Should I Hire a Lawyer After a Minor Car Accident in Nashville, TN?

Some car accidents are not as serious as others. However, to best protect your legal rights and interests, you should treat all car accidents as worthy of your full attention. If not, you might realize too late that failing to take specific steps after a minor car accident in Nashville could hurt your ability to recover compensation for damages. 

Do I Need a Nashville Car Accident Lawyer for a Minor Car Crash?

You always benefit from sound legal advice from an experienced Nashville car accident lawyer. Most attorneys offer free consultations to review your case and answer your questions about car accidents. Therefore, meeting with an attorney to discuss your case does not cost you anything.

Car accident lawyers work on a contingency fee basis. That means they are paid based on a percentage of what they collect for your car accident claim. An experienced attorney will tell you if you do not need a lawyer because the claim for your minor car accident can be handled without one.

On the other hand, there could be issues and problems with your case that require the assistance of a personal injury lawyer. The attorney can provide guidance to help you decide the best way to protect your rights after a car accident. 

However, if you do not consult with an attorney, you will not know whether you need to hire a lawyer after a minor car accident in Nashville, TN. As a result, it’s almost always worth your time to reach out to an attorney for a free case review.

Mistakes People Make After a Minor Car Accident in Nashville, TN

A minor car accident can be frustrating. The drivers might not want to go through the required steps because they believe there is not much damage and they are “okay” after the crash. However, failing to take certain steps could be disastrous for a personal injury claim.

Common mistakes to avoid after a minor car crash include:

Failing To Report the Car Accident to the Police 

According to Tennessee Code §55-10-106(a), drivers are required to report car accidents to the police by the quickest means of communication if:

  • The car crash resulted in property damage of $50 or more
  • The car accident caused injury or death to someone

Calling 911 from the accident scene is generally the quickest way to notify the police. The emergency dispatcher sends a police officer from the department with jurisdiction over the crash scene.

Minor car accidents and fender benders usually cause more than $50 in damage. Therefore, even if you do not believe you are injured, you may still be required to report the crash to the authorities.

It is best to report minor car accidents because you have an official report. Reporting the accident to the police helps prevent the other driver from claiming the accident did not happen. It is essential to have a written report in case you discover hidden injuries at a later date and need to file a personal injury claim. 

Failing To Comply With Additional Reporting Requirements 

Per Tennessee Code §55-10-104, you must file an Owner/Driver Report with the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security if any of the following applies:

  • The car accident causes death or injury to someone
  • Property damage exceeds $1,5000
  • There is $400 or more in damage to state or local government property 

You have 20 days from the accident date to file the report. This report is separate from the requirement to notify the police after an accident.

Failing To Gather Evidence at the Accident Scene

A minor car accident could result in significant damage. Therefore, you need to document the accident scene and gather evidence in case you need to file a personal injury claim or lawsuit.

If you can, take photographs and make a video of the vehicles and the accident scene. Ask individuals who witnessed the accident or stopped after the accident for their names and contact information. 

Admitting Faul for the Car Accident

Do not admit fault even if you think you might be partially to blame for causing the collision. You cannot know with certainty who is at fault until you speak with a Nashville car accident attorney. You might be disoriented and confused after a car accident, so it is best not to say anything in case you are mistaken about what happened.

Failing To Seek Medical Treatment for Injuries 

Accident victims should see a medical professional as soon as possible after a car accident. You might feel fine after the accident, but hidden injuries might not present symptoms for a few hours or days after the collision. Delays in medical care could pose problems in a personal injury case because it could be more difficult to link the accident to your injuries.

Trying To Settle Your Car Accident Case Without a Lawyer

The insurance company for the other driver might make a quick settlement offer. Most initial settlement offers are for an amount that is less than the damages are worth. The insurance company is trying to entice you to settle the claim before you speak with a lawyer.

You might think you cannot recover damages for a minor car accident. The insurance adjuster might accuse you of contributing to the cause of the crash, so the company says it will reduce the settlement offer. Your case could be worth much more than you realize.

Failing to talk with a Nashville car accident attorney as soon as possible could result in a much lower car accident settlement amount for you. Tennessee has a one-year statute of limitations for most car accident claims. If you do not file your claim before the statute of limitations expires, you could lose your legal right to pursue a claim.

The insurance company will not encourage you to seek legal advice. They prefer to deal directly with you because it is an advantage for them. 

Do not give the insurance company that advantage. Instead, contact a Nashville personal injury lawyer today at Labrum Law Firm Personal Injury Lawyers, at (615) 685-8546, about your minor car accident to protect your best interests.