Can I Collect Damages After a “Minor” Auto Accident?

A car accident is a stressful situation under any circumstances. Even a crash that is considered “minor,” with low-level property damage and mild to no injury, can generate expenses and inconvenience for those involved. It is still possible to collect damages, or financial compensation, for a minor auto accident in Nevada.

What Damages Are Available for a Minor Car Accident?

The goal of an auto accident insurance claim or lawsuit is to make a victim whole again. This is an available remedy for all accident victims, no matter how minor the damage or injury suffered. In Nevada, the driver who is at fault for causing the automobile accident is the one who must pay for related expenses (a fault-based insurance system). Holding a careless or reckless driver responsible for a car accident is possible regardless of the severity of the crash. The damages available for a minor car accident can include:

  • Hospital bills. Even minor injuries need medical attention. If you went to a doctor or hospital, got x-rays, or are taking any pain medications, you could be eligible for compensation for your medical bills and travel expenses.
  • Lost wages. If you had to take one or more days off of work – such as the day that you got into the crash or the next few days due to a minor injury – you can collect compensation for lost wages. This includes if you used sick days or vacation time.
  • Vehicle damage repairs. No matter how minor a car accident, it can cause some level of damage that will cost money to repair, such as surface-level scratches or dents. The at-fault driver will be responsible for paying for these repairs.
  • Pain and suffering. You can qualify for this type of compensation during a car accident claim even if the pain, suffering and inconvenience connected to your accident are minor.
  • Punitive damages. This is a damage award sometimes granted in a case where the defendant is guilty of gross negligence, recklessness or a wanton disregard for the safety of others. It may be available even after a minor car accident.

If you or your attorney can prove that someone else caused your minor auto accident, such as a distracted or speeding driver, you can qualify for financial compensation from the driver’s insurance provider. All drivers in Nevada must carry minimum amounts of car insurance to pay for victims’ losses, even in a minor accident case. If you suffer losses, you could be eligible for damages after any type or level of car accident, including a simple fender bender.

Is it Worth Pursuing a Claim?

The value of your car accident claim may not be particularly high if your crash was minor. However, you can still receive financial compensation for the losses and expenses that you did experience, rather than having to pay for an accident that you didn’t cause out of your own pocket. In addition, minor car accident claims are often easier to win than car accidents that cause catastrophic injuries or wrongful deaths. Car insurance companies are more willing to settle low-value cases for fair and full financial compensation. This can make it worth the effort of filing a claim.

How Do You Seek a Settlement for a Minor Auto Accident?

After a minor car accident, exchange information with the other driver and don’t admit fault. See a doctor in case you are injured. Even if you feel fine, you may have hidden injuries. Keep documentation of all medical, travel and property repair expenses. If you believe the other driver is at fault for the collision, call his or her insurance company to file an accident claim as soon as possible. If your losses are mild, you may be able to negotiate with an insurance claims adjuster for fair financial compensation on your own. If you run into any issues or challenges during the claims process, however, contact a Las Vegas car accident attorney for advice or assistance.