Low-Impact Accidents That Cause Serious Injury
Oct. 13, 2022
You often hear the terms “fender bender” or “just a scratch” when someone describes a minor car accident they’ve been involved in; however, a scratch or dent on the outside of a vehicle is not always indicative of what happens to the people inside. The impact can cause a violent jerking of the people’s bodies and can result in injuries that are neither minor nor temporary.
The problem with a low-impact collision lies in presenting the claim to your insurance company. You might have an uphill battle convincing the insurer of the seriousness of your injuries.
Fortunately, medical records and supporting statements by physicians are usually not dismissed so indifferently as might be a claim by a policyholder. To prevail in your injury claim, you must ensure you follow the proper steps at the scene of the accident, gather the necessary evidence, and seek medical evaluation and treatment for further proof.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a low-impact accident in or around Altamonte Springs, Florida, and you feel the insurance company isn’t taking your claim seriously, contact me immediately at the Law Office Of Mark A. Cornelius P.A.
I have 25-plus years of experience helping clients recover the compensation owed them for the injuries they’ve suffered in auto accidents. I understand the processes used by insurance adjusters and can stand up to their tactics to fight for your rights and your just compensation.
I proudly serve clients not only in Altamonte Springs but also throughout the communities of Central Florida, including Seminole, Orange, Osceola, Volusia, and throughout the counties of Lake and Polk.
Injuries That Can Result from Low-Impact Accidents
Automobiles weigh upwards of 3,000 pounds, and tractor-trailers up to 80,000 pounds. An impact between two vehicles out on Florida’s highways and byways, even if it seems minor, can result in injuries that are far from being low in physical consequences.
A person’s head, neck, and back are particularly vulnerable. Even with a seatbelt on, a person can be jerked back and forth, causing strains and injuries to the head, neck, spine, nerves, and tendons. There can be whiplash, which can lead to various long-lasting symptoms such as neck pain and stiffness, chronic headaches, tingling and numbness in the arms, and more.
If the head of a passenger strikes the dash or even the seat in front of them, it can result in a concussion, and a concussion can develop into a traumatic brain injury (TBI), which often poses long-term implications. TBIs can lead to sleep disorders, psychiatric and emotional problems, and even seizures.
Proving the Extent of Your Injuries
When you make your claim to your insurance company – or later in a court of law if you end up filing a personal injury lawsuit – you will need to show the cause and extent of your injuries and the need for ongoing treatment. This type of evidence all starts with how diligently you investigate and record the details of the accident itself.
If you do not require an immediate trip to the emergency room, you should start by creating a record of what happened at the scene of the accident. Use your phone to take pictures of everything, including any roadside signs the other driver may have violated. If there are witnesses, try to get their statements and contact information. As soon as you get a chance, write down or record the details of what happened as a reference document you can rely on during the claims or legal process.
What you do after the accident is not only equally as important as what you do at the scene, but it is often even more critical. To begin, you need to seek medical evaluation as soon as possible and then follow through on any treatment plan the doctor or medical group recommends. If this entails the consumption of medicines and painkillers, undergoing physical therapy, or returning for follow-up doctor’s visits – be sure to stick to the treatment plan.
The insurance company, or a jury, will need to see that your injuries were serious enough that you had to undergo treatment and that you were serious enough about your injuries that you followed through on all of the medical and therapy recommendations.
Insurance companies are known to cap compensation when you, the injured party, have reached what they call the point of Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). This means that nothing the medical community can do will improve your condition any further. You may still be suffering from your injuries, but once the insurer concludes there’s nothing more that can be done to improve your condition they will cite MMI to cap the terms of your settlement.
The point is that you should never accept the first settlement from an insurance company. It’s bound to be a lowball effort to get you to sign off so they can close their file. Remember, once you accept a settlement, you cannot go back later to reopen the claim and ask for more compensation. The claim is officially closed once you sign off on a settlement, even if your injuries resurface or worsen in the future.
In fact, you shouldn’t involve yourself in negotiating the settlement at all. Let your auto accident/personal injury attorney do that for you.
Rely on an Experienced Auto Accident and Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in an auto accident, your first instinct is to report it to your insurance company. Once you do so, the next phone call you get will be from one of the company’s claim adjusters. Claim adjusters are professionals trained to get you to say or admit to something that can use to limit the insurer’s liability.
The point is to get an experienced auto accident attorney to handle all conversations and negotiations with the insurance company and its adjusters. I know how to field the adjusters’ questions and press for a settlement that covers not only your immediate medical expenses and lost income but any future expenses or losses.
If you’re in Central Florida and have been injured in a low-impact auto accident, don’t let the insurance company and its adjusters push you around as if you’re exaggerating your injuries. Rely on me to stand up to their line of questioning and fight for your rights to just and full compensation.
Contact me at the Law Office Of Mark A. Cornelius P.A. for a free consultation. I proudly serve clients in Central Florida, including Seminole, Orange, Osceola, Volusia, and throughout the counties of Lake and Polk.