Earlier today, I received a link to a State Farm website that contains State Farm’s “Do’s and Dont’s Of A Minor Car Accident.”
There is the standard advice that you’d expect: Don’t drive away, stay at the scene, call the police, etc.
But there was also something unexpected:
Don’t assume there aren’t injuries.
Do assess yourself and your passengers. Even low-impact collisions can cause injuries, some not appearing until days after the accident.
They’re right, of course. People can sustain serious injuries in wrecks that don’t appear to be too bad. In fact, in the last year, I’ve resolved two cases that are perfect examples of this. In one, a client thought he was okay until he started experiencing significant pain several days later. It turned out he had a herniated disc that required surgery. In another case, a client was rear-ended and initially thought he was okay. Unfortunately, symptoms later developed and he had to have hip replacement surgery due to his injuries. Both of these cases were significant injuries (with significant settlements) despite the car wrecks not appearing to be bad and the injuries not showing up for several days.
But what’s so surprising is to see State Farm admit it. We battle State Farm and other insurance companies every day, and we constantly hear them argue that injuries can’t be severe if there isn’t significant damage to the vehicles and that injuries can’t be severe if there is a delay in symptoms or treatment. It’s nice to see them finally acknowledge that these arguments just aren’t true.