A low impact designation from an insurance company can hurt your Seattle personal injury car accident in the view point of the insurance company and bottleneck settlement negotiations. A low impact designation is where there is little or no damage to your car both visibly and repair wise by the car accident. If there is underlying frame damage to your car, you may avoid the designation by the increase in the repair cost and transfer of energy showing a bigger impact. You can avoid this designation a lot of the time by going through your own insurance company.
Bumpers are not made equal but generally they have a mph threshold whereby they will dent or crush. When there is little or no damage to the bumper, insurance companies like to argue that the impact of both vehicles in the collision was minimal or the mph each car was traveling was minimal. They believe that juries will not believe that anyone could be hurt in an impact that was so little that the bumper was not damaged.
Often times people want to avoid using their own insurance company to repair their car because they mistakenly believe that their insurance rates won’t go up if they don’t go through their own insurance company. This could not be further from the truth as your own insurance company will find out that you were involved in a car accident no matter if you report it to them or not. The reason for this is because the other insurance company will report you as involved in the car accident and a record will follow you.
Here’s is possibly a bigger problem by using the defendant’s insurance company to repair your car. If you have little or not visible damage to your car without frame damage from the car accident, the defendant’s insurance company is going to designate your case as a low impact case. When you go through your own insurance company, the defendant’s insurance company is for the most part unaware of the damage to your car. In this instance, they will only have the damage estimate and pictures of their own insured’s vehicle from the car accident.
If the defendant’s insurance company has your car repair estimate and pictures of your car from the Seattle car accident but your Seattle personal injury lawyer doesn’t have pictures of the defendant’s car damage, you are at a disadvantage because the insurance company can say that there was no damage to their insured’s car and your car has little or no damage so how could you have been hurt. At this point, it is hard to get pictures of the other car unless a lawsuit is filed putting your case value lower in most cases without more evidence.
There are situations where a low impact can cause major injuries but these are where there were already pre-existing injuries that made someone predisposed to being injured in a car accident with little impact. This can be proven with prior medical records and medical records from the most recent car accident injury case that show similar injuries or injuries that would lead to exacerbation of previous injuries.
In any of these situations, it makes most sense to go through your own insurance company if you can. There are situations where you can’t go through your own insurance company because you don’t have the required insurance policy coverage to have your own insurance repair your car. You will need collision coverage in order to get your car repaired by your own insurance company in a Seattle personal injury car accident case. This is one of the more expensive coverages in an insurance policy so not everyone buys this type of insurance.
Seattle personal injury lawyers offer free consultations for Seattle car accident injury victims and we are paid out of the settlement. If you have been injured in a car accident, there are strict deadlines that could pass without intervention so you need to act quick.