Low-Speed Impacts – Do they cause injury?
Yes, you can be injured in a low-speed car accident! Although insurance companies would like everyone to believe that significant forces must be present to cause injury, that is simply not the case. There are hundreds of situations and various circumstances that can result in injuries to you and your family members.
Take for example a 2,000 lb automobile traveling at 10 miles per hour colliding with a stationary vehicle (stopped at traffic light). The force of this impact, depending on various factors, could equate to 12 tons. It is easy to see how a low-impact accident could cause a ‘whiplash’ type injury. For those of you who do not know, whiplash is when your head suddenly moves backward and then forward; similar to the motion of someone cracking a whip. The extreme motions (hyper-flexion/hyper-extension) push your neck muscles and ligaments beyond their normal range of motion, thereby causing you to overstretch or tear (a.k.a. sprain/strain) muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
Imagine an elderly person, in poor physical condition with pre-existing conditions in her cervical spine (neck). Maybe she has had minimal and generalized pain in her neck for many years and evidence of degenerative changes in her spine. She is then put into a situation where she is rear-ended by a 2,000 lb vehicle traveling at 10 mph. I would argue that it is reasonable or, even, likely that she will sustain injuries to her cervical spine. This individual would be classified as an “egg-shell plaintiff” (someone that is more susceptible to injury due to their pre-existing conditions).
One of the most critical moments following a low-speed impact is whether the injured claimant was able to obtain medical treatment soon thereafter. This treatment will not only validate your subjective complaints, but will allow other parties involved to review what complaints were made and assist in the determination of accident related injuries.
Having an attorney that has dealt with similar low-speed accidents in the past is very important. A qualified attorney will be able to find the supporting data to overcome a jury’s skepticism and preconceived notions when there is only minimal property damage. Even if you do not have significant, visual property damage, a trained technician may be able to discover internal damage once your rear bumper is removed.
If you have been injured in a low speed impact or rear-end collision, call the attorneys at Brannon & Brannon. You can find more helpful information at www.BrannonCanHelp.com or call 850-863-5297.
Injured? Need Help? Brannon Can Help.