Tuesday, December 17, 2002

Wisconsin personal injury lawyers, in recent years, have seen auto insurers like Allstate Insurance, Liberty Mutual Insurance, American Family Insurance, Farmers Insurance and others attack thousands of credible and honest Wisconsin citizens. These car insurers do so by forcing injury claims to trial ONLY because those claims involved a rear-end or bumper-to-bumper auto accident (1) involving little or no physical property damage to the car or cars in the collision and (2) a muscle, tendon, nerve or other soft tissue injury to the injured person. Wisconsin car insurance companies force those cases to trial and refuse to settle. The auto insurers challenge such cases only because it is impossible, absent surgery, for the injured plaintiff, personal injury lawyer or doctor to show - via x-ray or other visual or objective evidence - how badly the plaintiff was hurt in the car collision.

The argument car insurance companies and auto insurance company adjusters and defense lawyers make is that the person claiming injury must be lying, exagerating, or imagining their injury and pain because the CAR WASN'T DAMAGED. These auto insurance companies and car insurance company adjusters and defense lawyers even pay to have a doctor, chiropractor or other physician do a so-called Independent Medical Examination (typically a doctor who earns a fair amount of money doing such exams for insurers) and that physician predictably comes to trial and supports their "employer," the car insurer, and testifies that he/she found no physical or objective evidence to support the injury claim. They do this because the plaintiff can't prove otherwise. Where they can, the insurer's physician will point to some past treatment or prior complaint and claim the injury is pre-existing. Some of defense doctors, chiropractors or physicians go so far as to testify that the plaintiff lied, exagerated, or imagined pain.

The whole defense is typicall a fabrication created by car insurers, which is one reason their Insurance Institute wants no visible damage to a cars in crashes. As a result of this low impact/minimal impact defense, the auto insurance companies deny legitimate claims and force good honest people with legitimate claims to incur all of the costs ($2000-$5000) of litigation which are not recoverable even if they win at trial and wait 2+ years before they ever get medical expenses and wages lost back (no interest is recoverable). Below is a page from the U.S. Government's NTHSA site and it tells the truth about bumpers and property damage and contradicts the position of insurance companies, like Allstate, Liberty Mutual, American Family, and Farmers.

Bumper Q&A's

What is a bumper?
A bumper is a shield made of steel, aluminum, rubber, or plastic that is mounted on the front and rear of a passenger car. When a low speed collision occurs, the bumper system absorbs the shock to prevent or reduce damage to the car. Some bumpers use energy absorbers or brackets and others are made with a foam cushioning material.

What is the purpose of bumpers?
The car bumper is designed to prevent or reduce physical damage to the front and rear ends of passenger motor vehicles in low-speed collisions. Automobile bumpers are not typically designed to be structural components that would significantly contribute to vehicle crashworthiness or occupant protection during front or rear collisions. It is not a safety feature intended to prevent or mitigate injury severity to occupants in the passenger cars. Bumpers are designed to protect the hood, trunk, grille, fuel, exhaust and cooling system as well as safety related equipment such as parking lights, headlamps and taillights in low speed collisions..

Is there a way to determine how fast a car was going during a rear end crash based on the damaged bumper(s)?
No.