You just had a fender bender. You are shaken but get out of the car to make sure the person who ran the stop sign is OK. You check for damage. Nothing obvious, but you exchange insurance information with the driver anyway – just in case there is damage that isn’t visually evident. Over the next week, you realize it’s your body, not the car’s, that took a hit.
A stiff neck and sore back get worse instead of better, and after several doctor visits, you’re handed a diagnosis of whiplash and a herniated disk, which will require months of treatment.
This is a good example of why it is important to exchange insurance information in a seemingly minor accident. Since the other driver is at fault, their insurance should pay for lost wages and medical bills. But more and more, insurance companies are questioning claims in minor collisions. They figure if the car’s not damaged, you shouldn’t be either.
In 2007, CNN conducted an 18-month investigation into the nation’s two largest auto insurers and found that the agencies offer little to victims of fender benders. In fact, CNN said there was a strategy to routinely deny claims, delay settlement, and defend against claims in court. The general idea was to make the process difficult, time consuming and expensive, and to use the lack of damage to the vehicle as evidence in court to help the jury conclude that the claim may be fraudulent.
If you or a loved one has been seriously injured in a minor-impact auto accident, call our office right away to get the compensation you deserve.