I involved with a car accident and ended up with neck pain. Should I file personal injure claim with my own insurance?

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I involved with a car accident and ended up with neck pain. Should I file personal injure claim with my own insurance?

I involved with a car accident and ended up with neck pain. Should I file personal
injure claim with my own insurance?

Asked on October 9, 2016 under Accident Law, California

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If you were not at fault in the accident, you should notify the at-fault party's insurance carrier in writing that you will be filing a personal injury claim.  It is a common occurrence for injuries to manifest themselves sometime after the accident and not necessarily immediately.
When you complete your medical treatment and are released by the doctor or are declared by the doctor to be permanent and stationary, which means having reached a point in your medical treatment where no further improvement is anticipated, obtain your medical bills, medical reports and documentation of wage loss.  Your personal injury claim filed with the at-fault party's insurance company should include those items.
Compensation for the  medical bills is straight reimbursement.  The medical reports will document the nature and extent of your injury and will be used to determine compensation for pain and suffering which is an amount in addition to the medical bills.  Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement.
If the case is settled with the at-fault party's insurance carrier, NO lawsuit is filed.
If you are dissatisfied with settlement offers from the at-fault party's insurance carrier, reject the settlement offers and file a lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party.
If the case is NOT settled, your lawsuit for negligence against the at-fault party must be filed prior to the expiration of the applicable statute of limitations or you will lose your rights forever in the matter.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You pay your insurance premiums in order to be able to submit a claim when you need to; therefore, if you have the appropriate coverage, yes, you should file a claim. (Otherwise, why buy insurance if you don't use it?) The fact that you did not state you had a pain when you first in the accident does *not* mean that you cannot file a claim now--many times, injuries do not show up until later.
If you don't have the appropriate coverage, if the other driver (if there was another driver involved) was at fault in causing the accident, you can sue him or her for your car damage, medical costs, injury and lost wages (if any). Bear in mind that another driver would only be liable if at fault.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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