Serious Injuries Due to Low-Impact Accidents
car accidents, typically “fender benders,” are common – but that doesn’t
mean they can’t cause
serious injuries. In some cases,
injuries to the neck and head may not manifest themselves until days or weeks after the accident.
In the case of a
traumatic brain injury, for instance, certain symptoms may not be obvious – even if they’re
connected to a serious medical complication.
A vehicle may slam into the car in front of it at an intersection, a driver
may hit a car pulling out of a parking spot, or a vehicle may even rear-end
a car in front of it at a stop light. Even when these accidents only cause
minimal physical damage to the vehicles, the occupants aren’t always
so lucky. Even in low-impact accidents, drivers and passengers may suffer
In some cases, injuries sustained in relatively low speed impacts can be
serious enough to require surgery. In others, a mild case of
whiplash heals with time and treatment. Anyone who has suffered an injury from
this type of accident knows how disabling their injury can be, yet insurance
companies often challenge the seriousness of health conditions due to
the minimal impact involved. Accident victims may have to fight for the
compensation they need to recover.
Neck Injuries from Car Accidents
Motor vehicle accidents, even at low speeds, can cause a variety of neck
and cervical injuries. Whiplash one of the most common injuries a driver
or passenger may suffer. It often happens when a person in a vehicle that
is not moving is struck from behind by another vehicle. This sudden rear
impact can cause the neck to enter hyperextension. The seat pushes the
occupant's midsection forward while the head and neck fall back. The
head and neck then enter hyperflexion as they recover.
The neck injuries that occur in
car accidents often extend beyond mere soreness. Car accident victims may suffer from
a herniated disk in the cervical area, resulting in arm pain, numbness,
and weakness. If this condition does not heal, surgery to remove the damaged
disk (a diskectomy) may be necessary. In some cases a
surgical fusion is also necessary to stabilize a person's spine.
Why Low-Impact Crashes Cause Injuries
Low-impact accidents may not involve significant observable physical damage
to the vehicles, which is why insurers use the lack of physical damage
to argue that the injuries are exaggerated. However, orthopedic surgeons
and neurosurgeons must often treat people who have sustained debilitating
injuries in low speed accidents. Studies confirm significant cervical
injuries can result from low impact collisions.
The reason has to do with the nature of whiplash, which occurs from sudden
acceleration and deceleration. When a vehicle is involved in a low-speed
collision, a person's head can accelerate faster than the vehicle.
In low-speed collisions, studies have shown that peak head acceleration
is at least 2.5 times quicker than the peak acceleration of the vehicle
that's struck. As a result, a person's neck can be injured even
in cases when the vehicle sustains little or no damage.
What Whiplash Victims Should Do
For people who suffer serious and long-lasting neck injuries from low-impact
accidents, there may be many obstacles on the road to obtaining fair compensation
needed for recovery. Without proper legal counsel, securing damages for
their medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering may prove extremely
In cases like these, retaining an experienced personal injury attorney
is critical. Attorneys who have expertise and a track record of successfully
handling cases involving serious injuries resulting from low-impact accidents
understand how to craft strong cases. They use experienced biomechanical
and reconstruction experts, as well as medical specialists to establish
how the accident caused the injuries.
Have more questions about injuries resulting from low-impact collisions?
Call Biren Law Group to discuss your case with a Los Angeles injury lawyer.