Low impact accidents, what they mean and how to win your case
Typically, insurance companies have created various expressions to describe low impact collisions. These are cases where the impact to the vehicle does not appear. Insurance companies will not pay attention to the force of the impact, but merely look at the impact to the car. In other words, does the car show damage? If so, how much? What is naturally deceptive about these types of cases is that low impact does not mean no injury. Since vehicles are designed with more durable parts the vehicle itself may not show the damage to the car. Yet, the occupants can still suffer serious injury.
Bodily injuries in low impact collisions
It is has been scientifically proven that any accident, regardless of speed can cause injuries. Here are a few things to consider with these types of cases:
– Position of your body;
– Any preexisting injuries;
– Type of vehicle you were in;
– Did your car have a tow hitch;
– Age of the injured party
The position of your body can be a key factor in determining your injury. Looking at whether your neck was looking to the right or left at the time of the accident is critical. This is because the amount of force required to cause injury is often half of what is required when your neck is turned to the right or left. Many accident reconstruction and bio-mechanical experts will agree that the G forces required to produce an injury are minimal depending on body placement.
California law is clear, preexisting injuries cannot be used to limit your recovery. This is actually the tricky part of these cases. Many lawyers tell clients that preexisting injuries hurt the case. That is simply not accurate. Preexisting injuries are a tool. If you had a preexisting spine injury and have been non-symptomatic for 5 years, but have sharp pain post-accident that is indicative that the crash was injury producing. Any condition that predated the injury is used to demonstrate the injury. In fact people with preexisting injuries often require a much less degree of impact to cause any type of injury. It will not require a significant degree of force to cause an injury when you have someone with a prior condition.
Car manufacturers today produce more durable cars. This is so that they can achieve a higher resell value on the secondary market. Also, the safety standards have changed over the years. However, that does not mean the occupants will not suffer an injury. Vehicles do not show damage to the rear bumper as they did before. This is because bumpers are designed to absorb the impact. This type of technology has been used by the insurance companies to downplay the injury. You will hear the narrative of “the vehicle had no damage” often. However, you must always keep in mind that damage to the vehicle and injury to the body are two separate things. You can suffer injury to you body without having visible damage to your vehicle.
Vehicles that have a tow hitch or some type of rear protruding device will almost never show rear end damage. Tow hitches are made of high-grade steel. This is to endure the abuse from towing large and heavy objects. Thus, a rear end collision will show almost no visible damage. That is why you must immediately do two things. First, identify the damage to the other vehicle. You must get photos of the undercarriage of the other vehicle.
Finally, the age of the injured party is relevant in determining the degree of the injury. Typically, age of the injured party will be important in developing the story for the injury. A low impact collision on a sub 30-year-old female or male will have a much different outcome comparative to someone over 50 years of age. Factors such as gender and age play a serious position in explaining the degree of the injury.
If you have been injured in a low impact accident, call our office for a free confidential case assessment.
Other pages on our website related to this topic:How to get a copy of your traffic accident reportLawyer for Car Accidents