Can You Receive Compensation for a “Minor” Car Accident?
You might have heard that a “minor” car accident is one that happens to someone else. If you’ve been in a car wreck and suffered an injury, you’d classify that collision as anything but minor. Florida is a beautiful state, but it’s also a tough place to drive in many instances. People who are hurt in a car accident – whether or not someone says it’s minor – deserve to obtain compensation for their pain.
The attorneys with the Jones Law Group will be here for you if you’ve been injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault. If you would like to learn more about how we may be able to help, simply use our online contact form or call (727) 571-1333 to schedule a free review of your case.
What Qualifies as a “Minor” Car Accident?
It can be hard to quantify what a minor car accident really is. There have been incredibly destructive crashes that either resulted in a few bumps and bruises, or the people involved walked away completely unscathed. In other instances, what some people would call a minor fender-bender led to serious injuries that led to years of debilitation and pain.
There’s really no cut-and-dried definition as to what constitutes a minor car accident. If someone is injured to the point that they feel the effects for a long time, you could argue they were in a major car accident, even if there wasn’t a great deal of property damage.
Even “Minor” Car Accidents Can Cause Serious Injuries
People can suffer long-term injuries even in car accidents that are low impact. Someone may be able to walk away from a crash scene thinking they only have a couple of bruises or scrapes, only to start feeling pain or stiffness in their neck and back.
These kinds of injuries can last for months, or even longer. They often require extensive treatment, and this treatment can cost a great deal of money. If this has happened to you or someone close to you, it will be very important that you speak with a car accident attorney as soon as possible. That will be your best chance of obtaining the compensation you need to pay for medical expenses.
Types of Damages You Can Recover for a “Minor” Car Accident
When someone suffers an injury in a car accident, that not only results in medical bills but other types of monetary losses, or “damages,” as well. These are broken down into three categories: economic, non-economic and punitive. Here’s a closer look at each. Remember, no matter what types of damages you have, you’re going to need to provide evidence that you’re entitled to compensation. You’ll need the help of an attorney to have the best chance of obtaining that compensation.
Economic damages include not only medical bills, but other tangible losses as well. These include the wages you’ve lost because of missed work, any property damage that may have occurred, money you’ve spent on prescription medications, and others.
But just because economic damages aren’t that difficult to quantify, that doesn’t mean the insurance company covering the negligent driver will simply hand that money over to you. It’s going to put up a fight, trying to either reduce the amount you receive or give you nothing. If you have an attorney working to make sure your rights are protected, your odds of getting what you deserve will increase dramatically.
More than likely, you’ve probably heard of “pain and suffering” in a personal injury lawsuit. This is an example of subjective, or non-economic damages. They also include issues like emotional distress, loss of companionship, and others.
Because non-economic damages are subjective, it can be difficult to put a dollar amount on them. Attorneys will typically not only include current pain and suffering, but future pain and suffering as well when demanding money from an insurance company. This is yet another example of why it’s so important to have a skilled attorney working for you.
Punitive damages are rare, but they are awarded in some cases. As the name implies, “punitive” damages are meant to punish someone for their negligence – to, in a way, send a message that this kind of behavior can’t be tolerated. One example would be rewarding punitive damages in a drunk driving case. The defendant’s behavior is so egregious, a jury will award damages that are much higher than typically awarded.
Again, however, it’s important to note that punitive damages typically aren’t awarded in personal injury cases. Also, insurers are usually not responsible for paying them – that falls on the person who commits the negligent act, such as the drunk driver. Unless that person has significant assets, collecting punitive damages will often be incredibly difficult.
How “Minor” Accident Injuries Can Affect One’s Life Long-Term
As you learned earlier, even a so-called “minor” accident can lead to substantial injuries. In many cases, those injuries aren’t readily noticeable. Symptoms can be delayed for several days or even longer.
Whiplash is just one example. This is an injury that causes damage to the ligaments, tendons and muscles in the neck. When someone is hit from behind, their neck will typically whip back and forth very suddenly. This is how the injury gets its name. Over time, swelling from whiplash can create a great deal of pressure on the nerves, leading to intense pain. Headaches can also occur.
Contact a Car Accident Attorney Today to Discuss Your “Minor” Car Accident Injury Claim
Whether you’ve suffered whiplash or any other type of injury in a so-called “minor” car accident, you’re going to need the help of an experienced attorney in order to obtain compensation. The attorneys with the Jones Law Group have that experience, as well as a long track record of success representing clients in these kinds of cases.