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Rear End Accident - Soft Tissue Injury
In October I was rear ended by a teenage driver while I was stopped at a red light. The impact was strong enough to knock my foot off the break pedal and whip my head forward then back. The drivers car struck my trailer hitch's steel bar rather then my bumper because they were so much lower then I was.
This resulted in very little damage to my vehicle. I reported to the ER that night and was told that I had acute back and neck strain due to the accident. After a week the pain persisted and I sought out a Chiropractor.
X-rays revealed an "S" curve to my cervical spine and an independent lab review indicated that the injury was new and caused by the accident.
Now four months later the drivers insurance company is claiming there is no way the accident could have caused an injury because it is what they consider low impact. The speed at which the driver was going was never determined, I estimate between 10-20 mph.
I spent two and half months in treatment for the pain this accident caused. I missed a trip to Disneyland and wasn't able to do many of my normal activities.
I'm not seeking a huge settlement, I don't need to break the bank, but I'm almost insulted that they say there was no injury. My medical records say there were and even today I still wake up stiff and sore at times.
I am hesitant to get a lawyer because I don't want to be one of those people who takes advantage of a situation but the insurance company is unwilling to bend even just a little on their offer of $500. $259 of which is for the damage to my vehicle. I'm spent more then that on gas just going to all my doctors appointments.
Can you please provide some guidance on the next step I should take? Thank you!
I am sorry this is happening to you. Some claim adjusters can be very aggressive in getting a settlement and they can be very offensive.
It just seems that they think that everyone is trying to get a quick buck, and they think that no or little property damage equates to no injury. The reasoning is of course incorrect.
Usually, low speed impacts leads to little or no treatment. It is a doctor who determines if you are injured or not, not the insurance adjuster. The insurance adjuster has no medical or legal credentials, they are simply going by what they believe the "normal" rule of thumb is. I know this because my husband and I used to be bodily injury adjusters.
In most circumstances, you can settle your own claim.
However, in this case, it just sounds like you do need an attorney. You have been hurt badly and you have medical documentation to back it up. It is not about taking advantage of the situation, you were sitting on a light when someone hit you from behind at no fault of your own.
I think you should get compensated for all the injury an inconvenience. Insurance adjusters like to play hard ball sometimes, and it sounds like they want to settle you for $500 just because the property damage is low, without even looking at the medical records.
If you are not sure about hiring an attorney yet, request your medical records and read them carefully. See exactly what a doctors are writing. If there is evidence of an actual injury, then you have way more leverage to negotiate.
visit http://www.auto-insurance-claim-advice.com/bodily-injury-claim.html for more information on how to document a bodily injury claim.
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