Compensation for hardships due to injury from a car accident?

by Nicole
(Duluth, MN)

I was driving my vehicle, going through an intersection where I had a green light. The other driver was speeding and went through his red light. I noticed he was not going to stop and slammed on my brakes, but it was too late and I was hit.

The accident totaled my vehicle, and I was diagnosed with subluxation of the spine as well as cervical strain. I am out of work for this week and into next week as I heal - I am a massage therapist and my job is very physical.

I have had to cancel appointments with long term clients, my husband has had to miss work to take me to and from doctor appointments, and I have missed out on training for an upcoming dance performance. I'm extremely anxious and nervous when I am around traffic, and in the car driving to/from my appointments.

I'm just not sure what to ask for pain and suffering as this has caused my family a lot of anxiety. What do I ask for? Is there anything I need to know about requesting compensation for my injuries, the loss of work, and other hardships? Thank you.

Visitor Question:
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ANSWER for "Compensation for hardships due to injury from a car accident?":

Nicole (Duluth, MN):

Subluxation of the spine is defined as one or more of the bones in the vertebrae being moved out of position by a physical blow, or substantial pressure to the spine. When the bones are moved out of position they come in contact with the spinal nerves. When that contact occurs the brain feels pain.

Cervical strain occurs when muscles or tendons in the neck are stretched out of their normal position. Tendons connect muscles to bones. Subluxation of the spine and cervical strain are normally referred to by insurance companies as whiplash injuries.

You certainly have a right to demand from the insurance company compensation for your lost wages for the time you were seeking treatment. However, the insurance company will likely not consider compensating you for the training you lost for the dance performance.

Moreover, the insurance company will likely discount the anxiety and nervousness you suffered, and continue to suffer from the accident. To have a chance of convincing the insurance company to compensate you for your anxiety and nervousness will require medical proof from a psychiatrist or psychologist directly linking the accident to the anxiety and nervousness.

The burden of proof is on you, and not the insurance company to substantiate the link between your anxiety and nervousness, and the accident. Here's more about the legal burden of proof for claims and lawsuits.

At this point, the most you can expect the insurance company to offer is a settlement equal to or slightly above the cost of your chiropractic treatment. We say chiropractic treatment because most physicians will not treat patients for whiplash injuries.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Judge Calisi

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