Written by attorney Richard Edward Noll

Why Won't the Insurance Company Settle My Injury Claim

One of the primary defenses argued by insurance defense lawyers that holds tremendous weight with judges, juries and insurance companies is your failure to complain of any pain at the scene of the accident and failing to be transported from the scene by ambulance tothe emergency room. The logic behind the argument is twofold: How serious could your injury be if you were able to leave the scene of the accident under your power without any medical attention, and 2) Any injuries you now claim could not have been caused by the accident since they did not manifest themselves at that time.

There is a certain logic to these arguments that may not be supported by the medical evidence but are given credence by people (jurors) who have never been injured in an accident. Over my career I have witnessed numerous instances where the injured party walks away from the scene of an accident with minor or no complaints of pain, only to be later diagnosed with a broken bone or an injury to the spine, such as a herniated disc that eventually required spinal surgery. Those are the cases in which the insurance company is given extra leverage to deny your claim or argue that your injury could not have been caused by their insured’s negligence. With the proper care and attention of your attorney you can still prevail but it creates an uphill battle that could have been avoided if you reported your complaints of pain at the scene and sought immediate medical care.

Seeking immediate medical care serves two purposes. First, from a medical point of view you are making sure that you do not have any immediate medical needs that must be treated in the emergency room. More likely than not you will be examined, x-rayed, given some pain killers and be discharged from the hospital’s care with instructions to seek further medical attention from your private doctor. Second,from a legal point of view, you are documenting your complaints of pain, which may remain the same, improve or become worse over the next few days. This is not to say that you should seek medical attention when you feel no pain or discomfort and are truly okay. However, for those of you that think your pain will resolve, or “it’s not that bad", or who like to play the hero or have better things to do – you may be placing your health at risk and creating a defense for the insurance carrier that could have been avoided. Go to the hospital.

Additional resources provided by the author

The Dirty Dozen - Mistakes to Avoid in Your New York Accident Case, by Richard E. Noll, available on or for a free copy go to

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