False Assumption - 6. The insurance company for the other driver will believe me

Posted Tuesday, July 24, 2007 by Ed Harper

The insurance company for the other driver will believe me when I tell them how much it hurts.

Being examined by a health care provider shortly after a collision allows you to obtain some beneficial relief. At the same time, the injured person obtains the necessary proof or evidence that will help validate the claim. A judge will only allow testimony for injuries that are “more likely than not” caused by a certain event. Also, the health care has to be “reasonable and necessary.”

Allowing too much time to lapse between the collision and your first examination creates questions as to what exactly caused the injury. There is no hard and fast rule for how much time is too long. However, the sooner you receive an opinion from a health care provider which links the injury to the collision, the better. Therefore, obtain a medical opinion from a qualified health care provider, before allowing too much time to go by following the collision, in order to properly document your claim.

Time is on the side of the insurance company, and don’t think that the insurance company will believe you when you tell them how much the injury bothered you, even though you didn’t seek treatment. You must have verification from a health care professional to document your injuries to the insurance company in order to obtain a reasonable and fair settlement.

For example, let’s say you have a bicycle accident where you are struck by a car. The car hits your leg, and you lose control of the bike, crashing into a tree. The bike is destroyed, and you obtain the insurance information from the other driver. You feel pain in your leg, specifically your knee, for about two (2) weeks, but choose not to do anything about it. The side of your knee hurts, and it is painful to walk. Finally, a friend suggests you go see your doctor.

However, before doing so, you fall while in the Costco parking lot pushing your cart. In this fall, you land on the very same knee, and your pain gets worse. Eventually, after about a week, the knee feels the same as it did before the Costco incident. Finally, you go to the doctor because it has been three (3) weeks since you were struck by the car while riding your bike. You learn that you will need surgery for your knee which you believe was injured in the car vs. bike collision. How can you prove that the auto collision, and not the Costco injury, was the source of your knee problem? You may be able to make a case that the pain was caused by the collision, or at least that a good percentage of the pain was related to the collision. But your case has now become substantially more difficult because of the lack of medical documentation establishing the injuries from the outset. Bottom line ~ Get medical attention as soon as possible following the collision so you have the proof when you need it.

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