Do I Have a Case if I Only Have Minor Injuries?
Sometimes, car accidents result in minor injuries that may not seem significant enough to warrant filing a claim. But no matter how small an injury appears, it could be worse than you think, particularly if the injury aggravated an existing medical condition.
That is why you should speak to a New Jersey car accident attorney about your situation. Your damages may be covered by your car insurance policy.
Types of Minor Injuries
There are various types of injuries that may occur after a car accident. Some may be more serious than others, depending on the severity of the collision. Some of the most common injuries, though, are generally considered minor. But even injuries that appear insignificant should not go untreated because of possible repercussions.
This is one of the most common injuries after a car accident. Whiplash occurs when your body, usually the head and neck, is suddenly jerked forward and backward. When your vehicle is impacted from the front or the rear and your seatbelt restrains your torso, your head and neck suffer the brunt of the damage. Some of the symptoms associated with whiplash include neck and shoulder pain while some people may experience headaches.
Although whiplash may be considered a minor injury, seeking treatment from a physical therapist or chiropractor is usually encouraged to help with neck pain, soreness and stiffness.
Many people inaccurately believe that to suffer a concussion a person needs to hit his or her head on or against a hard surface. This is not true. A concussion occurs when there is a sudden acceleration and deceleration of your body and brain. In other words, if a person experiences whiplash, he or she may also be at risk of suffering a concussion. When someone suffers a concussion, he or she may experience some of the following:
- Loss of consciousness
- Slurred speech
- Vision disturbances
Sprains and Strains
When a muscle, tendon or ligament is stretched or torn, it is generally called a sprain or strain. These types of injuries are common in many car accidents and are generally considered minor. However, depending on the severity of the torn or stretched muscle, a person may feel significant pain that may need long-term treatment.
Herniated discs occur when the membrane inside a spinal disc leaks out of its center and presses up against the nerves in your back. Herniated discs differ from whiplash in the sense that an MRI can pick up a herniation, whereas neither X-Rays, CT Scans or MRIs can pick up whiplash.
Although considered a minor injury, herniated discs can lead to serious complications if left untreated. Depending on where the herniation occurs, another forceful impact could potentially lead to paralysis.
Why You Should Still File a Claim
Even if you suffer a minor injury like whiplash or a strain, you should seek medical attention.
Unlike most states where you have to wait for your claim to be settled before your medical bills are paid, New Jersey law lets accident victims file through their own Personal Injury Protection insurance. That means you can get your medical costs paid for by your own policy before needing to file a claim against the at-fault driver’s insurance.
Can I File a Lawsuit?
Depending on the type of insurance policy you selected, you may or may not be able to file a lawsuit for an accident that caused minor injuries. For standard insurance policyholders who have selected an unlimited right to sue, you may be able to file a lawsuit for a minor injury. But those who selected the limited right to sue option may only file a lawsuit for a specific injury, such as loss of a fetus, significant disfigurement, permanent injuries, dismemberment, displaced fracture or death.
Let Us Review Your Claim. Call Today
Our attorneys have handled claims with both major and minor injuries and are prepared to help you pursue the compensation you need for your injuries if they were caused by another person’s negligence.
We offer a free consultation and charge you nothing up front. We work on a contingency, so we do not get paid unless we recover compensation on your behalf.
Call today at (800) 518-0508