Low speed impact crashes are defined as motor vehicle accidents where the striking vehicle was traveling at speeds under 10 MPH. At-fault insurance companies would like the driver who was hit to believe that low speed impact crashes do not cause any more injuries then might occur in the normal course of one’s day. THIS IS FALSE! While there is usually little to no visible property damage to the vehicles in this type of accident, people who are struck (especially in a rear-end car accident) often have injuries. The reason for this is that car bumpers are designed to withstand some impact without damage but vehicle occupants who are not anticipating being struck cannot force their back and neck against the seat or headrest to avoid being jerked backward. Note that older vehicles often show less property damage but do not do a good job of protecting occupants from injury.Read More
One of the most common types of car accident injuries are soft tissue injuries. Soft tissue injuries include whiplash, nerve damage and sprained, pulled, strained or torn muscles. The trouble is that this type of injury is hard to describe in medical terms and can be difficult to prove so insurance companies may try to fight claims or limit car accident settlements. Winning a lawsuit for a soft tissue injury can be very challenging. A skilled and experienced car accident lawyer may be needed to fight for justice on behalf of the injured victim; he or she will help the injured party thoroughly document the injury and gather medical evidence.
At-fault vs. no-fault states
In “at-fault” states the defendant’s insurance company pays for the soft tissue injury claim (Washington State is an “at-fault” state.) In “no-fault” states the plaintiff’s insurance company pays for the claim and plaintiffs are not even allowed to sue defendants. Regardless of which law is followed in your state, it is important to establish a soft tissue injury through documented medical diagnosis for both insurance claims and any potential lawsuit. In order to do this, it is imperative that the injured party seek medical treatment for a soft tissue injury right away. The doctor should provide medical care that will begin the healing and recovery process but will also run tests and create medical records that can serve as proof of the soft tissue injury.
Soft tissue injures car accident settlement
Most insurance companies have established amounts that they are willing to pay to settle a case based on the type of injury. If a plaintiff refuses to accept that established amount, the insurance company may refuse to settle.
Note: In many states, if the plaintiff wins a personal injury lawsuit after a court trial but wins less than what the insurance company offered in settlement, the insurance company may able to charge the plaintiff for its litigation costs.
Winning a soft tissue injury lawsuit
To win a lawsuit in an “at-fault” state such as Washington, a car accident lawyer will build a case around the following records and people. The first and most important step to winning a soft tissue injuries lawsuit is to have proper medical records of the injury and its symptoms; the attorney will gather these records as evidence. In lawsuits seeking high damages, proof that the car accident happened in a particular way along with expert testimony or other evidence that shows that the plaintiff’s soft tissue injury is common for that type of car crash is often needed.
It is always best if the plaintiff can reach a fair settlement with the insurance agency without going to court. In cases that don’t settle or where an insurance company refuses to pay out the claim, the plaintiff will need to sue the insurance company to be compensated; typically with the help of a personal injury attorney.
If you or a loved one is dealing with an accident or injury, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the caring accident attorneys at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!Read More