Were you recently in a car accident that was caused by another party? If so, you may be dealing with some pain, soreness, and stiffness. However, you may not have any apparent serious injuries. Just because you don't have any injuries right away, though, doesn't mean you aren't injured. Soft tissue injuries to muscle, tendons, and ligaments may not be readily apparent. Concussions can sometimes take days to reveal themselves. Whiplash can result in chronic pain that doesn't appear until well into the future. Even if your injuries aren't obvious, you still may need costly medical attention. Here are three tips on how to manage the settlement process even if you don't have any immediate injuries:
Don't sign a settlement right away. The insurance company of the liable party will likely call you in the days following the accident. They'll likely ask questions about your injuries and ask you to sign a release that says you won't pursue damages for medical expenses. They may even offer you a small settlement amount to sign this release. Don't settle right away. Even if you don't think you're injured, you may need some time to let your injuries develop. You have plenty of time to settle with the insurance company in the future, so there's little benefit to settling right away.
Visit your doctor. Again, even if you don't feel any serious pain, it makes sense to see your doctor right away. The doctor can look for suspicious bruising or marks that may indicate soft tissue damage. They can also put you through a concussion test and take x-rays to look for injuries that may not be obvious. In short, the doctor can identify and document any potential injuries that may develop in the future or that could become more serious. You can then use that documentation to support a demand for a greater settlement from the insurance company.
Document any pain or symptoms. If you feel any pain or symptoms in the days following your accident, be sure to write them down. Look for pains that didn't exist prior to the accident. Also be aware of memory issues or sensitivity to light, as these could be symptoms of a concussion. As you document these symptoms, be sure to communicate them to your doctor. He or she can then prescribe further treatment or ask you to come back in for more examination. Those actions should factor into your settlement discussions with the insurance company.
For more information, talk to your auto accident lawyer. He or she can communicate with the insurance company on your behalf and even negotiate your settlement.