Many motorists think that they cannot sue for pain and suffering if they have only had a minor accident. However, even small accidents can cause emotional distress or injuries, and you deserve to be compensated. You can seek damages for pain and suffering either through civil court or through the car insurance system.
Some Symptoms Might Be Delayed
After the accident, keep in mind that all of your symptoms of the accident may not arise until after a day or two. Be sure to record what you experience through this period. Even if your injury seems minor, you should seek medical treatment. Your doctor may uncover an injury that is more serious than you thought. Also, by seeing a doctor, you will have a necessary medical record.
Seeking Compensation Through an Insurance Company
Most insurance companies will not offer a settlement for your pain and suffering unless you request it. To recover damages for pain and suffering after an accident, you will need to have not been at fault. You will then need to negotiate with the other motorist's insurance company to reach a settlement. When describing any pain you experience, be as truthful as possible because lying constitutes insurance fraud.
Some states are considered no-fault states, which means that you cannot file a claim against the other motorist for personal injury unless your injuries are very serious or your medical bills have exceeded a specific amount. Fortunately, this amount is often small and easy to exceed if you needed any medical treatments. If you only needed massage therapy or a visit to a chiropractor, however, you may not be allowed to seek damages. A car insurance company may even provide you with compensation if you haven't experienced a measurable injury simply because of the inconvenience. The challenge of being without a car may lead to you receiving a few hundred dollars in compensation.
Filing a Lawsuit
A lawsuit may be necessary if you believe that the insurance company is being unreasonable. The downside of filing a lawsuit is that the process can be more time-consuming than if you simply worked with the insurance company, so you should use this option as a last resort. The biggest challenge is that states vary widely in how much you may be compensated for and what you can seek compensation for, so it is best to work with a car accident attorney who is experienced with car accident law in your state.