Low-Impact Car Accidents Can Still Injure Victims
Low-Impact car accidents resulting in a small amount of physical damage but a substantial injury to you or your passengers, can be challenging claims to file with car insurance carriers. It is a myth that a car has to show extensive signs of damage in order for the occupants to have suffered injuries, particularly if you have a pre-existing medical condition. A skilled personal injury and car accident attorney may be needed to help be sure you receive the compensation you need to cover the costs of your injuries.
Physical injuries can happen to the neck and spine in car accidents occurring at low speeds. When you experience a rear-end crash, your body is usually thrown forward and abruptly thrown backward, causing Cervical Acceleration Deceleration trauma. This movement can bruise or chip the bones in your neck and spine with the back and forth movement of your head, resulting in whiplash. The abrupt and forceful movement of your back against the seat can also result in your spine being forced out of its natural S-curvature, pressing your upper spine in and bulging your lower spine out. This can result in tears in ligaments and tendons, and damage to spinal discs. In addition, it is not uncommon that your knees or head could hit the console, steering wheel or dashboard, resulting in injury.
Some car insurance companies will automatically deny claims for medical expenses where the value of the claim for damage to the car falls beneath $1,000. These companies will even find dubious biomechanical “experts” to testify in court that bodily injury is impossible to any significant degree where the crash did not result in more damage to the victim’s car. These arguments are outdated and fail to consider more recent research in the field of biomechanics. More current studies have shown that it is not possible to conclude with any certainty the value of an accident victim’s injuries solely by ascertaining the value of the damages to the car. As car companies engineer cars to be less prone to crumpling in a crash, the car actually absorbs less of the shock, resulting in the driver or passengers being left to absorb more of the shock. Additionally, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration’s regulations on vehicle safety state clearly that car bumpers are designed not for passenger safety, but instead to prevent property damage to cars. Considering these factors together, it is clear why a car carefully engineered to show little sign of damage could still have contained an individual who experienced substantial injuries requiring time off work, extensive medical attention and rehabilitation.
If you’ve received serious injuries in a car accident, regardless of the damage to your car, speak with the experienced and knowledgeable New Jersey personal injury attorney Andrew R. Jacobs for a consultation on your claims, at 973-532-9681.