A minor personal injury case may be defined as a bodily injury that will not result in permanent or lasting injury. In other words, once the healing process is complete, the injured person will be able to resume all of the same activities he or she was engaged in prior to the accident.
Following are some factors that insurance companies may evaluate.
Nature of the Injury
The insurance company may review information from various documents including medical reports and records. The insurer may be searching for areas that could become grounds for dispute in the future such as whether the injury existed before the incident and the extent of the injury. If there is some evidence that an injury existed before the accident, the insurer may try to claim that the accident was not the cause of the injury.
The Difference Between an Objective or Subjective Injury
If an injury cannot be seen such as a soft tissue injury, strain or sprain, the insurer might dispute the claim. It is a common practice for insurance carriers to dispute the existence of injuries that cannot be seen.
An observable, or objective injury is one that can be clearly seen such as by physical verification or on an x-ray.
Demonstrating the Existence of a Subjective Injury
Following are some examples of changes to a person’s lifestyle that might demonstrate an injury’s effects:
- Canceled plans;
- Time missed at work;
- Need for assistance from friends and family; and
- General lifestyle changes that could indicate decreased physical capacity.
It is important for a claimant to emphasize the results of a non-observable injury to counteract the insurer’s position that the injury is minimal or does not exist.