People ask themselves a common question after a car accident: “Should I get a lawyer for a car accident?” The better question is, “Should I call a Buffalo car accident lawyer after a crash?” Car accident attorneys offer free consultations, so talking with an attorney after a minor car accident never hurts.

You should always take advantage of a free consultation with a car accident lawyer in Buffalo after an accident. Whether you need to hire a car accident lawyer has more to do with your injuries than the severity of the car accident.

Even a minor car crash can cause severe injuries that result in significant damage. Depending on the severity of your injuries and other factors, you may have two or more claims for a car accident in New York. You could have a claim for no-fault insurance benefits, but you may also have a claim against the other driver’s liability insurance.

If you don’t talk with a lawyer about a minor car accident, you might overlook a source of compensation for your injuries and damages. In other words, you might not receive all the money you are entitled to for a minor car crash in Buffalo.

Report Minor Car Accidents

Always report a car accident, regardless of the severity of the crash. You are required by law to file an accident report if the crash resulted in more than $1,000 in property damage, injuries, or death. A minor car accident can cause significant property damage. Some damage may not be visibly apparent, so it is always in your best interest to file a car accident report.

Insurance Companies Downplay Accidents

Insurance companies downplay many car accidents to avoid paying claims. 

Common examples of minor car accidents, according to insurance companies, include:

  • Fender benders – A low-speed collision between vehicles causing minor damage to the rear and/or front bumpers.
  • Rear-end crashes – Many rear-end crashes occur at low speeds, resulting in minor damage to the vehicles.
  • Side-swipe accidents – A vehicle might make slight contact along the side of another vehicle, causing minor dents and scratches.
  • Parking lot accidents – Minor collisions in parking lots at low speeds can cause dings, dents, and scrapes.

One of the key factors in the above examples is the vehicle’s speed. As the speed of a vehicle increases, the risk of severe injury increases. Therefore, you can call an accident a fender bender, but the chance of catastrophic injuries increases if the cars travel at high speeds.

Furthermore, other factors could affect the severity of a minor car accident. Until you seek medical treatment and have a mechanic check your vehicle, you cannot be certain of the severity of your damages. It is better to take all car accidents seriously.

Minor Car Crashes Can Cause Severe Injuries

Minor car accidents can and do cause injuries. 

Common injuries associated with a minor car crash include:

  • Whiplash and neck strain
  • Scrapes and bruises
  • Bone fractures
  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Emotional stress and anxiety

An insurance adjuster might claim you were not injured because you did not seek emergency medical treatment immediately after the accident. Just because you feel okay immediately after an accident does not mean you are fine. However, you may experience delayed injury symptoms.

Traumatic brain injuries, concussions, internal organ damage, nerve damage, seat belt syndrome, and other injuries might have symptoms that develop in the hours or days following a car accident. Additionally, the emotional distress and adrenaline following a car accident can mask some injury symptoms. It is always best to be checked by a physician or the nearest urgent care facility after a car accident.

You Could Have a Claim Against the Other Driver

Many people assume that because New York is a no-fault state for car insurance, they cannot file a claim against a driver who causes an accident. However, that is a common misconception about New York car accident claims.

New York insurance laws allow for personal injury claims against at-fault drivers under specific circumstances. One of the primary reasons to meet with an attorney after a minor car accident in Buffalo is to determine your legal options.

How Can a Buffalo Car Accident Lawyer Help You After a Minor Car Accident?

An experienced Buffalo personal injury lawyer understands New York insurance laws and personal injury claims. An attorney can help you in many ways, including:

An attorney examines the facts of your personal injury case to determine the types of claims you can file. For example, you should file a claim with your no-fault insurance provider after a car accident. However, you may be able to seek compensation for damages from the at-fault driver if you sustained serious injuries.

Additionally, you could have third-party claims depending on the cause of the crash. For example, if a defective auto part caused the crash, you may have a product liability claim against the manufacturer. If a defective road caused the crash, you might have a claim against a government entity.

Investigation and Evidence Gathering

The attorney investigates the cause of the car crash to determine your legal claims. They have the resources and knowledge to conduct a thorough accident investigation.

Furthermore, the attorney gathers evidence proving the elements of a legal claim. For example, negligence requires you to prove duty of care, breach of duty, causation, and damages. Car accident lawyers may retain accident reconstructionists and other experts to assist with evidence gathering to build a claim.

Calculate the Value of Damages

An attorney understands the damages you could receive for a minor car accident claim and the correct value for those damages. An insurance adjuster is not a trusted source to determine how much your claim is worth.

Depending on the circumstances, you could receive economic damages for your expenses and financial losses. Those damages include medical bills, out-of-pocket expenses, property damage, and lost wages.

You could also receive pain and suffering damages, called non-economic damages. If you sustain a permanent impairment, you may receive compensation for ongoing medical treatment, long-term care, reduced earning capacity, and diminished quality of life.

Negotiate a Fair Settlement or Go to Trial

Experienced Buffalo personal injury lawyers are resourceful and skilled negotiators. They often resolve minor car accident claims by negotiating fair settlements. However, if necessary, they are prepared to go to trial to fight for your rights.

Contact The Buffalo Car Accident Lawyers At O’Brien & Ford PC For Help Today

For more information, please contact the Buffalo car accident lawyers at O’Brien & Ford PC to schedule a free consultation with an accident lawyer. We have a convenient office location in Buffalo, NY.

We proudly serve all throughout Erie County and the state of New York.

O’Brien & Ford Buffalo Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers
4549 Main St, Suite 201
Buffalo, New York, 14226
(716) 222-2222