When someone delays seeking medical treatment after a car accident, the insurance company adjusters may be skeptical about a claim made later on. Yet it's relatively frequent for a person with whiplash or a compression fracture to not experience worrying symptoms for a few days. The individual might have mild pain or even no discomfort at first. If the insurer denies payment, the claimant may want to schedule a consultation with a personal injury lawyer.
The lawyer needs verification from a doctor about the person's injury along with a stated opinion that it is consistent with the results of a vehicle collision. The delay in symptom onset should be confirmed as normal. This information is then provided to the insurer to support the case.
Whiplash is a common injury in people who were in a car that was forcefully struck from behind. The fast, uncontrolled movement of the head and neck in response strains ligaments and muscles. Because it affects soft tissues, whiplash usually cannot be diagnosed with X-rays. Doctors may be able to identify the injury with magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography.
A vertebral compression fracture also can occur in a serious accident. This break is visible in X-ray images. The injury is more likely in older individuals whose bones have become fragile due to osteoporosis.
A lawyer may need a doctor's confirmation that the fracture was actually caused by the accident and not some other incident. The adjusters may suspect the person fell a day or two later and is trying to blame the resulting injury on the car accident.
The Amount of Compensation
In addition to persuading the insurance company to pay, the amount of compensation also must be considered. The adjusters might begin with an offer that seems unreasonably low. They are only required to pay the maximum of the policy, but numerous expenses can be included. For example, there may be a need for physical therapy to speed recovery.
Personal injury lawyers generally make their fee arrangements easy for clients by not requiring any upfront payments. Instead of a retainer fee, they receive a percentage of the client's compensation. The lawyer and client agree on the percentage before signing the contract. This is called a contingency arrangement because the attorney does not receive payment if settlement negotiations are unsuccessful. For that reason, injury lawyers typically only take cases they are certain will have positive results.
Contact a law firm like Bradley Drendel & Jeanney to learn more.