In cases of minor vehicle damage, a claim may become more difficult if injuries are much more severe than the vehicle damage would suggest. In these cases, evidence can be extremely important to establish the extent of injuries from the car accident.
The Impact of Injuries in a Minor Car Accident
Whether it’s a minor fender bender or a low impact rear-end crash, the amount of damage to the vehicle doesn’t always match the injuries sustained. Many times, initial symptoms don’t appear to be a big deal but it could take a few days before they manifest. Or the extent of an injury might be more significant than it appears right after the accident.
So one of the challenges is when the insurance company is contacted and a statement is made classifying the accident as minor with little vehicle damage. This immediately downplays injuries and could end up being used against the claimant hoping to recover fair compensation.
One of the ways to avoid this is by immediately seeking medical attention, even if injuries do not appear serious. State right away to the insurance company that injuries are present. If the severity of the injuries haven’t been determined yet, indicate that additional medical evaluation and care will be necessary.
Common Injuries Sustained in Minor Car Accidents
Certain injuries are more common in minor accidents. Yet the effects can last months or even longer. As a result, the victim may be facing extensive medical costs that could be addressed in a claim.
One example of a potentially late-appearing injury is a neck injury, particularly whiplash. This more often happens in rear-end collisions. It doesn’t take much impact for the neck to snap back and forth, causing damage to the soft tissue.
It may take a couple of months to recover, but for others the effects can last for years. This can cause chronic pain that becomes debilitating. In fact, it may be that the damage extends into ligaments, joints and discs in the neck.
Another common injury in a minor accident involves the back. This could include a herniated disc (slipped or ruptured disc), damage to the spinal cord or compression fracture (cracks in bones of the spine). Again, chronic pain can be the most debilitating symptom of these injuries, but there may be damage to the nerves in some cases, which can affect feeling and sensation throughout the body.
Deciding to Pursue Legal Help for Minor Vehicle Damages
Another challenge when dealing with minor vehicle damage is deciding that because damage to the vehicle was minor, a claim can be settled without legal help. That may not be true, especially when injuries are serious. It’s much easier to establish physical harm when the vehicle damage was severe.
Finally, insurance companies will oftentimes dispute this type of claim with the hopes that no one wants to invest the time and money in litigation. Victims may be offered an incredibly low settlement that could sound better than the prospect of going to court. This is another reason that many accident victims choose to pursue their case with an attorney’s help.
Contact D.J. Banovitz for assistance if a minor car accident causes serious injuries.