At Clark and Steinhorn, LLC we have seen it all, when it comes to car accident cases. That includes the people who have the ill fortune to get hurt in more than one car crash in a short time.
The obvious question is how do you deal with this situation? The answer to that question is, it depends. A number of factors come into play when considering how to ensure you receive fair compensation for both accidents.
The first factor is whether the accidents obviously brought about distinctly different injuries. If the first crash broke your leg and the second hurt your back, then your attorney and healthcare providers can easily differentiate the two cases.
Having an attorney who will take the initiative to understand your injuries and willingness to contact the healthcare providers is step number one. Once that aspect of things is clarified then secondary considerations such as how much information to disclose to the different insurance adjusters for the two cases becomes easier.
Clients who attempt to represent themselves often stumble by failing to reveal the second crash and its injuries. This may stem from ignorance that can be made to look suspicious by insurance company lawyers.
The general rule we adhere to is to reveal the second claim and either show the fact that the injuries sustained are of a different nature or allow the treating doctor to explain which crash caused what injury.
Sometimes this is difficult. Some doctors do not want to become involved in such distinctions or feel that they aren't able to do so. This may then lead to the necessity of locating an independent medical examiner who can weigh in and look beyond the treating doctors considerations for treatment and consider the extent of the vehicle damage or the observations of the injured patients.
If all else fails and the car crash victim hasn't hurt that part of their body before, then logically the first crash may take precedence over subsequent injuries to the same part of the body. However, it seems obvious that the last thing a person who is in active treatment for car accident-related injuries needs is another physical blow to their delicate constitution.
The bottom line, contact an experienced attorney who has been down this road before and can help you pick up on the subtle differences between each of your crash injuries.