Imagine there are two different car drivers driving the same make/model car that received virtually the same exact car bumper damage in a rear end collision, in two different cities at two different times and both are rear ended by the same exact make/model SUV going the same speed. One driver is on the East Coast and one is on the West Coast. Could the East Coast driver be permanently injured and the West Coast driver suffer no personal injury? Of course.
Imagine the East Coast driver is a 58-year-old who had two prior neck surgeries, and is still in physical therapy months after the second neck surgery. However, the West Coast driver is a 19-year-old who has never had a prior neck problem. The 19-year-old from the West Coast might get out of the car, have no injury noticeable at the scene, in the days after or ever. The 58-year-old East Coast driver feels an immediate onset of neck pain, leaves the scene with the rescue squad to receive emergency care, and then begins a more aggressive merry-go-round of medical visits, further physical therapy and possibly a third neck surgery, likely due to the existence of the pre-existing neck condition.
The legal phrase is that this person is an “egg shell skull” victim, meaning that this person might not have had a skull or body part in a regular condition but is still as delicate as a skull made of an egg shell. Under nearly all situations, the law states a responsible driver takes the injured victim as they are even if the responsible driver has no awareness that the person in the car that they smash has an egg shell skull, or some significant pre-existing conditions that make them more susceptible to personal injuries. Doctors know that someone who had a previous surgery on a body part develops scar tissue and is more susceptible to re-injury.
The point here is that minor car property damage may indicate something significant or it may not, especially if the person who was rear-ended has some special physical condition or medical condition that makes them more susceptible to injury.
Here’s the bottom line: the insurance companies love to deny claims or pay pennies on the dollar for minor damage car accident cases as an excuse not to pay what can be a significant and valid injury claim backed up by several medical Doctors opinions. People that suffer new personal injuries, but have a pre-existing condition are wise to hire an experienced personal injury attorney like those working for Shapiro & Appleton. Insurance adjusters love to deny any compensation to a consumer for an obvious permanent injury, because permanent injuries are not tied directly to an economic loss formula, plus our clients often do not know what type of medical opinion to get from their treating doctor in order to outline the permanent nature of their injuries.
About the editors: The motto at Shapiro, Washburn & Sharplaw firm is simple –“All we do is injury law.” We hope you were able to find the answer to your injury query. If not, please review our North and South Carolina Accident Attorney FAQ library for additional information. If you’d like to speak to an actual attorney about your potential injury claim for free, please contact our office at (833) 997-1774.