You were in a car accident, and while your car ended up badly damaged, you felt lucky that all you experienced was whiplash and a sprained wrist. You think your injuries are minor and your personal health insurance covered the medical bills fairly, but you are still having some pain after the car accident. Should you make an injury claim even though it seems like a minor injury? The answer is pretty simple: yes, you should.
Compensation Related to Car Accidents
Beyond the compensation you can receive for damages to your car, you may be eligible for compensation that covers medical costs and out-of-pocket expenses related to injuries you sustained in the car accident, even if those injuries seem minor to you. In addition, there may also be a “pain and suffering” aspect to your accident-related injuries for which you may be eligible. You will not know how much your injuries are worth until you start the process of filing an injury claim.
Minor Car Accident Injury Medical Expenses
If you were injured in a car accident, you should make a claim for medical expenses. Even minor injuries may involve medical appointments, x-rays, prescriptions, and copays. In addition, it is important to realize that the term “minor” is relative: while your idea of a minor injury might be a large bruise or a sprained wrist, someone else may think of a broken bone as being minor compared to other accidents they have seen. Minor injuries may be worth more than you realize and they do have medical expenses associated with them that can be compensated for.
Importance of Seeking Medical Attention
Regardless of the severity of injuries you have sustained — and even if you do not think you have been injured — it is important that you be seen by a medical professional as soon as possible after you have been in a car accident. Some symptoms do not show up right away, and the adrenaline rush that occurs during the stress of an accident is very good at masking pain. Headaches, neck pain, muscle strains, and similar symptoms may take a while to appear and can be a sign of a more severe injury which means your injury may be worse than you think. You can visit your personal physician, a medical clinic, or the emergency room depending on the severity of your injuries.
If you do not get medical attention immediately, then the insurance company will aggressively fight any injury-related claims you decide to make by arguing that your pain could not have been severe if you waited to see a doctor. It will make it very difficult for you to be reimbursed for your medical expenses, much less for pain and suffering.
Pain and Suffering for Minor Car Accident Injuries
Pennsylvania is one of the states that will allow you to claim pain and suffering when you have been injured in a car accident — even for minor injuries there may be a pain and suffering aspect. A whiplash, which is considered minor by many experts, can result in pain, discomfort, and mobility issues for the rest of your life and will often be eligible for pain and suffering compensation. Some major injuries, such as facial disfigurement due to burns or severe cuts, are eligible for a significant amount of compensation. Other injuries may impact the type of work you can do or make it impossible for you to participate in activities that you enjoy. These are all aspects of pain and suffering.
Pain and suffering refers to the emotional trauma you experienced related to any injuries you sustained in a car accident, and sometimes the trauma of just being involved in a car accident. As we all know, trauma is not something that can be detected with an x-ray or measured with a blood test. The amount of compensation you can receive for pain and suffering is directly related to the severity of your injuries. Some insurance companies scale it directly to the total amount of your medical claim. It is important when you file a claim that includes pain and suffering that you make sure the amount you are requesting is reasonable. Even though Pennsylvania law does not place a limit on how much you can request, you need to stay within accepted amounts for your claim to be taken seriously.
In general, if you have the opportunity to make an injury claim then you should. Insurance companies do not mind at all when someone who was injured forgoes their legal opportunity to receive compensation — that’s money in their pocket. You should speak with a lawyer to determine what your claim may be worth and get an estimate of what type of pain and suffering compensation you may be eligible for. You were injured, and the law has made provision for you to seek compensation for your injuries.
Contact Donaghue & Labrum
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, no matter how minor that injury may seem to you, the team at Donaghue & Labrum want to see you get the compensation you deserve under the law. We will help you estimate how much your claim is worth and then work tirelessly to protect your rights – and will do so on a contingency basis so there is no cost to you until you receive compensation. Contact Donaghue & Labrum today and let us fight for you!