Rear end auto accidents are the most misunderstood of auto accidents, fraught with myths and misconceptions that cause the victims to be painted in a negative light of suspicion and disbelief. Auto insurance claims adjusters like to perpetuate these myths because it saves them money if they can get you (or a jury) to believe them – or to believe that you don’t have a case because of them.
Among these common myths about rear end auto accident victims are that 1) whiplash injuries are frequently faked or exaggerated; 2) invisible injuries are not legitimate injuries; 3) failing to report an injury immediately is an indication that you are faking it later; and 4) an attorney isn’t necessary because liability is apparent in rear end accidents. Following are the truthful arguments against these four most common inaccurate beliefs about rear end auto accidents in California.
Truth: Most People Who Claim Whiplash Injuries Are NOT Faking or Exaggerating
The vast majority of people who claim whiplash injuries are not faking or exaggerating those injuries. Of course, it does happen. Some people will fake injuries. Similarly, some people will fake pregnancies, though this does not discount the many women who are pregnant when they say they are. You can find examples of people faking almost any illness or condition, but this does not discount the majority who are truly suffering from or dealing with those conditions.
It is important to note here that there is little benefit in faking an injury. Those who do fake injuries tend to misperceive the benefit. They may think they have more of a chance of getting away with it than they actually do or that the advantages of having an injury outweigh the advantages of being able to work and pay your bills. Equally worth mentioning is that no auto accident attorney wants to take on a case where the victim is faking it or exaggerating. If the lawyer has any reason to believe that this is so, then they will not want to take on the case because they are unlikely to win it and it will damage their own reputation and risk their license while minimizing legitimate injuries.
Truth: Not All Legitimate Rear End Auto Accident Injuries Are Visible
Many people believe what their eyes are telling them, without any thought to the unique suffering of people whose injuries and illnesses are invisible. You can’t deny a broken leg when it’s clearly deformed by the break or a bone is sticking out of the skin, but some fractures don’t show an obvious deformity on the outside. They are no less real. Of course, in such cases, you can see the damage with an x-ray. With many rear end collision injuries, even an x-ray will not show the damage, because the damage may be to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons of the neck or back.
Beyond this, there are the invisible psychological injuries that are no less real because you cannot see any blood or fractures to prove them. People who have been in auto accidents can suffer from a variety of invisible injuries and illnesses, including whiplash, brain injuries, post traumatic stress disorder, and more. To discount such conditions, simply because you cannot see them, is unfair to the victims. This is especially true when there is scientific evidence and reports that many of these physical injuries cannot be observed through scans or other diagnostic tools, and psychological damage can have wide reaching consequences and effects on a person’s life, even though they can’t be viewed on a scan.
Truth: Many Auto Accident Victims Do Not Report Injuries Right Away Because Symptoms are Delayed
Because these injuries have such a negative reputation, with many believing that they are faked or exaggerated, it is extremely common for people to assume that if you don’t report the injury right away, then when you finally do, you are faking it. The reality is that symptoms may not be present right away. They may be mild, so that you think it’s nothing serious, or they may go unnoticed in the confusion and chaos of the aftermath of an auto accident. Being in shock can mask symptoms.
We recommend that anyone who has been in an auto accident seek a full medical evaluation as soon as possible, specifically for this reason, though failing to do so does not automatically indicate that the injury is faked when symptoms are observed and treated days after the incident.
Truth: An Attorney is a Valuable Asset Even If Liability Is Apparent
Rear end auto accidents are typically obvious when it comes to liability. Of course, there are some exceptions to this, but in most situations, it is presumed that the rear driver is at fault. You may think that this means that you don’t need a lawyer. However, a determined rear car accident lawyer in California does not only work to prove liability. They also work to establish the value of damages and ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries and losses. Further, if the defendant does argue that you are partially at fault for the accident, your attorney can help to determine and establish the truth.
To learn more about California auto accidents, rear end collisions, and how an attorney can help your case, contact the Sargent Law Firm for a free consultation.