More and more insurance companies who regularly process car accident injury claims are implementing a policy of denying bodily injury claims outright, or only offering a nominal sum to settle, when the property damage is below a certain monetary amount, like $1,000.
The first thing you should know is that there is no credible evidence to support the notion that a car accident victim's injuries are determined solely by the extent of damage to the vehicle.
However, it is true that jurors often rely on photographic and video evidence to justify the level of damages they may award to a plaintiff, so the level of property damage involved in a car accident claim is not totally insignificant.
What To Do After A Minimal Damage Car Accident
If you were injured in an accident that involved a low level of property damage - either the damage is visibly minimal, or the estimate to repair the damage is on the low end of the spectrum - the first thing you should do is see your doctor or another qualified health professional who can evaluate your physical condition.
Medical treatment records are crucial pieces of evidence to support any potential personal injury claim against an at-fault driver. If you suffered injuries in a collision that will require medical treatment, documenting the diagnosis and treatment of those injuries will help prove your case and put additional pressure on the insurance company to cooperate with you in good faith.
Even if your accident occurred at a low speed or involved a relatively low level of physical damage to the vehicle(s) involved, a medical doctor's opinion about the causation of your injuries will often outweigh any property damage issues.
Other Suggestions After A Minor Car Accident
If you find yourself in this position, here are a few other suggestions that might help:
1. Take your car to another reliable automotive shop: This is done to determine the full extent of damage. Quite often, most of the damage will be hidden and an expert will need to dissemble the rear bumper and check the vehicle for all possible signs of impact.
2. Adequately document all damage and all evidence: Do this immediately after a collision occurred. This means taking photographs and compiling a thorough repair estimate.
3. Do not repair the vehicle: Hold pat on this. Also, do not accept a property damage settlement until you have spoken to an attorney.
Consult With Our Personal Injury Lawyers
You may need to hire an experienced attorney in the event of an accident involving low property damage, especially if you were injured and are facing costly medical bills, missed time from work, and other damages. Washington state law permits accident victims to pursue an injury claim against the person responsible for causing their injuries.
Attorney Chris Davis and the personal injury attorneys at Davis Law Group, P.S., have successfully handled many claims involving "low damage" rear-end collisions. Contact us today for a free case evaluation. Call (206) 727-4000, use the chat feature below or fill out the form on this page to get started.