Bodily Injury from Low-Damage Crashes
It may seem logical to assume that accidents which don’t leave your car totaled, or even one that leaves the car driveable, won’t result in serious injuries to the driver or passengers of that car. However, you may find yourself in serious pain after even a minor crash, with medical bills piling up, and an insurance company that refuses to pay out. Read on to learn about how insurance companies handle bodily injury claims where property damage is low, and how you can still recover compensation for your treatment.
Insurance companies may deny your injury claim right off the bat, simply on the basis of the price tag on your property damage. Some carriers have a policy of denying claims for medical expenses any time property damage for the same accident is below $1,000, and only considering bodily injury claim validity by looking to the victim’s medical records when the claim surpasses that amount. Even at trial, insurance companies will put lots of money into hiring a biomechanics expert whom they know will testify that, based on the photos of the damaged car and claimed cost of repairs, the victim’s medical costs and time spent off work couldn’t possibly be so great.
However, an abundance of academic research clearly shows that the value of the property damage incurred by a car is simply an invalid means of determining the possible severity of a passenger’s injuries. In fact, research supports the idea that, the stiffer a vehicle is, the less vehicle crumpling serves to absorb shock and decelerate a vehicle in a crash, and the greater the potential for the passengers to instead absorb that shock. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration makes it clear in its regulations that car bumpers are designed to protect against property damage, and are “not a safety feature intended to prevent or mitigate injury severity to occupants in the passenger cars.” Thus, a skilled personal injury attorney will be able to successfully argue that medical costs and pain and suffering are deserved, even when damage to the car is not extensive.
If you have been injured in a car accident in New York’s Hudson Valley and require zealous representation against the insurer, contact the Goshen car accident lawyers at Dupée & Monroe for a consultation at 845-294-8900.