Apr 22, 2021
Nobody likes to waste money, and given the current pandemic and resulting economic implications – increased unemployment, skyrocketing evictions, long-term medical expenses – it’s hard to not be concerned with finances. Car accidents are a daily occurrence in Los Angeles, and we at Dordulian Law Group are constantly being asked whether or not a minor car accident is something that requires legal representation.
If you were involved in a minor car accident that did not result in extensive vehicle damage or severe physical injuries, haggling with the insurance company and negotiating with the at-fault party is still part of the claims process. You may be wondering if (and how) a personal injury attorney might be able to help. We have all the information you need below to decide for yourself whether or not hiring a lawyer for your minor car accident case is a good decision that makes financial sense.
Before deciding whether or not to hire a personal injury lawyer following a car accident, there are a few points to consider. Let’s review the various factors that may apply to your specific case.
Did you cause the accident? Were you 100% responsible? If so, and you have auto insurance, you may not need to hire an attorney. At-fault drivers with up-to-date policies will often be provided with legal representation as a benefit through their insurer. Automobile insurance companies have teams of attorneys ready to defend car accident claims on behalf of at-fault drivers. However, because California is a comparative fault state, the question of who was at fault in a car accident often requires further examination.
While you may believe that you were 100% at fault for a car accident, an investigation could prove that the other driver was actually distracted or momentarily blinded by sun glare. With California’s comparative fault laws, this means that all involved parties should be liable for no more than their actual percentage of fault. In other words, if you were largely but not entirely responsible for a car accident (e.g. 90%), you could still be eligible to recover financial compensation for damages such as medical bills or emotional trauma. Hence, if you believe you were at fault and do not need to hire an attorney, it might behoove you to take another look and determine whether the other driver shared a percentage of the fault.
If you were clearly (or mostly) not at fault for a car accident, the next point to consider is whether or not you sustained any injuries.
Did you suffer an injury as a result of your car accident? Before you answer that question, keep in mind that many injuries stemming from car accidents are not immediately apparent. In fact, headaches, back, neck, shoulder, and abdominal pain frequently manifest days, weeks, or even months after a minor car accident. If no injuries develop following your minor car accident, and you do not require any medical rehabilitation or care, you may not need to hire a personal injury lawyer.
In such cases, where you choose to represent yourself in the claims process, this will mean that you are responsible for every step of legal work. Some of these steps can include:
If you did suffer an injury of any kind in a minor car accident (even minor scrapes or bruises), hiring a qualified lawyer may be worthwhile for a number of reasons. However, before we delve into those benefits, let’s look at another important point related to minor vehicle collisions for consideration
Minor car accidents don’t always lead to physical injuries like whiplash or a mild concussion (MTBI). However, fender benders, hit and runs, sideswipes at low speeds, and various other classifications of ‘minor’ car accidents often lead to psychological injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, fear of driving, and more. Just like the common misperception that a car accident is always the fault of one individual, many minor car accident victims are often unaware that they’ve sustained a psychological injury. We all experience stress, difficulty concentrating, depression, etc. But linking those issues to a recent minor car accident is frequently overlooked as we go about our busy daily lives.
But overlooking these types of injuries can mean foregoing financial compensation that you may be eligible to receive. Unfortunately, it’s a common occurrence among drivers involved in minor car accidents. Hiring a personal injury attorney is an excellent means of confirming whether or not you have endured a psychological injury, assessing the extent of that injury, and taking the proper steps to recover financial compensation for that injury.
If you are certain that your minor car accident caused a psychological injury to develop, and you have subsequently incurred financial expenses for things like counseling or therapy, hiring a personal injury attorney is the best method for ensuring a damages award is recovered that offsets those costs. In this scenario, hiring a competent, qualified, and dedicated car accident lawyer may be in your best interest.
Attempting to prove psychological trauma and correlating financial losses can be a difficult task without proper legal training. But having a dedicated advocate like a Dordulian Law Group attorney on your side can be a major asset in your claim.
