$80,000 settlement for soft tissue injuries from low-impact car accident
Steve Caya was able to obtain an $80,000 settlement for his client on the eve of trial for soft tissue injuries to his client’s neck.
The insurance company for the at-fault driver aggressively defended the claim alleging the rear-end impact by a truck was so minor as to be incapable of resulting in long term injury. Despite this position, Steve Caya was able to convince the insurance company his client’s injuries were indeed caused by the collision and a successful settlement was achieved.
Do you have neck or back pain after an accident?
Do NOT ignore it. Your pain is related to your accident, and you're entitled to compensation.
Accident-related whiplash requires medical treatment for the best outcome—and those bills pile up fast. Take action, file a claim and get the settlement you need to protect your lifestyle and your wallet.
You may be entitled to claim compensation for:
Before filing a lawsuit there's a few things you should know.
Wisconsin operates under a shared fault law, meaning each person is held responsible for a portion of the liability in a car accident. If you weren't fully at fault for the crash, you are eligible to win compensation for your injuries in a settlement or lawsuit should it come to it. Here's a few more things you need to know about making a claim after an accident:
- You can sue after a car accident - and WHO
- How to file a car accident claim
- How long you have to file a car accident lawsuit
- How long a car accident court case takes
- You can file yourself - but why not lawyer up instead!
- Average Wisconsin car accident case settlements
What is considered a low-impact car accident?
Unsurprisingly, the term ‘low impact accident’ was created by insurance companies to describe auto collisions that typically occur at low speed and have minor (or no) property damage. Low speed is generally considered to be 10mph or less, aka fender bender.
The insurer considers the “impact” to be low based on the value of the property damage claim. The actual impact of a low-speed auto collision can be significant for the injured victim.
Can you really get hurt in a low-impact car accident?
Without a doubt. Soft tissue injuries like sprains, neck or back strain are common after low impact auto accidents. People with a preexisting condition have a higher risk of injury, but anyone can get injured in low impact car accident. Low speed crashes can even cause more serious injuries involving the joints or spine.
Do whiplash injuries occur in low-speed rear impacts?
Frequently. Whiplash injuries aren’t caused by the speed of the impact, but the way your head and neck are suddenly forced out of alignment. What makes whiplash from a low-speed crash particularly dangerous is victims may not realize they’re injured until a day or two after the accident.
If you’ve been involved in a car accident, make sure you’re prepared to recognize the symptoms of whiplash so you can get treated.
What’s a fair insurance settlement offer after a minor rear-end collision?
The amount could be different in each case. But don’t count on the insurance company to make you a fair settlement offer after a minor rear end collision. Their goal is minimizing payouts, period. If they can get you to accept a settlement less than what your claim is worth, they happily will.
The best way to find out what your minor car accident injury claim is worth is by speaking to a personal injury attorney. Steve Caya considers the entire scope of what your injury costs you, including future medical and rehabilitative care, lost wages and/or earning potential, pain and suffering and more.
How insurers view your low-impact auto accident settlement
Just like the case described above, insurance companies will typically argue that people involved in low speed rear impact collisions could not have been injured in the accident.
To fight your injury claim, the insurance adjuster is likely to use one or all of these known tactics:
Record what you say
The questions an insurance adjuster asks aren’t off the top of their head – they’re carefully scripted to try and get you to say something that lets them deny your claim. They may make it feel like you’re obligated, but legally you don’t have to let the other driver’s insurance company collect a recorded statement from you. If you do give a recorded statement, it’s best done with your own attorney there.
Investigate your background
The at-fault party’s insurer will dig into multiple databases looking for any indication of fraudulent insurance claims. If they ask for your SSN don’t give it to them, it only makes it easier for them to build their case against you.
Keep talking about property damage
To minimize the importance of your injury claim, the adjuster will fixate on property damage. They’ll ask you for photos of your whole vehicle to document recent and preexisting damage. They’ll also want a formal appraisal of vehicle damage.
The at-fault party’s insurer will get experts to assess vehicular damage and any injuries, with the aim of finding a reason to deny your claim or minimize it as much as possible. This is one of the reasons getting a personal injury attorney on your side is so important – Steve Caya works with a network of experts (including accident reconstruction specialists, doctors, rehab professionals) to defend the value of your claim.
Drag things out
If they can’t deny your claim, insurance companies will often resort to delaying it, and they have many different ways of doing this. For example, claiming to have lost or not received documents you provided, so you have to collect and send them again. Insurers make healthy profits and can afford to play the waiting game. They know full well accident victims feel financial pressure, and that delaying gets them the compromise (lower settlement amount) they’re looking for.
Make a lowball offer
Insurance adjusters know most personal injury lawyers won’t fight for an injury claim resulting from a low-speed auto accident. They’ll make a low settlement offer, often with a ‘take it or leave it’ message implied.
From their point of view it’s not personal, it’s economics. The adjuster’s job is to make more money for their employer.
It’s your personal injury attorney’s job to determine a truly fair settlement value and build a winning case to force the insurer to pay.
If you've suffered a neck injury, whiplash injury, or any type of soft tissue injury resulting from an accident, you have the right to claim compensation. Give your claim the best chance of success by partnering with a proven personal injury attorney who won't back down from the insurer's legal team.
Take the first step and request a free consult. There's no obligation, and every case is handled on a no win, no fee basis.