Car Accident Lawsuit Settles for Over $1.5 Million Despite Lack of Immediate Obvious Injuries
If you are involved in a motor vehicle collision with a distracted driver, you can suffer severe injuries even at low rates of speed. Because many people accept insurance company representations that serious injuries cannot occur in a collision with minimal vehicle damage, there are injury victims that never even visit the doctor. However, a lack of immediate symptoms or body damage to vehicles at relatively low rates of speed are not reliable indicators of whether a crash results in debilitating injury.
The recent settlement of a DeKalb County case provides an example of why car accident victims should not disregard minor injuries or fail to seek medical attention. In the case of Strong v. Moon, the negligent driver's insurance company ultimately settled the auto collision claim for $1.575 million after declining the injury victim's offer to settle for the policy limit of $25,000.
According to the Daily Report account of the lawsuit, the police report indicated the defendant inadvertently hit the gas pedal rather than the brake when the defendant bumped the injury victim's vehicle. The defendant received a traffic ticket for failing to observe a safe following distance. The policy report did not indicate any injuries or vehicle damage at the scene of the crash. Further, video footage of the injury victim from the officer's dash cam reportedly depicted the injury victim walking around the accident scene with no apparent sign of injury. At the scene, the injury victim also appeared to be solely concerned with the damage to her vehicle which had only recently been purchased. The only mark on either vehicle was a crack in the $50 license place holder of the injury victim's vehicle.
Like many accident victims, the woman injured in the crash did not immediately go to the hospital. Once the stress and adrenaline caused by the traumatic evident subsided, the woman went to the emergency room with pain in her back that radiated down her leg. She eventually underwent surgery because of a ruptured disk and spinal fusion. Despite the fact there were no immediate symptoms, the plaintiff suffered $300,000 in medical expenses.
The defense contended that the plaintiff's injuries could not have been caused by the crash based on the low speed of the vehicles and lack of vehicle damage. The defense had several experts testify that the injuries suffered by the plaintiff would not likely have been caused by the crash. The defense even hired private investigators to follow the plaintiff around to confirm she still exhibited difficulty walking even when she did not know that anyone was watching.
The case demonstrates the importance of seeking immediate medical attention following a motor vehicle accident, even if you do not think that you have suffered serious injury. When serious medical conditions do not immediately manifest symptoms, insurance companies and their attorneys will use delays in seeking treatment as evidence to try to persuade a court of jury that an injury victim is exaggerating or fabricating injuries. When the collision occurs at a low rate of speed, so there is no vehicle damage, the insurance company also will rely on these facts as evidence that a car accident victim is malingering.
Out Our Law Firm's Over 35 Years of Legal Experience to Work in Your Car Accident Case
If you are injured in an Atlanta car accident, you might have a right to legal compensation. Our auto accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates have been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast for over thirty years, including but not limited to all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.