In Virginia, drug possession laws classify substances into different schedules according to their likelihood to cause addiction and loss of life. The consequences of being charged with drug possession vary depending on the schedule of the drug you are accused of having. Whenever you face drug possession charges, hire a criminal defense attorney to help […]
Minor Impact Soft Tissue Cases (“MIST”) Are The Hardest Cases For Adjusters
MIST case stands for is minor impact soft tissue. It’s a way that the insurance companies are dividing up car accident cases nowadays. If there’s only minimal damage, property damage to your vehicle, basically $1,000 or less, then they’re automatically shoving those cases down into a lower process called a MIST case and those are the hardest cases to settle, which is confusing to a lot of my clients because they say, “Hey, I only have $5,000 in medical bills. This should be quick and easy to settle. Why is this such an issue?”
Well, the insurance company in these type of cases is they’re fighting these tooth and nail. They’re really fighting these type of cases because these are the more common cases and they have realized through running their numbers and all the calculations that they can save money and increase the money for their shareholders and for their members by fighting these cases harder.
Also, usually the judges on these type of cases don’t give as big of a reward because those judges have been given less money at trial that’s been reported back to the insurance companies and the insurance companies have then been offering even less money to settle because they know that the judge has been giving less money at trial.So there’s no incentive for insurance companies to actually settle these matters. Unfortunately, these MIST cases, are actually clogging up the court’s docket and taking more time, and taking a greater deal of time for the attorneys as well because the insurance companies just aren’t settling.
What Makes My Case a MIST Case?
The way they determine what is a MIST case, is they look at the property damage so $1,000 or less, they treat it as a minor case. The way to get around that is you need to make sure that you’re fully documenting the damage to your vehicle. A lot of times, especially with these newer cars, the way they’re designed is different, they have crumple zones, especially among the bumper. The outside of the bumper is called the actual bumper cover. It’s not the bumpers that we grew up with 20 years ago where you had a solid steel bumper or a hard, plastic bumper that on impact would dent in and would have that little inverted triangle damage to it and everyone could see, “Oh look, you had damage to your bumper.”
Why Are MIST Cases Misleading?
Nowadays, they’re all just this plastic cover that goes on the outside, and on the inside they have these shock absorbers inside of them that are actually taking the brunt of the energy. The outside bumper covers are more flexible, they might show a little bit of scratch or a hole from the license plate cover or maybe a small little crack or something like that. They’re not showing the actual impact because they’re designed to be more flexible and they bend with the impact and it’s the shock absorbers behind the bumper cover which are taking all of the impact.
How To Fight Against MIST Cases
- Have your Insurance Company fix the Property Damage
- Get a Professional Estimate from an Independent Repair Shop
Usually what the insurance company would do is, they would just take pictures of the outside bumper and say, “Look, there’s little to no damage, there really wasn’t that much of an impact.” Meanwhile, if you would take the bumper cover off you’d be able to see that there was a lot more damage behind the bumper cover. This is why I recommend that, even if you’re involved in a minor impact, have your insurance company be the one to do the repairs on your property damage. Pay your deductible, have them fix it because they’re going to do a better job of pulling off that bumper cover and then documenting for you pictures of the shock absorbers that are pushed all the way in showing that, “Hey, this was actually some impact here.”
As opposed to the other insurance company who is only going to take pictures of the outside, so when it comes time to prove the impact at trial you’re just going to have a picture of a bumper that has a slight little scratch on it and they’re going to tell the judge, “Look judge, there’s little to no damage. You can’t give a big recovery on this case, there’s no damage here.”
That’s why it’s important to use your own insurance company on property damage to get you out of these MIST cases because once it’s classified as MIST case it’s a real pain to get it unclassified and reclassified as a regular accident case. Make sure that when you’re doing the property damage that you go to your insurance company, you go to them quickly, you get the report back from your insurance company so you get an estimate showing actually how much damage was done.
Provide that to your attorney so that way they can submit that to the insurance company and say, “Look, this is not a MIST case, this needs to be treated as a regular case.”
Call Johnson Law Firm To Handle Your Property Damage Claim
Feel free to reach out to us if you have any questions regarding property damage or your possible MIST case. We’re happy to share the information to make sure that your injury claim is being evaluated properly and not categorized into a lower valuation by insurance company tricks. We wish you good luck.
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