I was rear ended five days ago. The only visual evidence of this collision was where his bumper made contact to mine and a clip came loose underneath the bumper; but his car's front bumper was quite obviously affected and misaligned after impact (his is an older car with a metal bumper).
I'd had some neck pain immediately following; and hours and days following, I've developed more neck, shoulder and back pain; some of which is reminiscent from an accident four years ago, when I suffered a compression fracture in my low spine.
My question is, should I hire an attorney (perhaps my last attorney) for this minor fender bender with seemingly very little vehicle damage to my car but with more sustained personal injury? For my last accident, I hired an attorney because it was basically a hit and run from an uninsured and unlicensed driver, which totaled my car, and it took my attorney nearly two years (close to the end of the statute of limitations) to finally settle the case with my insurance company.
I've read that if there is virtually no damage but the injuries seem more than they should be for the degree of accident, then an insurance company is likely to settle for as little as possible with not so much as enough to even pay doctor bills.
At this point, I'm not sure what is in my best interest. Work just with the two insurance companies myself or hire an attorney... Any sound advice would be greatly appreciated.
You have a situation were the low impact can be justify due to your pre-existing condition. This is usually referred to as the “egg shell” plaintiff.
Since you were injured before, it is likely that a low impact can cause you injuries again and thus give you rights to a normal settlement. This type of case could be settled without a lawyer, however, an attorney can really increase your settlement.