Personal Injury Law (Accidents/Slip & Fall)/Car accident
Hello Mr. Dorfman,
I was hit by someone who failed to yield at a stop sign. As a result my vehicle rolled multiple times. Although I am very sore (will see a chiropractor tomorrow), I was released after 10 hours in the ER with no serious injuries. While in the ER a plastic surgeon had to be brought in to remove several small pieces of glass from my arm.
The driver of the other car has the same insurance company as me, so I'm a little concerned about making sure I receive fair compensation. Do you have any advice on what I should do?
Chris: First piece of advice is this: Do not start with a chiropractor. A chiropractor may be helpful but to start there, after the ER, will just serve to have the adjuster of your bodily injury claim think that the injury was very minor and maybe not even actual. My advice is to see an orthopedist, at least for an examination. That shows you are concerned and the documentation provided will be worth 10 times what the chiropractor will say in his/her records. After the exam, go ahead and see the chiro if you want.
Most people would think that if both of you are covered by the same company and because you are a customer of the company, you will be treated generously. Not so. But they certainly would not hold against you........one of their own customers. But this all means nothing. The Sales Dept. and the Claims Dept. are completely separate and the fact that you both are with the company will have no effect whatsoever, in my opinion based on 35 years experience with such matters.
What is fair compensation anyhow? We don't know. The docs in the ER are looking for serious acute injuries. They aren't interested very much in soft tissue injuries or so-called minor injuries that can end up causing you distress for a long time. If you have insurance, that is why I suggest you start with the ortho who would be looking for small things that could cause you long term pain and suffering such as damaged spinal discs, strain and sprain of ligaments, etc. etc. The ER people weren't concerned about such stuff but the ortho will be. The adjuster won't give a damn frankly what the chiro has to say. A person feeling fine can walk into a chiro office and walk out with a big diagnosis of all kinds of things wrong and recommendation for 6 months of treatment. That is the bias of the adjuster. No way to know value of the case now nor until some time passes and we know if you are fine, or not. Doesn't matter if car rolled 10 times, caught fire, fell off a bridge and got hit by a train. All that matters is the nature and extent of your injuries, if any. Hope this helps.