I've been having shoulder pain non-stop after a car accident. Is this compensable?

Any valid injury that can be connected to your car accident is in play in terms of getting compensation from the at-fault driver (or his or her insurance company).

Of course it's compensable. Any valid injury that can be connected to your car accident is in play in terms of getting compensation from the at-fault driver (or his or her insurance company) via a settlement or lawsuit.  But don’t expect the insurance company to just cut you a check after you tell them that your shoulder has been acting up.

You need to do everything you can to properly document your injuries and prove that they were in fact caused by the car accident. That means seeking proper medical attention as soon as you can after the accident, telling your care providers exactly what you’re experiencing in terms of pain and discomfort, following the doctor’s instructions in terms of managing your injury, keeping all of your follow-up appointments, and getting copies of your medical records and bills.

You want to present as complete a picture as possible to the claims adjuster when it comes to the nature and extent of your injuries (in addition to proving the other driver’s fault for the car accident.) If you have proof that you sought immediate medical attention for your shoulder injury, plus a doctor’s notes indicating the extent of your treatment and the nature of your injuries, that will go a long way when you’re negotiating an injury settlement.  

If there’s any gray area that could allow the insurance company to argue that your shoulder was already injured before the accident, you can bet that the adjuster will try to exploit that possibility and either deny your claim altogether or offer you a lot less than what’s fair. So, do everything you can at the outset to protect your injury claim.

by:  David Goguen, J.D.

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