In most cases, car accident victims benefit from filing an insurance claim even if injuries are minor. Of course, this is assuming that someone else was at fault for the accident. When that’s the case, the victim would file a claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company.
When Even Minor Injuries May Need a Claim: They Could Get More Serious
Many times an injury appears to be minor. But the extent of injury might not be immediately evident. It could take time for symptoms to develop or progress. Or a doctor evaluation may be necessary to fully discover the extent of injuries.
For instance, originally a head injury might be deemed a concussion. But as the symptoms worsen, it could be re-diagnosed as a more serious brain injury. This is just one example.
That’s why it is important to see a doctor even if you are experiencing just minor aches or mild soreness. Even soft tissue injuries can lead to chronic pain and impairment. Failing to seek medical attention right away could cause the insurance company to argue that you aren’t as hurt as you originally stated. This could end up damaging your claim.
Keep in mind that settling a claim too quickly could end up destroying your chance to receive monies that will fund your full recovery. Let’s say the insurance company offers a settlement shortly after you file your claim.
Since the injuries appear to be minor, you accept it. But a couple weeks later you discover surgery is needed from an injury you sustained in the accident. Those costs cannot be recovered because you already settled.
When Even Minor Injuries May Need a Claim: Reimbursement
Even if it turns out the injuries are minor, there may still be out-of pocket expenses that the at-fault driver’s insurance company would cover.
Some of the medical expenses that you might incur:
- prescription costs; and
- missed days from work.
Keep in mind that non-life-threatening injuries may also warrant additional compensation in a claim, such as pain and suffering. Let’s say someone sustained a neck injury. At first it feels stiff. But as time goes on the symptoms progress to a point where there is constant pain. Someone who has endured several months of pain, for example, may be able to recover compensation.
Should I contact an attorney when injuries in an accident are minor?
Minor injuries and property damage typically don’t require an attorney. Of course, if the insurance company is refusing to settle for a fair amount, then it might be worthwhile to seek legal advice.
However, it is helpful to contact an attorney if it turns out the injuries are serious and you face significant damages. The insurance adjusters may try to refute injury severity or attempt to shift blame for the accident. The best way to protect a claim in these circumstances is to secure legal representation.
Contact D.J. Banovitz if you’re in the Arvada area and pursuing an auto insurance claim after an accident and require legal help. Set up your consultation by calling (303) 300-5060 or fill out our online contact form.