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Most don’t sue, in spite of pain

If you believe all of the talk from insurance companies and their defense attorneys, you would suspect that every insurer is in constant danger of being overwhelmed by a waterfall of frivolous lawsuits, many of which are brought by individuals injured in car accidents. These claims often involve phony cases of neck injuries from the accident, from which they feign great pain and disability.

A recent study from the University of North Carolina School of Medicine suggests the opposite is true, and most individuals who were involved in car accidents and visited an emergency department, experienced continuing pain six-weeks after the accident, but did not sue.

The study found only 17 percent had planned to sue after contacting an attorney. The remainder still experienced various types of pain including neck pain and musculoskeletal pan, and if they wait too long to have it treated or to file a claim, they may find they are barred from any compensation.

Insurers may offer to settle a claim quickly, in hopes that the injured person is not aware of the full extent of their injuries. This allows them to low-ball offers. The important issue for those signing these types of settlement offers is that the offer likely forecloses any further claims arising out of the accident.

If the accident involved an uninsured motorist, as many do in Florida, you would have to rely on your uninsured motorist coverage, and if your insurer denied coverage, you might be forced to sue them to obtain coverage.

Many individual optimistically believe that the neck pain may eventually go away. If they have not created a proper record of the injury, and the pain remains, they may have little choice but to grin and bear it, no matter how long it may last.

Source: Claims Journal, “Most Don’t Sue Despite Chronic Neck Pain After Car Crashes: Study,” February 26, 2014

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