After being involved in a motor vehicle accident, you may be wondering what to do next. This is especially true if the accident you were involved in is “minor.” However, it is important to ask yourself whether your collision is actually that small.
It may surprise you to learn that the severity of a motor vehicle accident can be entirely subjective. Not everyone needs to suffer catastrophic injuries for a collision to be considered serious. Finding out whether your car crash warrants legal action is essential in the aftermath of your wreck.
Failure to take action could mean you get stuck covering the costs, even if someone else is ultimately at fault. Working with an experienced Oklahoma car accident attorney may be the best way to protect yourself and your future. Read on to learn more about why you should consider hiring a personal injury attorney for your minor car accident.
When a Car Accident Is Considered “Minor”
You might believe that the type of car accident you were involved in will determine whether it is considered “minor.” However, you could be involved in a rear-end collision, which could turn out to be catastrophic if you suffer significant or impactful injuries. For this reason, a minor accident should only be considered as such if the impact on the victim’s life is minimal.
If you can reasonably get back to your life without any significant emotional trauma, physical injuries, or financial losses, the accident may be considered minor. However, if you have considerable medical expenses, are struggling with flashbacks or post-traumatic stress disorder from the accident, or are dealing with a permanent disability, no matter what type of car crash you were involved in, the collision should not be considered minor.
This is important, as only individuals with grounds for legal action will be able to hold the liable party accountable for their negligence. In minor accidents, you may be able to file a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company since Oklahoma is a fault insurance state. This could get some of your expenses covered, but will likely not be enough to fully pay for your damages.
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Grounds for a Car Accident Lawsuit
Grounds for a car accident lawsuit include negligence and liability. Your car accident attorney will be able to help you prove the liable party’s fault for your injuries and damages. We must be able to show that the impact of your injuries, or the accident itself, had a significant influence on your life in some way.
The burden of proof in car accident lawsuits and personal injury claims is based on a preponderance of the evidence. This is not the same as the burden of proof in criminal court, which is beyond a reasonable doubt. Instead, your car accident attorney must introduce evidence that proves the defendant is more than likely at fault for the accident.
Hiring a car accident lawyer is the best way to meet the burden of proof. You may not be able to do this while you are still healing from your injuries. Even if you believe you have been involved in a minor accident, working with a skilled personal injury attorney is the best way to ensure the at-fault party is held accountable for their negligence.
How to Prove Negligence
You know we need to prove negligence for your rear-end accident case to be successful. But how do we go about doing that? We need to show that the elements of negligence have been met as follows:
- Duty of care – The driver that struck your vehicle or another culpable party was obligated to your safety or well-being.
- Breach of duty – The accused failed to uphold this obligation.
- Causation – The defendant’s actions were the reason for your collision or the injuries you suffered.
- Damages – Your life has been substantially affected by the accident, whether that be financially, physically, or psychologically.
Your car accident attorney will conduct a thorough investigation to gather evidence to support your case. We might obtain witness statements, collect copies of the accident reconstructionist reports, police reports, and medical records, and secure traffic cam footage of the accident to prove the defendant’s culpability. Even if your accident is considered “minor,“ if someone else is ultimately responsible, they should be expected to compensate you accordingly.
Common Injuries Victims Suffer After a Car Accident
You may have concerns that you will not have grounds for a claim if your accident is considered minor. However, even if you were involved in a minor collision, the injuries you suffered could be much worse than expected. Some of the most common types of injuries seen in accidents that may otherwise be considered minor include:
- Organ damage
- Internal bleeding
- Seat belt injuries
- Brain trauma
- Back injuries
- Herniated discs
- Neck injuries
- Road rash
- Burn injuries
- Hip injuries
- Knee injuries
- Wrist injuries
- Soft tissue injuries
These are only a few examples of injuries that may initially seem minor but turned out to be far more impactful. Working with a car accident attorney may be the best way to find out what your next steps should be. No matter what, if someone else is at fault, you should not be responsible for covering the costs.
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Reach Out to a Proven Car Accident Lawyer for Help Today
Even if the motor vehicle accident itself did not result in catastrophic injuries or total the vehicle, that does not mean the accident is minor. The impact the accident and your resulting injuries have on your life will determine how serious a collision is. When someone else is responsible and you have extensive financial losses, or your life has otherwise been affected by the wreck, you should not be expected to cover the costs.
You can take steps to make the liable party pay. Reaching out to an experienced car accident attorney at BDIW Law is a great way to find out whether your accident is considered minor and what your legal options are. This is your opportunity to hold the liable party accountable for their negligence.
Our firm serves car accident victims in Ponca City, Stillwater, Oklahoma City, and surrounding communities. Contact us to request your 100% free, no-obligation consultation today. You can reach us through our convenient contact form or by phone to get started.
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