Visitor Question

How to get compensation if medical records don’t show much of an injury?

Submitted By: Anonymous (Georgia)

I in a car accident where two vehicles hit each other and then hit the vehicle I was a passenger in. Police said it was clearly the fault of the first vehicle that hit the car behind us, which then hit us.

I went to the hospital as pain increased a week later. The doctor was quite busy in the ER. He said he thought I was alright but I had inflammation in my neck and he could feel a muscle spasm. They x-rayed my neck but said it looked fine. The problem is, right after collision I had a bit of memory loss.

I am in pain but it’s hard to prove. I don’t think giving my hospital record to the at-fault driver’s insurance will help my case. I really just want to settle as quick as possible and get on with life.

I was with my employer at the time of the accident and it was my first day on the job. I was hired part time as a studio assistant to my employer – a professor and artist. I have not been back to work. What can I do here? How can I get compensation for my medical bills and pain if my hospital records don’t show that much of an injury? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Anonymous,

To have any chance of recovering compensation, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will need proof of your injuries. They won’t compensate you just because you say you were injured. You will have to submit proof of the damages you sustained in the accident, as a result of the at-fault driver’s negligence.

Damages are unique to every accident and to every person involved. Damages can include medical and therapy bills, out of pocket expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

You will have a difficult burden proving damages, especially because you didn’t seek medical treatment until a week after the accident. You can be confident the insurance company will take the position that your injuries, if any, were the result of a separate and unrelated event.

While a doctor examined you, the x-rays showed no injury.

The questions the insurance company will ask are:

– What are your injuries? – Where is the medical proof of your injuries? – Where are your medical bills? – Where are your out-of-pocket expenses for medications, bandages, etc.? – Why didn’t you seek medical treatment sooner? – Where are your lost wages as a result of the accident?

While it is true some symptoms of car accidents do not manifest until hours and even days after an accident, one week may be considered past the acceptable date.

There is an alternative. There is no doubt you were involved in the accident caused by the insurance company’s insured driver. You honestly feel you are in pain, although you have no medical evidence of injury. If you persist in the claim it is possible you may be offered what is referred to as a nuisance settlement.

Nuisance settlements are made by insurance companies so they can close the claim and move on to new claims.

It is not worth the claim adjuster’s time to continue to deal with your claim. Time is money, and claim adjusters need to close claims and move on to new ones.

While there is no guarantee you will be offered a nuisance settlement, you have nothing to lose by trying. However, nuisance payouts are often rather low. They can range from a few hundred dollars to a thousand dollars or slightly more.

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

Best of luck,

Published: July 14, 2016

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