Does A ‘Minor Impact’ Mean Minor Injuries?
When a person is involved in a vehicle accident, they are entitled to file an insurance claim for any damage or injury that may have occurred, regardless of whose fault the collision might be. This is true even if the damage or injury was “minor,” but too often, people do not bother filing – either because they do not believe doing so is worth it, or they fear being turned down by their insurer. If you have been in a “minor” car accident and are unsure how to proceed, contacting an attorney may help to get your questions answered.
So Many Variables
Vehicle accidents are among the most serious events that a human body can experience, able to inflict injuries on a broad spectrum from mere cuts and bruises to broken bones to fatal trauma. Because the potential injuries from a car accident are so varied, there is no real way to anticipate how severe one’s injuries might be even from a minor impact like a fender bender, particularly since some injuries may only manifest days or weeks later. Most people might sustain nothing more than bruises and a shock after a minor accident – but perhaps one person in thirty might have received a soft tissue injury, which can become worse over time, and will generally not show up immediately after the crash.
What this means is that just because your accident might have only involved a minor impact, it does not follow that the injuries will be minor. Unfortunately, there are simply too many variables to be able to make such a claim – meaning that it is a good idea to always seek out medical care after an accident, even if you are uncertain that you have sustained any kind of injury. Even if you turn out to not have any tangible injury, it is better to have a record, and if you do turn out to have sustained an injury, it will be documented so that your insurer has a record.
How Do I Seek Compensation?
Florida is a no-fault auto insurance state, which means that someone who has been in a car accident is always entitled to file an insurance claim to try and recover expenses, regardless of whose fault the accident may have been. The law requires that all Florida drivers carry at least $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) coverage, and at least in theory, an injured driver can then file a claim either with their own PIP insurer, or the insurer of the driver who allegedly caused the accident.
In theory, the idea of a “minor” injury is subjective, because what may be a minor inconvenience to one person may be debilitating to another. Florida law does not define what a “minor” injury is, but it does set out a list of injuries that are considered serious enough to lift the state’s prohibition on auto accident lawsuits. Because Florida has a no-fault insurance system, people who sustain injuries that are not “significant and permanent” are barred from filing suit in tort, instead being pushed to settle any damages by filing an insurance claim.
Contact A Tampa Minor Injury Attorney
If you have been involved in a “low-impact” auto accident, you may not believe that you need to seek medical treatment – but it may be the first step toward successfully treating an injury you may not even know you have. A Tampa personal injury attorney from the Rinaldo Law Group can help answer any questions you may have about your situation, and advise you as to how best to move forward with any claim you might have. We can offer compassionate representation at a time that can be confusing and even scary – call our office today for a free consultation.