Over the years, we have helped hundreds of car accident victims settle their car accident injury claims. More often than not, car accident victims are involved in what the insurance companies classify as low-impact car accidents which refers to accidents where the vehicles involved generally have less that $1,000.00 in property damage. Most auto accident injury lawyers generally will not accept these cases because they know that the insurance companies notoriously deny such personal injury claims based on lack of causation nexus between the impact and the injury asserted (they argue that a person involved in this type of accident could not have been injured). However, as we have mentioned in previous blog articles, the contrary is on point: low impact accidents can and do cause personal injuries which justify medical care solutions.
Therefore, the insurance adjuster will generally assert that the victim is not being truthful about being injured and may deny the victim's claim based on one of the following.
(a) 'Fender Bender' means no injury. Basically, they will send out a property adjuster to assess the damage of your car. If it's is less than $1,000, especially near the $500+ 'sweet spot', the adjuster will send the victim or their attorney their form denial letter which essentially states that "the accident was minor in nature and it is difficult to understand the nature of the injuries alleged considering the minor damage to the vehicles involved".
(b) Recorded statement Request. The insurance adjuster will inform the victim or their attorney that as part of their routine 'investigation', they need to obtain a recorded statement from the victim. If the victim refuses to provide the statement, the adjuster will delay their investigation as long as possible or summarily deny the victim's claim. First, no victim should give a recorded statement without their attorney present. Second, the statement is for the benefit of the adjuster and not the victim given the objective is to ask the victim questions meant to get him or her to say something that could allow them to deny the claim. Consequently, the victim does not have any legal obligation to give a recorded statement to the other driver’s adjuster and if necessary, should only be done with the victim's legal counsel in the room.
(c) 'Nickel & Dime' Settlement Offer. Due to the low impact nature of the accident, the adjuster will use every possible trick to devalue the claim. First they will 'reduce' the valuation of the medical bills by as much as 50%. Second, they will argue against the medical necessity of the length of treatment received. Third, they will look for treatment gaps. Fourth, they will look for pre-existing injuries. There are many more excuses to write a book but suffice it to say that we have seen it all. The cumulative effect of their tactics is to make a low ball offer knowing that most lawyers will not accept the case. Ultimately, the adjuster is financially rewarded by the insurance company for exceeded their financial goals by saving the insurance company settlement $$$.
The bottomline is if you were involved in a low impact accident, do not go at it alone without initially consulting with an experienced auto accident attorney. Therefore, If you have been injured in any type of auto accident (low impact or otherwise), please call us for a free consultation.