Minor car accidents can lead to long-term injuries weeks or even months after the accident. In fact, minor car accidents leading to long-term injuries is one of the reasons car accident lawsuits can take so long to try: plaintiffs and their lawyers want to be sure that any and all potential accident-related health consequences have come to the surface before they close their cases.
The problem is that while a seemingly minor accident may leave little visible evidence — say just a few dents or scrapes on a car — it still may result in considerable internal damage to the drivers and victims.
Even when someone is wearing a seatbelt, the impact of a crash can cause whiplash and other soft tissue damage that can persist for weeks or months. So, what can you do if you’re involved in a car accident?
1. Document Your Injuries, Even for Minor Car Accidents
Regardless of if you are in a minor car accident or a major one, the best thing that you can do is to document your accident injuries. Even if the damage to your vehicle or yourself is or seems minor, it is vital that you document it.
If you have any aches, pains or bruises — no matter how minor — consult a physician so that you have proof of your injuries. Also, be sure to ask if x-rays are indicated because this could uncover hidden internal damage.
Take pictures of both your vehicle and yourself, especially if you have any visible physical damage (like bruising, cuts and swelling). This picture history can both help tell your story and preserve your memory if you need to recall details about pain and suffering months after the fact.
2. Preserve Your Legal Rights
Remember that regardless of how minor the damage to yourself or your vehicle seems, if you weren’t at fault for the accident you have a right for compensation to cover losses due to pain and suffering, medical bills, and more.
More importantly, remember that car accident injuries that seem minor immediately following an accident can in fact become debilitating, life-long health problems. If you recognize that from the start, you will be in a better position to protect yourself later.
3. Watch the Statute of Limitations for Car Accident Injury Claims
For car accident lawsuits, different states have different limitations on how long you have to file your lawsuit following an auto accident. For instance, in some states, the statute of limitations for filing a lawsuit for a car accident is as little as one year following the accident.
This is another reason that it is important to contact a lawyer immediately following any sort of vehicle or car accident: an attorney can help you understand how long you have to file your car accident case before you lose the right to do so.
Get a Free Legal Consultation for Your Car Accident Claim
Even minor car accidents can result in long-term injuries and suffering. Regardless of the severity of your accident, hiring a car accident attorney can help you protect your rights. For a lawyer who will fight for you, call personal injury lawyer Karl Gebhard. Karl Gebhard offers free legal consultations for all types of car accident injury claims, and he works on a contingency basis, so he doesn’t win until you do.
For your free consultation, call today at 414-873-6550.