After the claim is reported, the other driver’s insurance company takes photographs, reviews the estimate, and makes a determination of the extent of the property damage. Different companies use different numbers, but generally if the cost to repair is less than $1,500, many adjusters arbitrarily classify it as a MIST case and refuse to negotiate in good faith if injuries are reported.
The term has become an excuse for them to deny people who have been hurt their rightful compensation. There is no scientific proof that higher visible damage equates with higher injuries. Photographs can be deceptive and hide frame, chassis, and other damage that should be considered in the settlement or jury verdict value of the case.
What is a “soft tissue” injury?
A soft tissue injury is when the connective tissues like muscles, ligaments, tendons, and joints are hurt. It can also refer to the soft discs between the vertebrae in the spinal column. Injuries to these parts of the body can be extremely painful and so serious that surgery is required. But the injuries never appear on x-rays and sometimes escape detection on magnetic resonance images (MRIs) and are therefore hard to prove. An insurance adjuster knows that people on a jury will be more skeptical of these injury claims than a broken arm or leg that can be easily shown, especially coupled with smaller visible damage to the vehicle.
The most common soft tissue injuries caused are strains, sprains, and contusions. Strains are tears in muscles or tendons and sprains are tears in ligaments. These can cause headaches and pain to the jaw, neck, area between the shoulder blades, shoulder, back, arm, finger, leg and toe pain, numbness and tingling. These problems can go on for months or even years.
Together, they are referred to as whiplash, which the insurance industry has spent millions of dollars deriding as a “get rich quick” scheme that people can fake or magnify.