ended sucks – even if it was just a little fender bender. You might be thinking “it was just a low-impact collision, do I really need to hire an attorney?” The short answer is yes, you probably do. Here’s why:While the damage may seem minor, you could still be dealing with injuries that aren’t obvious right away. Things like whiplash, back pain, or headaches might not show up for days or weeks after the accident. And even if you feel fine now, those future medical bills could really add up.Plus, the other driver’s insurance company is going to do everything they can to minimize how much they pay out. They’re not on your side. Having an experienced car accident lawyer representing you levels the playing field and helps ensure you get fair compensation.

But I Feel Fine, Do I Still Need a Lawyer?

I get it, you’re thinking “I feel totally fine after the accident, so why would I need an attorney?” Here’s the thing – those aches and pains have a way of creeping up on you days or weeks later. What seems minor now could turn into a bigger issue down the road.And even if you genuinely don’t end up having any injuries, an attorney can still help you:

  • Properly document the accident and damages
  • Deal with the insurance companies so you don’t have to
  • Maximize your settlement for vehicle repairs, rental cars, etc.
  • Advise you on next steps and protect your rights

The bottom line? Having a car accident lawyer on your side doesn’t cost you anything out-of-pocket, and it ensures you’re not getting taken advantage of by the insurance companies. It’s really in your best interest.

What If the Other Driver Admits Fault?

Maybe the other driver owned up to it right away and admitted they rear-ended you because they were texting or not paying attention. That’s great, but it doesn’t mean you’re in the clear.Even if they admit 100% fault, the insurance companies are still going to do what they can to minimize how much they pay out. An attorney knows all the tactics they use and can fight to get you full and fair compensation.Plus, admitting fault doesn’t always mean the case is open-and-shut. There could be disagreements over things like:

  • The extent of your injuries
  • How much your vehicle is worth
  • Who was actually negligent
  • And more

Having a lawyer handle all the back-and-forth with the insurance companies and at-fault driver gives you a much better chance of being made whole again.

But Don’t Most Cases Settle Anyway?

You’re right, most car accident cases do end up settling out of court rather than going to trial. But you know who gets the biggest settlements? The people who hire experienced lawyers to represent them.The insurance companies know which law firms mean business and will take a case to trial if a fair settlement can’t be reached. They’d rather pay out more money than risk having a judge or jury award an even higher amount.So having an attorney sends a clear message that you’re serious and won’t just accept the first lowball offer they make. It shows you’re prepared to go the distance to get maximum compensation.

How Much Will It Cost to Hire a Lawyer?

This is one of the biggest hesitations people have about hiring a car accident attorney, especially after a minor fender bender. The good news is it likely won’t cost you anything out-of-pocket.Most reputable car accident lawyers work on a contingency basis. That means they only get paid if they win your case and secure compensation for you. Their fee is just a percentage of your settlement or court award.So there’s no upfront cost or hourly fees. Just an incentive for your lawyer to get you the biggest possible settlement, since that’s how they get paid too.

I Was Partially At-Fault, Can I Still Get an Attorney?

Absolutely. Even if you were partially to blame for the rear-end collision, an attorney can still help you recover compensation.Most states have laws that allow for “comparative negligence.” This means that even if you were 20% at-fault, you could potentially recover 80% of the damages from the other driver.An experienced lawyer will fight to minimize your percentage of fault and maximize how much the other side has to pay. They know all the laws and tactics to help ensure you don’t get stuck with 100% of the bill when the accident wasn’t 100% your fault.

Hit by an Uninsured Driver? You Definitely Need a Lawyer

If the driver who rear-ended you didn’t have insurance, or if they fled the scene, you’re going to want legal representation ASAP.Your own uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage may be able to compensate you, but the insurance company will do everything they can to avoid paying. An attorney knows how to properly file and pursue these tricky claims.They can also advise if you have other options like filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault driver. Don’t try to navigate this complicated situation alone.

What If My Injuries Seem Minor Now But Get Worse Later?

One of the biggest reasons to hire a lawyer is because of how common it is for “minor” injuries to get worse over time. What seems like no big deal at first could potentially become a chronic, life-altering condition if not treated properly.Maybe that stiff neck turns into herniated discs. Or the headaches you brushed off were actually symptoms of a concussion. An attorney can make sure you get the medical care you need and don’t sign away your rights to future claims.If your injuries do end up being more serious, having already hired a lawyer puts you in a better position to get maximum compensation. Don’t make the mistake of thinking “it’s just a little fender bender, I’ve got this covered” and then regretting it later.

Hit by a Commercial Vehicle? You 100% Need a Lawyer

If you were rear-ended by a commercial truck, delivery van, or any vehicle owned by a company, you absolutely need to consult an attorney right away. These cases are way more complicated than a typical passenger vehicle accident.The company’s insurance policies are higher and their legal team is going to vigorously defend them to avoid massive payouts. You need an experienced lawyer on your side who has taken on these corporate giants before and knows their tactics.Don’t let them bully you into thinking your case has no merit. Having an attorney levels the playing field and ensures your rights are protected.

So In Summary…

Look, I get it – after a minor rear-end collision, the last thing you want to do is go through the hassle of finding and hiring a lawyer. You’re hoping to just handle it yourself and put this headache behind you.But the truth is, having an experienced car accident attorney on your side is absolutely worth it, even for a low-impact fender bender. They ensure you’re treated fairly, get the compensation you deserve, and don’t end up having to pay out-of-pocket for someone else’s mistake.The insurance companies are not your friends here. They have teams of lawyers looking out for their best interests – you need someone on your side too. Don’t risk getting taken advantage of or leaving money on the table.Most reputable law firms offer free consultations, so you’ve got nothing to lose by at least exploring your options and understanding your rights. Seriously, do yourself a favor and schedule a consultation with an experienced car accident lawyer today.

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Todd Spodek

Founding Partner

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RALPH P. FRANCHO, JR

Associate

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JEREMY FEIGENBAUM

Associate Attorney

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ELIZABETH GARVEY

Associate

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CLAIRE BANKS

Associate

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RAJESH BARUA

Of-Counsel

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CHAD LEWIN

Of-Counsel

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