Car accidents happen more frequently than most people realize, and sometimes it is a minor incident that does not involve any damage or injuries. But the size of the accident is not necessarily the main factor when deciding whether to hire a lawyer to represent your interests.
Canadian drivers are involved in thousands of accidents each year. Motor vehicle crashes have resulted more than 101,000 injuries in Canada in 2020, according to Transport Canada’s National Collision Database. It is a traumatic experience that can leave victims suffering from injuries, lost income and car repair bills they cannot afford.
Insurance companies offer settlements in accidents, but often they do not cover the full cost of the incident. They will likely not cover future expenses. But not every car accident results in injuries and property damage. So, when should you contact a lawyer?
Consider these factors when determining whether you should hire a lawyer to represent you after a car accident, and visit this website for more information.
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When you should call a lawyer
Not every car accident requires a lawyer’s help. But if you suffered injuries or the other drivers threaten to sue you, these are examples of when you should contact a lawyer. Here are the more common circumstances in an accident that suggest you will need to contact a lawyer as soon as possible.
- The accident caused significant injury to you or someone else.
- There is no clear assignment of fault for the accident established.
- An accident occurred in a school zone.
- A crash involving a pedestrian, cyclist or another vehicle.
- The accident occurred in a construction or work zone.
- A police report includes conflicting information, particularly assigning blame to you.
- An insurance company does not provide clear information or sends mixed messages.
- An accident involves a driver who is not insured or is underinsured.
Do minor accidents require a lawyer?
It is likely that a minor accident, such as a minor fender-bender, will not require the help of a lawyer. But there are times when a lawyer is needed in a minor crash, including:
- The collision resulted in significant vehicle or property damage.
- Someone involved in the accident claims they were injured.
- There are problems with car repairs and insurance coverage limits.
How can a lawyer help after an accident?
The benefit of hiring a lawyer after an accident is they can deal with insurance companies and others who may contact you after the incident. They can help evaluate settlement offers, identify additional compensation that you are entitled to, investigate the accident, challenge inaccurate findings in a police report and represent your interests throughout the period after the accident.
Insurance companies want to settle claims quickly, thus cutting you off from future compensation if unexpected issues arise. If you do not consult a lawyer, you may lose out on compensation that you were entitled to as a result of the accident.
What not to do after an accident
While the aftermath of a vehicle collision can be traumatic, you should avoid these mistakes after an accident.
- Failing to report the accident: Some injuries take days, even weeks, to surface. You should always file an accident report with the police to document basic information in case it is needed later.
- Admitting blame: Do not say anything at the accident scene or to others later that can be perceived as admitting blame. This can lead to serious problems later if you do.
- Accepting a settlement: Never accept a settlement from an insurance company without having it reviewed by a lawyer first.