Have you recently been involved in a motor vehicle accident that was not your fault? In this post, we explain 4 common mistakes made by accident injury victims after a collision.
1. Assuming Injuries Are “Minor”
Being involved in an accident can alter a victim’s perspective on many things, including the extent of an injury. Our clients often speak of gratitude that their injuries weren’t worse, or even fatal. And while that is a reasonable and natural response, it can also lead some people to wrongly assume their injuries are “minor,” if they didn’t break a bone or lose consciousness.
While many soft tissue injuries heal quickly with conservative treatment, not all of them do. Before accepting that your injury is subject to the Minor Injury Regulation, talk to a lawyer about how the courts have interpreted and applied this legislation in other cases.
2. Talking To Every Insurance Adjuster That Calls
In the days and weeks immediately following an accident, there tends to be a flurry of paperwork and telephone calls. It is easy to lose track of which adjuster is calling about your vehicle damage, who is calling about your injuries, and who is supposed to be paying your no-fault accident benefits for treatment and time off work.
Your own insurance company should be your primary point of contact, and you are obligated to cooperate with them. However, the other driver’s insurance company may also try to contact you, hoping to get a statement about how the accident happened, and whether or not you sustained any injuries. They also often want injured parties to sign authorization forms, permitting the release of medical and financial information to their adjusters. We recommend speaking with a lawyer before signing or saying anything to the other driver’s insurance company.
3. Failing to See A Medical Doctor For Assessment
While healthcare providers like massage therapists, chiropractors, and physiotherapists are often actively involved in hands-on delivery of treatment, it is still important to be assessed by a medical doctor. A family physician can send you for further testing or diagnostic imaging, write prescriptions, and make referrals within the healthcare system if necessary. They can also provide impartial insight regarding the effectiveness of different types of treatment for your particular injury, without the perception an economic interest might be influencing that advice.
It is also a good idea to check back in with your doctor from time to time, to let them know what you have been doing for treatment and whether it is working. Your doctor can act as a “quarterback” in your recovery if you keep them updated. They may even need to re-assess a diagnosis if your injury is not responding to treatment as expected.
4. Settling Their Claims Too Soon
Accident victims who assume their soft tissue injuries are “minor” can be persuaded to quickly settle their claims for the “cap”, (a legislated amount for pain and suffering that is adjusted for inflation and announced by the Superintendent of Insurance each year). If the disability caused by a soft tissue injury persists and a chronic condition develops, a victim may be entitled to compensation outside the cap.