When it comes to personal injury cases and allegations of injury, the insurance companies indeed "judge a book by its cover." What does that mean for you? That means if your property damage doesn't look so bad, they will usually conclude the impact was minor. In many cases, my clients tell me the impact was very "hard" but it's very difficult to see the property damage. This is especially true when there is a direct rear impact. Unfortunately for your case, the insurance company will doubt your claim for injury if your property damage is insignificant - both visually and if the dollar amount is low.
This is why I often ask my clients for copies of their property damage estimate. Oftentimes, the car doesn't look so bad but then we find there is "frame damage" noted on the itemized repair estimate. There are other indicators of damage that can show up on the estimate but are hard to visually see. When there is little visible damage, pointing out such items on the property damage estimate can help persuade the insurance adjuster your accident may look minor on the surface but was actually more powerful.
If you need help with your Santa Clarita accident case, give us a call at 661-414-7100. You can also visit our "Contact" page. We serve all of Los Angeles county but focus on Santa Clarita, Valencia, Saugus, Canyon Country, Castaic, Newhall, Stevenson Ranch and surrounding communities.
There are many good reasons to insist on a police report after an accident. In the Los Angeles area, police officers won't come to the scene unless an injury is being reported. Therefore, even if you think you have a mild injury, getting a report may be helpful. Here are some quick reasons:
1) The other party can easily change their story. It's harder for the responsible party to do so if their story has already been documented by an officer.
2) The responsible party (and their insurance company) cannot later deny being involved in an accident. Yes, you might be surprised what some folks will say after an accident.
3) Report your injuries (however minor) to the police officer. Be overinclusive rather than underinclusive. This is not the time to be "brave" and dismiss your own injuries. Insurance companies routinely use the lack of complaints of injury at the scene as evidence of NO injury.
4) The officers can summon additional assistance if necessary.
5) Police reports can help establish liability in case the responsible party tries to deny fault later on in the case. While the officer's opinion is not the gospel truth, it is certainly helpful if the officer finds in your favor.
Getting a police report is usually a good idea. Your lawyer should also be able to order a copy for you unless you've already obtained a copy prior to your initial consultation.
If you have questions about your personal injury case, feel free to contact Santa Clarita personal injury and accident lawyer Robert Mansour.
Even if you choose to handle your own personal injury case, you can still benefit from meeting with an experienced personal injury lawyer. Here are some ways that a good lawyer can help you:
1) A lawyer can help explain how car accident and personal injury claims are valued by the insurance companies.
2) A lawyer can help you understand the steps in the personal injury claims process. If you understand the process, you will probably handle your case better.
3) A good lawyer can show you how to settle your claim on your own if you choose to do so. However, an honest lawyer should tell you if hiring a lawyer would bring value to their case or not. I turn away about 50% of the cases that come through my door. I will tell my clients honestly if hiring a lawyer would be helpful.
4) A lawyer can help you understand how to interact with your doctors after an accident. There are so many ways to make mistakes in this process, and the insurance companies will use these missteps against you any day of the week.
5) A lawyer can help you understand how to interact with insurance adjustors. When you understand the universe the adjuster "lives in," you will likely handle your case better.
Again, even if you're not sure if you want to hire a personal injury lawyer, you really should take the time to talk to an experienced lawyer who can guide you without pressuring you.
A client recently visited me after a severe car accident. He was having difficulty raising his arm which he could do without a problem before the accident. He explained his shoulder felt like it was just "hanging there" - something was wrong. He had his shoulder in a sling. His doctor explained he may have suffered a tear to the shoulder from the accident. A subsequent MRI confirmed a tear to his labrum.
Much like the hip joint, the shoulder joint is comprised of a ball and socket joint. However, the socket is generally pretty shallow and therefore is a bit unstable. This means that the bones sometimes need "extra support" to keep the shoulder joint working properly.
Due to the shallow socket, the shoulder joint has a cartilage called a labrum. This cartilage forms a cup at the end of the arm bone. The Labrum essentially makes the shoulder joint more stable, and facilitates a wider range of movements.
The labrum is basically made of thick tissue that can be injured with trauma to the shoulder. Therefore, when involved in a car accident that involves some trauma to the shoulder, it is possible to suffer a labral tear. The labrum also gets weaker with age, making a person more prone to injury.
Symptoms of a labral tear may include an aching sensation in the shoulder, a "catching" sensation of the shoulder with certain movements or pain with specific activities.
If you suspect something is wrong with your shoulder after a serious car accident, bring it to your doctor's attention sooner than later - even if you're not sure. Make sure you document your injury and raise your concerns early, or the insurance company for the responsible party might try to minimize your injury.
If you need help with your personal injury case, give Santa Clarita injury attorney Robert Mansour a call at (661) 414-7100.
by Robert Mansour
Robert Mansour is a personal injury lawyer serving Santa Clarita, Valencia,