Imagine that you are involved in what appears to be a parking lot fender-bender. You were slowing down to make a turn and an inattentive driver behind you rear-ended the back of your vehicle. There is some minor vehicle damage that will require an insurance claim, but no one seems to be hurt.
Several weeks later, you notice pain in your neck and upper back and you are unable to turn your head freely. You suspect that your injury was caused by the accident in the parking lot. Once you file another claim, however, your insurance company rejects it because you had previously claimed to be “fine” after the crash. Unfortunately, this scenario happens all too often.
There are some ways to prevent this problem (even if you can’t prevent a car accident caused by someone else). Whenever dealing with your insurance company, you may want to avoid giving any more information than necessary. If a claims adjustor asks if you are injured, you could say “I don’t know yet” instead of saying “no.”
Getting checked out by a doctor after any motor vehicle accident is generally a smart move. Soft-tissue injuries like whiplash do not always manifest right away. The pain can develop over time. But even though these types of injuries may not sound serious, they can sometimes be more painful than broken bones and can take longer to heal.
If you suffer ongoing medical issues related to the accident, you may be able to hold the at-fault driver liable for negligence. Each of us is expected to exercise reasonable care and caution when driving. If the driver who struck you was not paying attention and/or driving too fast, they likely violated that duty of care. You may be able to prove negligence if you can show that your injuries were caused by the other driver’s breach of the duty to exercise reasonable care.
Even minor car accidents can have far more serious consequences than you may realize. If you have been the victim of a car accident, please discuss your case with an experienced personal injury attorney who can explain your rights and legal options.