If you have unlimited finances and are of the opinion that pursuing a claim which could potentially award you substantial compensation is not important, perhaps hiring a personal injury attorney for your car accident claim is not a major priority. If, after experiencing a minor car accident that only causes moderate damage to your vehicle (and maybe a sore neck or joints) you and are of the opinion that the incident was “nothing to worry about,” and you have more important matters to focus on, hiring an attorney may also not be an appropriate option. The legal process will certainly take up some of your time as well as the attorney’s time, as he or she will have to pursue the at-fault driver (which can be a time consuming endeavor).
In other words, if money is no object and you really wouldn’t care if a financial settlement or verdict was reached on your behalf, by all means proceed without hiring an attorney to fight for your rights. Of course, this is an extraordinarily rare situation, and most car accident victims – minor and major – are interested in protecting their rights through the legal system (as well as recovering any due financial compensation).
If you’ve been involved in a minor car accident but have an extensive knowledge of how insurance companies operate, what their objectives are, what (often underhanded and shady) tactics they frequently employ to reduce payouts for legitimately injured victims, you may, once again, not need to hire a personal injury attorney.
Insurance companies are notorious for taking advantage of car accident victims, utilizing every tool at their disposal to thwart the legal arguments of the injured and helping minimize any damages awards and payouts. If you understand these tactics and will be able to use them against the insurance company all on your own, you may not need to hire a personal injury lawyer. However, keep in mind that, regardless of the extent of any knowledge you may have regarding the auto insurance industry and their methods for minimizing payouts and maximizing profits, if you choose to pursue a claim on your own you will not simply be fighting against an individual representative. You’ll most likely be taking on a team of well paid, aggressive, loyal, and experienced insurance company attorneys.
At Dordulian Law Group, two attorneys in our top-rated Car Accident Division previously worked for many years as defense counsel on behalf of major auto insurance companies. With their countless years of experience and understanding of how insurance providers operate when faced with personal injury lawsuits – the dirty tricks, shady methods, and underhanded tactics attempting to minimize claims – our clients have a unique advantage in helping to prove their cases. The insurance companies have hundreds of high-powered attorneys fighting on their side and against you. Your law firm should be able to fight back to ensure every penny of compensation you deserve is recovered.
In addition to daily financial stressors amid a global pandemic, most of us have myriad responsibilities, such as careers, families, our personal well-being, a social life, etc. If, for whatever reason, you have none of those things (or simply choose to spend no time on them), and are therefore more interested in spending whatever time you do have on pursuing a minor car accident civil lawsuit day and night, hiring a personal injury attorney may not be at the top of your to-do list.
However, if you do not have those luxuries and are struggling to find time to simply sit down and enjoy a meal, hiring a personal injury attorney can be beneficial, as it means transferring all of the responsibilities mentioned above (paperwork, negotiations, calling insurance companies, etc.) to a qualified professional who devotes their career to completing those vary tasks.
There are some important factors to consider when determining whether or not to sue after a minor car accident. Some of those factors include:
If you suffered an injury that led to further consequences such as a strain or broken bone, medical bills, property damage, time away from work and lost wages, psychological distress, or any number of other issues, you are likely eligible to file a civil lawsuit seeking to recover financial compensation. Simply put, if you suffered physically or financially after a car accident, you may be eligible to recover financial compensation.
Even if the initial injury was minor, such as a jammed or fractured finger, and your medical insurance covered the cost of treatment, you could still have lingering pain that might affect your performance at work, your relationships, your quality of life, and more. Additionally, even if a minor fender bender only resulted in some scrapes and scratches to your car that were able to be repaired under insurance, you could have been forced to pay a deductible, your policy rates could have increased, and you could have had out-of-pocket costs for travel to various body shops, lost time spent researching and calling various locations, etc. All of those examples result in financial or physical losses.
In cases where you have endured any type of financial or physical loss (including emotional or psychological), you are likely eligible to file a claim and recover financial compensation.
While you may feel that handling a claim in pursuit of recovering said compensation is something you can handle on your own, without the representation of a qualified attorney, consider a few quick statistics:
Ready to file a claim and pursue justice through a financial damages award? Our expert attorneys are available online or by phone now.
