Serious Injuries Due to Low-Impact Accidents

Low-impact 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 severe injuries.

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 difficult.

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.