Should I Hire a Lawyer After a Minor Car Accident in San Diego?

Car accidents are not always devastating. Some result in major injury, but some just cause minor hassle. 

If you’re involved in a car accident in San Diego, it’s important to understand that California is an at-fault state. That means you can file an insurance claim to recover compensation for your injuries from the at-fault driver. This claim would be your primary method of obtaining money for medical bills, lost wages, and other damages. You also have the option of filing a lawsuit to pursue damages in court.

Hiring an attorney can boost your odds of recovering the compensation you deserve. It is highly advisable to speak with a lawyer after an accident that leaves you injured. However, perhaps you were involved in a minor accident. You might wonder whether you need a lawyer after such an accident. 

Even if the accident was only minor, you should strongly consider meeting with a lawyer. You may be eligible for more compensation than you realize.

Steps to Take Before Hiring a Lawyer After a Minor Car Accident in San Diego

There are certain steps you should take in the aftermath of any car accident. These steps will improve your chances of recovering compensation if you do choose to hire a lawyer.

Check on the Other Driver

Get to safety and check if the other driver or drivers involved in your accident are okay. Be calm when speaking with them, even if you believe the accident was a result of their negligence. You should also avoid saying anything that sounds like an admission you caused the accident.

Call 911

Under certain circumstances, California law requires drivers to report car accidents to the police. While your accident may seem minor, it’s best to err on the side of caution and call 911.

While you wait for the officer to arrive at the scene, share contact and insurance information with the other driver. Then, document the scene by taking pictures from multiple angles. You can also get the names and contact information of any potential witnesses.

See a Doctor

See a doctor as soon as possible after an accident. This is a very important step even if you think you’re unharmed.

Some accidents cause injuries that aren’t immediately noticeable. Prompt medical treatment will protect your health and injury claim.

If you hire a lawyer and pursue compensation, it’s important to show that you sought immediate medical attention after your accident. If you didn’t, an insurance company could challenge your claim. They may argue that you failed to mitigate damages or deny your claim. 

Contact an Attorney

Next, schedule a consultation with a car accident attorney. There is no financial risk involved in contacting a personal injury attorney. The consultation itself will be free in most cases. If you decide to hire the attorney, they will enter into a contingency fee agreement with you.

They will only charge attorneys’ fees if they recover compensation for you. Their fee will typically be a percentage of your overall compensation (usually between 33% and 40%). 

You have a limited amount of time to pursue your claim. California gives injury victims three years to file a lawsuit after a car accident. If you fail to meet the deadline, you will be barred from recovering money for your car crash. 

That’s why you should contact a lawyer as soon as possible. There’s very little downside to reviewing your case with a lawyer. However, there could be significant benefits to hiring an attorney.