Being injured in a car accident can be a traumatic experience, no matter how minor the injury sustained might be. Unfortunately, as many Nebraska residents have discovered, receiving insurance compensation for a minor injury can be problematic. A recent study suggests that even if an accident is not deemed to be the fault of the injured party, insurance companies may be reticent about paying out claims.

An 18-month investigation headed by CNN took a closer look at so-called “minor-impact soft tissue” injuries and how they are handled by insurance providers. Such injuries usually happen as a result of “fender benders”, or accidents in which there is little observable damage to either the vehicle or the injured party. Many major insurance providers offer very little in the way of compensation for such injuries, and have adopted a stance some experts have called “take it or leave it.”

The ramifications of this investigation are troubling, as they suggest that insurance companies may be deliberately setting out to limit the payouts available for injuries that — while they are not life-threatening — can pose serious health concerns to the injured parties over time. Challenging the compensation provided by these companies can mean taking the issue to court, which results in more money spent and more lost time for an injured person. Combined with chronically higher premiums being charged for coverage, this investigation has painted the insurance industry in a negative light.

Nebraska residents understand how difficult it can be to recover from the trauma of a car accident, regardless what kind of injury is sustained. Obviously, having to fight with an insurance company for compensation will be detrimental to that process. Injured parties are urged to learn their rights under their local and state laws and seek support in dealing with insurance providers should the process become problematic.

Source: CNN, Auto insurers play hardball in minor-crash claims, Drew Griffin and Kathleen Johnston, Feb. 9, 2007