A small fender bender. Thats all it was. However, it carried with it lasting consequences. You are now experiencing back pain on a daily basis and have had to take a significant amount of a time off of work due to doctors appointments. You continue to pay off costs of vehicle damage and your insurance adjuster keeps calling.

Insurance is a requirement. We all have it and pay for it, trusting that it will make a difference when it really counts.

But before accepting an offered payment, get the scoop on the secrets the insurance company wont tell you:

1. Insurance may cover more than you think.

You expect an insurance companys payment to cover medical bills and lost wages but it is important to be aware of other things that your insurance may cover. For example, under Utah law you may also be entitled to money for pain and suffering, household expenses and changes in your lifestyle.

2. You actually should hire an attorney.

There is a perception that hiring an attorney means your case is more likely to go to trial. This is a myth. Less than five percent of vehicle crash/accident cases ever end up at trial, according to the US Department of Justice. If the insurance company knows that you and your lawyer are ready for a trial, this often encourages a higher payout and an expedited settlement.

3. You can be compensated without causing financial hardship for a family member or friend.

Even if your friend or family member caused the accident, you can receive payment for your injuries without making a claim against them. Your claim is made against the insurance company. There will be no out-of-pocket cost your friend or family member. This is because virtually every Utah car insurance policy includes Personal Injury Protection (PIP) as part of the policy. To get these benefits, contact the insurance company covering the car in which you were riding.

A crash occurs every 10 minutes in Utah, and every 23 minutes one of those crashes involves a serious injury. When those injuries happen, it is wise to consider hiring an attorney to represent you and your claim.

4. You can hire an attorney immediately following the accident.

Contrary to popular believe, there is no law that says you must wait for the insurance company before contacting an attorney. It is actually wise to safeguard your interests by having an attorney represent you as soon as possible.

Within days of the crash, the insurance company is going to want to record your statements, access your medical release forms and gather other facts and evidence in your case. Without acting early, information an attorney might use to benefit your claim may be unavailable or lost by the time you seek help.

Following your accident, look for a firm that has your best interest in mind and will insure you receive the amount of money you deserve for all of the negative effects of a minor fender bender.