Even at low speeds, car accidents can cause serious injuries.

No matter how fast you are traveling, a car accident is a traumatic event and can cause serious and lasting injuries to both person and property. In addition to causing stress and anxiety, even low-speed car accidents can leave drivers and passengers suffering from physical injuries. If you’ve been injured, you have legal rights to obtain a car accident settlement for your injuries and property damage no matter what speed any of the vehicles were traveling at. 

The question of whether or not hiring a lawyer is needed to help negotiate a low speed car accident settlement is less a question of how fast the vehicles were traveling, and more so a question about the extent of the injuries suffered in the crash. 

If the injuries you suffered as a result of the accident are serious enough that you need to see a doctor, have to miss work, or have altered your day to day life, chances are you should at least speak to a car accident attorney about your situation. Since car accident lawyers usually work on a contingency fee basis, it’s in their best interest to vet the details of the case before accepting it, so they’ll almost always offer a free consultation and if it’s a small enough matter you can handle it on your own they’ll often tell you. It’s simply not in their best interest to take your case if it’s too small, and at that point you can probably handle it with the insurance company yourself.  

Car Accident Settlement

How Do You Define a “Low Speed Car Accident”? 

A “low-speed” car accident does not have a precise definition. While some sources say that an accident is considered “low-speed” if the cars are traveling at less than 25 mph, an impact between two vehicles traveling at 25 mph is equivalent to hitting a wall at 50 mph. Parking lot accidents, neighborhood accidents, school zone accidents, and accidents in other similar types of locations typically involve relatively low speeds; but, even so, they can still cause serious injuries.

Common Injuries from Low-Speed Car Accidents

Certain types of injuries are fairly common in low-speed car accidents. With the forces involved in a collision, it doesn’t take much speed to cause serious trauma. It’s not uncommon to see any of the following injuries occur in car accidents, even at low speeds. 

This list is not exhaustive. Regardless of your injury (or injuries), you should speak with a California low-speed impact accident attorney about your legal rights. Your costs will add up quickly, and you will need an experienced attorney to help make sure you receive the full financial compensation you deserve.

All types of car accident injuries can lead to unexpected costs, and they can disrupt your life. While obtaining insurance coverage should be easy, this is not the case. A local California low-speed impact accident lawyer can help, and you can get a free consultation 24/7.

What Losses Can You Recover After a Low-Speed Car Accident?

When it comes to recovering financial compensation for a low speed car accident, it doesn’t matter how fast (or slow) you were traveling. Your legal rights are the same no matter what. If you have personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payments (MedPay), you can file a claim with your insurer on a “no fault” basis. However, if the other driver or a third party was at fault, you can seek full compensation for your accident-related losses. This includes:

  • Medical bills and prescription costs
  • Vehicle repair costs
  • Lost income and benefits
  • Pain and suffering
  • Post-traumatic stress

When you need to seek financial compensation after a low speed car accident, you cannot rely on the insurance companies to pay what you are owed. It is up to you to prove both (i) that you are entitled to compensation, and (ii) the amount that you are entitled to recover. If you don’t calculate your losses before accepting a car accident settlement, you will most likely end up with just a fraction of what you are owed.

Should You Deal with the Insurance Companies on Your Own, or Hire a Lawyer?

When you are involved in a low-speed car accident, should you deal with the insurance companies on your own? Is it worth hiring an attorney? Will an attorney even take your case?

It is absolutely worth speaking with a car accident attorney about your legal rights. Since you can get a free consultation, you have nothing to lose. Additionally, if you have been injured, there is a very good chance that a lawyer will be able to help you. Your losses could be more than you think, and dealing with the insurance companies is not easy. An experienced legal practitioner can assess your rights, explain your next steps, and (if you choose) handle your insurance claim on your behalf.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Attorneys generally handle all types of car accident claims on a contingency-fee basis. This means that their fees are calculated as a percentage of your financial recovery (usually around 33 percent). But, many lawyers do not charge for assisting with PIP or MedPay; and, even taking contingency fees into account, an experienced lawyer may be able to help you recover significantly more than you could recover on your own.

Yes, if you have PIP or MedPay coverage, you should be able to file a claim under your policy after a low-speed car accident. A good car accident lawyer can help make sure you receive full coverage (assuming your costs exceed your policy limit, which they most likely will), and your lawyer can determine if you have a claim outside of PIP or MedPay as well.

Collision coverage applies when a low-speed car accident involves two or more vehicles. Comprehensive coverage applies when you are involved in an accident involving something other than a vehicle (i.e. an animal or a stationary object). So if you hit a pole at a low speed, you would use comprehensive insurance coverage. If another car hit you at a low speed (or vice versa), the at fault driver’s collision coverage will pay any compensation for the accident. 

The average low-speed car accident settlement depends on a few factors:

  • (i)The extent of the damage to your vehicle.
  • (ii) The costs of your injuries.
  • (iii) The insurance coverage that is available.

In order to ensure that you are able to collect the maximum compensation available, you speak with an attorney familiar with the car accident laws in your state.

If the other driver was at fault in your accident, you can seek financial compensation under his or her insurance policy. You should still contact your own insurer, and then you will want to hire an attorney to help you through the insurance claims process. However, if you live in a “no fault” state, you will need to be able to prove that you suffered a significant or permanent injury in order to seek fault-based compensation for your car accident injuries.

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