Question: I have liability insurance for my car, and he has full coverage. The police report says that it was his fault since he pulled right in front of me. My back and my knees hurt. I was in the emergency room at the hospital after the accident and X-rays say that there is nothing wrong with me. I just want to be able to get a reliable car again, but the blue book value of my car isn’t enough. We have the same insurance company so they say they are providing a rental, if I need one; but I’m just so afraid to drive again, I can’t believe it happened. What should I do?
Answer: You need to be seen, as soon as possible, by your family doctor, or, if you do not presently have one, by a physician who can evaluate your longer-term prognosis and, in particular, assess you for any so-called “soft tissue” injuries. Those injuries do not show up on the X-rays which may have been taken in the ER. And sometimes such injuries subside in a day or a week and sometimes they linger on to be a problem for the victim of the accident for much longer. Sometimes physical therapy and chiropractic treatment are needed, and, of course, sometimes nothing at all is needed but rest and time. Your accident must be viewed in the context of your age, medical condition prior to the accident, work history, etc. Your injuries should not be viewed in a vacuum. The first thing is to make sure your medical needs are being met as quickly as possible. Then the property damage needs to be assessed and resolved. Your medical bills should be taken care of. You should be reimbursed for any lost wages or other expenses. And most importantly, your pain and suffering should also be addressed. Understand that accident victims end up with a better recovery, with better resolution of all the points above, and with at least a little less personal bother, when they are represented by a seasoned lawyer. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney in your area as soon as you can to properly guide you through this process.