A Delay in Making a Personal Injury Claim May Not Necessarily be a Fraud Indicator

by Ann U.
(Chesapeake, VA)

The other person involved in my accident said she wasn’t injured at the scene, but now she is making a personal injury claim with my insurance company? Why are they letting her do this? Nora G., Baltimore

There is the old joke in the insurance industry that insinuates that a claimant may not realize that they are injured until they get a chance to speak with friends or an attorney. That's not really funny, so let’s give the woman that you hit the benefit of the doubt.

Truthfully, many soft tissue injuries do not really begin to hurt until a day or so after the injured person was involved in an accident. There are a couple of reasons for this. For one, adrenaline levels usually run high at an accident; the people involved may primarily feel varying levels of anything from shock or surprise to anger or annoyance. Unless there is some obvious symptom such as blood or disfigurement, an injury may go unnoticed. This is why the police and emergency workers, if any are on the scene, ask over and over “are you okay”.

The first symptoms of a soft tissue injury such as a strain may show up just as soreness after a workout does; a day or so after the cause. It might also take a while for a person to realize that the headache they attributed to stress over the accident may really be an indicator of something more serious.

It is important to remember that by settling the personal injury claim brought by this woman, your insurance company is protecting you. If the time lapse between the accident and the injury treatment is truly excessive, or your insurance representative has other reasons to suspect that her personal injury claim may be fraudulent, it will be referred to the company’s special investigative unit for a closer review.

This article is written for informational purposes only and is not intended to take the place of competent local legal counsel.

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