As California is a comparative fault state, this can be a significant benefit to individuals who, while primarily at fault, were not 100% responsible an accident. It means that fault is shared proportionately, and partially at-fault parties are not left without legal recourse when attempting to recover damages for what can often be extremely expensive medical bills, physical and property damages, and more.
However, this also means that in order accurately prove who was at fault (and what percentage of that fault should be applied to the various parties) legal skill is required to make a compelling argument. For this reason, even minor car accident victims can stand to benefit substantially from obtaining qualified legal representation.
Failing to secure legal representation and taking on a case by yourself can mean incurring a larger percentage of responsibility for a minor car accident than you truly, according to the facts of the case, share. If the opposing party has a skilled attorney arguing on his or her behalf, outmatching your legal strategy and ability to present an argument, you could end up harming your own case. Depending on the specific facts of the accident, this, unfortunately, could be the difference between a substantial amount of money.
In cases where the insurance company denied your claim, turning to the expertise of a seasoned personal injury lawyer can make a world of difference. Firstly, the firm and their attorneys will likely have had countless experience successfully reversing denied claims. Secondly, a personal injury attorney can evaluate your initial argument and take steps to create a solid appeal strategy:
– Launch an investigation to uncover any outstanding evidence (at DLG, we utilize our Chief Investigator, former LAPD detective Moses Castillo, on each case).
– Bring in expert witnesses from various fields to help strengthen the argument and prove that your injuries or financial losses were the result of another’s negligence.
– Deploy our former insurance insider attorneys to counter any tactic or argument put forth by the insurance company.
The important thing to remember after a minor car accident is that if you sustained any type of injury or financial loss, 99 times out of 100 it is in your best interest to hire a qualified and experienced personal injury attorney who is also compassionate, discreet, and has successfully handled multiple cases similar to yours.
A car accident is often a traumatic experience. Even minor car crashes can leave victims shaken up and in need of various levels of support. When you choose an attorney to handle your lawsuit, you want to find someone who will keep your best interests in mind throughout the legal process. You deserve a firm that is not only top-rated and experienced, but also dedicated to you and your needs. At DLG, we offer a unique set of advantages to injured victims that is unavailable elsewhere.
To help build the strongest case possible and ensure you recover a maximum financial damages award for whatever type of car accident claim you have, we prepare every case as if it will go to trial. While the vast majority of cases settle out of court, we at DLG never rush to settle prematurely or for a figure that is less than our clients deserve. We are not a “mega-firm” settlement mill that relies primarily on advertising as a means of generating income and securing clients. Settlement mill firms tend to quickly agree to settlements in a disproportionate number of their cases. The motivation behind this tactic is often to settle a case as soon as possible so that the mounting advertising bills can be paid.
At DLG, the majority of our clients come through satisfied client referrals and word-of-mouth recommendations. We never utilize a ‘mill mentality’ when handling cases, and will not be intimidated by any firm. If proceeding to trial is in the best interest of the client and the ultimate damages award they will receive, we will do so every time.
And with our founder and lead attorney, Sam Dordulian, having successfully handled over 100 trials – spanning everything from car accidents to sex crimes to murders – our clients can be confident that their case will lead to maximum possible financial compensation for damages like medical bills, lost wages, lost earning capacity, psychological or emotional trauma, and much more.
When you’re injured in a car accident – minor or major – choosing the best firm to represent you is the most important decision you can make. Clients who choose Dordulian Law Group know that they will be represented with the professionalism, dedication, and compassion that they deserve.
With Dordulian Law Group, you never have to worry about upfront costs, out-of-pocket expenses, or hidden fees. DLG operates on a contingency fee basis, meaning we never charge a penny until we’ve successfully secured a maximum financial damages award on your behalf.
We’ve successfully recovered over $100,000,000 in settlements and verdicts for injured clients just like you. We’re available to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
To learn more about why DLG is the number one law firm California car accident victims choose, contact us today at 818-322-4056.
Our law firm in Glendale, CA advocates for victims of sexual assault, injury, employment disputes, and personal injury concerns.