Minor Car Accident Injury - Can You Represent Yourself?
UPDATED: June 19, 2018
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If you were involved in a car accident and sustained only minor injuries, you may be tempted to brush the event under the carpet and hopefully, get on with your life. Unfortunately, unless a doctor tells you that your injuries are nothing to worry about and they will not come back to haunt you later, sweeping the accident under the rug might not be in your best interest.
For starters, your car insurance policy may not cover any expenses related to what you consider "minor car accident injuries" if you neglected to inform the insurance company about those injuries at the time they occurred. This means that if any bodily injuries or even damages to your car that may take time to worsen, cause any serious problems for you later down the line, it is unlikely that the insurance company will pay for them. Next, a small claim is not necessarily "not worth the trouble." Auto insurance companies understand how much a small claim is worth. From claims adjusters to the clerks involved in the accident claims process, auto insurance professionals are in a much more powerful position to negotiate with the other parties involved than you are. If negotiated properly, a small claim can lead to a large settlement.
If an auto insurance claim gets complicated, for example, a minor neck injury turns out to be whiplash, or negotiations become stagnant, you may want to hire an experienced auto accident attorney. An attorney working on a contingency fee will receive a percentage of the settlement, but it may be worth it if the attorney wins a larger settlement or helps you obtain a settlement faster.