If you are hurt in a car accident, where do you turn? Obviously, if the accident is very traumatic, you will need an ambulance and emergency care in a hospital. In many cases, accident victims may not need urgent evacuation as their injuries are not life-threatening.
However, being able to walk away from an accident does not mean you do not have serious injuries which require treatment. Delaying treatment can be problematic, from a health standpoint as well as the ability to claim damages from an accident.
Let’s look at a sample case from Stillman and Friedland’s practice history. (Name has been changed for confidentiality.)
Norma was driving home from work when she was rear-ended by another driver who was clearly at fault. Norma sustained a blow to her head on the side window, and her neck was also strained. Her car also sustained moderate damage. A police report was filed for the accident and Norma went home, since, although she was shook up, she had no obvious injuries.
The next day, Norma had a headache and she attributed it to the stress from the previous day. But the headache persisted for over a week and she also felt tired and occasionally nauseous. She was also having neck pain. Finally, after nearly two weeks, she saw a doctor who diagnosed her as having a concussion and also a neck injury and she began treatment.
When she filed a claim with her insurance, her injuries were questioned since she had waited for two weeks before seeking treatment. Norma thought she would have no problem since her own uninsured motorist insurance (the other driver was uninsured) was to pay. She had never missed a payment and had no prior claims.
Stillman and Friedland fought for months to get her injuries and pain and suffering reimbursed; we succeeded to get Norma a fair settlement. But knowing there was a fight with the insurance company while she was recovering from her injuries was an added strain she did not need.
What should Norma have done to make her health better and her case easier?
Whenever you have an accident, it is always best to get checked by a medical professional as soon as possible after the accident. Do not wait until symptoms appear and persist.
With soft tissue injuries, especially head injuries, TBI (traumatic brain injury), injuries are not readily apparent. This also applies to neck and back injuries. Anytime you have a blow to the head, neck or back, keep in mind that it may take weeks for symptoms to appear and months to treat.
Remember that insurance companies make money by collecting premiums and then paying out as little as possible.
The adjuster is an advocate for the insurance company, not for you!
If you state to the adjuster that you initially felt fine after the accident, your case begins to look suspect, even though your experience is normal for soft tissue injuries.
Always avoid making statements to the insurance company; they routinely record calls and everything you say can be used against you.
As soon as you are involved in any accident, before you call your insurance company, call Stillman and Friedland. Putting your case in the hands of professionals at the beginning will leave you free to concentrate on getting better. We have years of experience in handling cases such as yours and getting the best financial recovery possible.
Because we care…
Stillman & Friedland
Tennessee Accident Attorneys