Statistics show that the average licensed driver will become involved in a vehicular accident at least once every 17.9 years. For every accident, there is a scripted set of actions to follow: stop the car, inspect the damage, check on the other driver, call the police, get a police report, then call your insurance provider. Even those who may have never been in an accident are aware of post-accident procedures, but what about the other stuff? What about the many unexpected effects of a car crash? Join us as we bring to light the many post car accident occurrences that they don’t tell you about.
Delayed injuries are real and can be costly. Those involved in fender benders and other low-speed collisions often leave the scene with cuts and bruises at most, but there may be other afflictions hidden beneath the surface. Soft tissue injuries are often gradual. Soft tissue includes muscles, ligaments, and tendons. What usually starts off as minor stiffness or soreness can quickly transform into a full-blown ailment.
These injuries are commonly referred to as invisible injuries as they start off insignificant and rapidly (or slowly) become unrelenting. It is not rare for a car accident victim with a soft tissue injury to not feel pain until days, weeks or even months later. Whiplash is one of the most common as it involves the head abruptly jerking forward then backward.
Unfortunately, the accident victim often settles the matter before the pain intensifies and finds him or herself unable to receive compensation for an accident-related injury. This is why it is most important to get a medical evaluation immediately following any car accident.
Car accidents are traumatic experiences and can affect the mind just as much as the body and sometimes, even more. Some of the most common emotional injuries include:
These feelings often happen in stages. Immediately after an accident, one is often in shock. In the days that follow that shock may turn into anger with oneself, the other driver or the situation as a whole. Anxiety is often the final and longest-lasting stage for many as even the thought of getting behind the wheel again can bring about unrest.
Damages for Emotional Injuries
Car accident victims have reported insomnia, headaches, feelings of confusion, flashbacks, racing heartbeats, and many other symptoms of emotional trauma. Such feelings deteriorate your quality of life for which financial compensation is recoverable. Accident-related emotional damages that you can pursue a claim for include:
- Loss of consortium
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of affection (spouse must file claim)
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
Insurance Company Issues
If you were to ask a group of five people “What is the most irritating aspect of a car accident,” at least three would say dealing with the insurance company. The reason being is that the process often involves nonstop back and forth with little progress. Here are some things to keep in mind when settling a claim with the insurance company:
- They are trained negotiators: As friendly as your insurance agent may come off, his or her ultimate goal is to get you to settle your claim for as little as possible.
- Promptness isn’t an obligation: They can drag your claim out even if the at-fault driver is cooperating. They often do this purposefully to get you to accept the initial settlement offer.
- The first settlement offer is often unfair: They know that you need the money as soon as possible to cover vehicle damages, medical bills, and lost wages, so you are more likely to accept the first offer instead of lengthening the process by denying the offer.
- You’re not required to go to the suggested body shop: Doing so can be against your best interests as they often have negotiations with particular shops to keep costs low. They may use cheap replacement parts or not address certain damages to allow the insurance company to offer the lowest settlement possible.
If you feel as if you are making minimal progress with your insurance company, you may want to seek the services of an experienced car accident attorney who can negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf.
While the insurance company does play a vital part in post-accident proceedings, your actions (or lack thereof) can have an unfavorable impact on the success of your case. The following are two common ways you, as the car accident victim, can damage your personal injury case.
Social media should not be your best friend when pursuing a legal claim to collect compensation for accident-related damages. You should consider everything you post online as a public document even if your profile is on “private.” Let’s say you are pursuing a claim for pain and suffering and stated that you are experiencing signs of withdrawal, anxiety, and isolation. One post with you laughing, smiling, and in a happy state can be used to discredit your claim.
This is also true if you suffered a physical injury that supposedly limits your activity and you share posts with you active and about. The judge can conclude that you are attempting to deceive the court and deny all claims for compensation.
Statute of Limitations
Simply not filing your claim in time can also result in you missing out on substantial compensation. The statute of limitations in Louisiana for personal injury accidents is one year. If you attempt to file a lawsuit after the statute of limitations has expired, the defense can motion to dismiss the case which the judge will almost always grant.
The Louisiana car accident attorneys at E. Orum Young Law Offices are here to serve as your legal counsel throughout the entirety of the claims process. We understand that dealing with an accident can be overwhelming. Trust us to file the necessary paperwork and negotiate with the appropriate parties to ensure that you receive compensation for all accident-related damages. Contact us today for a free case evaluation. Our Trial Guarantee ensures that we will take your case to trial if you are ever dissatisfied with the initial results.