D.R. Patti & Associates

Common Mistakes In Car Accident Claims

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The car accident attorneys at D.R. Patti & Associates have over a combined total of 50 years of experience. In that time, we have seen some car accident victims harm their personal injury case. While often times these mistakes do not destroy a case, these mistakes can cause difficulties in negotiating adequate settlements.

Ignoring Medical Advice Or Appointments

One of the most, if not the most, contested aspect of any car accident claim is the injury.

Insurance companies and defense attorneys typically challenge whether an accident caused the victim’s injuries. Also, a car accident victim must prove their injuries, and generally, Nevada law requires medical evidence of those injuries. Ignoring medical advice or missing doctor appointments can cause problems in car accident claims.

Auto insurance companies tend to argue that a person who is truly hurt, that person seeks medical treatment and that a person who does not seek medical treatment is a person who is not truly hurt. The foregoing is a faulty syllogism, as there are many reasons why an injured person may not seek medical treatment or may have gaps in their treatment. Nevertheless, accident victims must be prepared to respond to such arguments.

In our experience, we’ve also seen injured victims who want to stop going to a doctor not because they are no longer in pain, but because they don’t think the doctor can do anything else. So, those accident victims simply decide to live with the pain and other symptoms. However, these injured persons fail to realize that it takes a medical professional to determine whether injuries are permanent. If the accident claim goes into litigation, a medical professional has to testify to that. An injured victim’s testimony that they continue to be in pain may not be enough.

Not Repairing A Car After A Crash

In other articles, we have discussed the typical argument of insurance companies that car crashes involving minor damages do not cause injury. Insurance companies’ arguments usually go something like this: since the crash did not cause that much damage to the car, it could not have caused the injuries complained of. Of course, this argument ignores that cars and people are not comparable to each other. Nevertheless, insurance companies routinely rely on the extent of damage to the car to contest a person’s injuries.

Unfortunately, some people unwittingly help car insurance companies by choosing not to repair a car following a crash. Generally, in the immediate days after a car accident, the applicable auto insurer will obtain a preliminary property damage estimate. This estimate is usually based on an inspection of the exterior of the car and does not include hidden damage.

Car accidents can cause hidden damage, or damage to the car that is not visible until the car is taken apart. As one car repair shop wrote, “[d]uring a rear-end collision, even a minor bump can cause damage to the frame behind the bumper.” A common property damage that is not seen on initial visual inspection is damage to the reinforcement bar that is hidden behind the bumper and bumper absorber. When a car is repaired, a registered repair facility will usually write a supplement to include an estimate for replacing a damaged reinforcement bar. However, if the car is not repaired, the damage to the reinforcement usually cannot be seen.

Posting On Social Media

As discussed in another article, insurance companies now increasingly rely on social media to find things they can use against an accident victim. To some extent, perusing social media has replaced surveillance videos. Insurance companies can use people’s Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, or other social media posts, particularly photos, to argue that someone is not as injured as they claim.

If a person is laughing, smiling, or looking like they have a good time, insurance companies and their defense attorneys will argue that person cannot be injured. Of course, this argument ignores the fact that a person who has pain or other symptoms can still laugh, smile, or look like they are having a good time occasionally and for brief periods of time. But the more a person has social media posts like this, the more that person provides ammunition to the insurance companies against their own case.

If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, call the experienced Las Vegas personal Injury Attorneys at D.R. Patti & Associates. We’ve successfully handled many different types of accidents and injuries, and we’ve done so while providing personalized treatment to our clients. Our golden rule is to treat our clients the way we want to be treated.

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