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What to Do After a Minor Car Accident That’s Not Your Fault

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    Getting in a car accident is scary, even if it is a minor accident.  If you find yourself in this unfortunate situation, you may not know what rights you have or what steps you should take.  This is especially true if the other driver was responsible for the crash, as this means you’re likely eligible for compensation.  However, just because you weren’t responsible for the accident doesn’t necessarily mean that the other party is willing to cooperate.  Sometimes the at-fault driver may deny responsibility or their insurance won’t properly compensate you for the damages.  That’s why you should be well-informed on what to do after a minor car accident and how a lawyer can assist you.

    What to Do After a Minor Car Accident That’s Not Your Fault

    Get Medical Help if Necessary

    The first thing to do before anything is to make sure you, the other driver, and the passengers have not suffered any serious injuries.  If they have, you should seek medical attention immediately.  If not, move your car to the side of the road if possible to escape from oncoming traffic.  You should also contact the police to give them notice of the accident.


    Gather Information

    Immediately after the crash, you should start gathering important evidence to help prove that the other driver was responsible.  This will help you in court, especially if the at-fault driver denies responsibility.  Important information includes: contact information and insurance policy number of the at-fault driver, pictures of the accident, name and phone numbers of witnesses, and where the accident occured.

    Read this article for additional tips to consider directly after the crash occurs.


    Contact Your Insurance Company

    You should also report the accident to your insurance company, as they may be able to help you get compensation from the at-fault driver.  If you have uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage, then your insurance may even be responsible for covering some of the damage if the other driver does not have sufficient coverage.  Since some states and insurance companies require that you report a crash before a specified time frame, make sure to prioritize this task.


    Hire a Lawyer

    You deserve compensation from your crash even if it was a minor accident.  This is because you may have missed days at work, had to pay for medical bills, get your car repaired, and you never know if the small injuries that you have now could have a long-lasting impact on your health.  Some people make the mistake of not reporting a minor crash because they’re busy or they don’t realize the damage that occurred until it’s too late.  Remember that there is a statute of limitations for claiming injury after a car accident; in Texas, you must file a claim within two years of the accident occurring, with certain exceptions.

    Instead of waiting until the last minute, one of the best ways to prepare and get the compensation you deserve is to hire an experienced lawyer.  Your lawyer will help you document valuable information to build your case.  


    Send a Demand Letter

    Before filing a lawsuit, your lawyer will likely attempt to negotiate your claim by sending a demand letter.  It can take weeks to get a response from the defendant.  Unfortunately, not all cases are solved like this, meaning your lawyer will need to file a court case.


    Initiate Discovery & Negotiate

    Discovery is a pre-trial procedure in which each party exchanges information and establishes their defense. The purpose is to allow the parties to obtain full knowledge of the issues and facts of the lawsuit before going to trial.  When the discovery is finished and each party has sufficient information on the evidence and claims of the other party, they have the opportunity to negotiate a fair settlement that both parties agree to.


    Go to Trial

    If you and the other party aren’t able to agree on a settlement, then the case will go to trial.  Although most settlements are settled outside of court, this is sometimes a necessary step, especially in complicated cases.  At the end of the process, whether it was settled in or out of court, the case will be resolved.


    How Long Does a Car Accident Settlement Take?

    Now that you know what steps to take after a minor accident, the next question is usually in regards to how long it takes to receive a settlement.  This is an important question, as you may need this settlement to help you with bills that resulted from the accident.  Unfortunately, the answer is not so simple, as there are many factors that will determine how long the process takes.  The entire process can take weeks, months, or even years to settle a case.

    While some sources say that it should only take 4 to 6 weeks, many others say the average time is between 8 and 16 months, or even longer.  The reason there is such variation is because it depends on the severity of the injuries, as well as the cooperation of the drivers.  Another factor that can affect the success and length of your case is whether or not you hire a lawyer that has experience in this specific area of law.

    The reason a lawyer can affect the time in which you get your settlement is because they’ll make sure you get the compensation you deserve, help you meet deadlines and navigate through the legal process, and help you negotiate.  This assistance is necessary whether you’re recovering from a vehicle accident injury or you just need compensation from the damages that were inflicted on your car.  

    At AMS Law Group, we pride ourselves on providing excellent legal services to all of our clients.  Our lawyers will help you get the compensation that you deserve while offering you 100% support throughout the process.  Contact us for a free, no-obligation case review.


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