If you’ve ever been injured after an auto crash, you know just how big a literal and figurative pain it can be. Between car repairs and insurance adjusters, the last thing you want to deal with is the incessant pain and limitation in your back and neck. And, unfortunately for you, the at-fault driver’s insurance company is dead-set on taking whatever course of action is best suited to limit your recovery. Sometime, the key to understanding their argument is in their language.
MIST. An acronym created by insurance companies to undercut reasonable claims made by innocent and injured parties. It stands for Minor Impact Soft Tissue, and it creates an inference that – because you were involved in a low speed or low property damage collision – your symptoms are likely overblown soft tissue pain that should be resolved in four to six weeks. There’s no real science behind this argument. In fact, on the contrary, the medical literature proves the opposite.
For example, a 1998 study published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation found that there is a causal relationship between rear-end collisions and clinical signs and symptoms in collisions as low as 2.49 MPH. Further, a 2005 study published in the Medical Science Monitor found that drivers who are unaware of an impending crash are significantly more likely to have persistent symptoms even if the vehicle didn’t sustain appreciable damage. Finally, a 2005 study in the journal of Birth Defects Research found that sprains and strains are permanent injuries. The internal wound repair leaves scar tissue and the affected joints will be left permanently unstable. There is no current treatment available to restore an injured tendon or ligament to its normal condition.
Even knowing this information, the insurance adjuster will attempt to low ball your claim. Here is the typical conversation we will have with an insurance adjuster:
Adjuster: You know, there’s almost no damage to your client’s vehicle as a result of the impact. It seems highly unlikely that your client suffered any injury as a result of the accident.
Attorney: You know, you’re not a doctor, and you clearly don’t understand the medicine involved or the way forces of impact affected the structural integrity of the human body. Here’s a bunch of studies to show that you’re lying.
Adjuster: Ummmmmm…. Those studies are worth considering. We will continue to review your claim. Thank you for your time.
Much of the time, auto insurance adjusters are working on a script of sorts. As long as they are in control of the conversation, you are playing to their strengths. By flipping the power dynamics on its head, the insurance adjuster is left in an uncomfortable position where they don’t have the perfect answer.
When it comes to personal injury claims after an auto accident, knowledge is half the battle. Knowing the medicine can help your claim tremendously. Knowing that the insurance adjuster MIST argument is a bunch of irrelevant insurance jargon will allow you to stand confidently in front of the insurance adjuster and ensure that you don’t get taken advantage of and – hopefully – your claim gets taken more seriously.
If you’ve been in a motor vehicle accident and have questions about the best way to proceed with negotiations, give us a call for a free telephone consultation. Our experienced attorneys are dedicated to working with you to get the compensation you deserve. Moreover, we are well-versed in dealing with insurance shenanigans so that your claim doesn’t get disregarded from the outset.