Low-impact injuries are common and often not taken seriously. A low-speed impact accident is one that occurs at a speed under ten miles per hour. When someone hears that an accident was a “fender bender,” they often write it off as no big deal. However, some of the injuries sustained from a low impact injury can, and should, be taken seriously.
Why Low Impact Accidents Cause Injuries
Medical studies support that even slow-moving collisions can cause debilitating injuries.
Injuries to the head and neck are particularly common because of the nature of most low impact collisions. The sudden acceleration and deceleration cause the head to accelerate 2.5 times faster than the vehicle. This is why a vehicle can have minimal damage in an accident yet result in serious injuries.
Whiplash and Other Head and Neck Injuries
Head and neck injuries are the most common injuries sustained from a low impact collision. Whiplash occurs when the neck is hyperextended. In a rear-impact collision, the seat pushes the person’s body forward, while the head and neck fall backward.
Other similar head and neck injuries can happen from a low impact collision. These could include a herniated disk in the cervical area. Symptoms include arm pain, numbness, and weakness. If the condition doesn’t go away on its own, surgery may be required.
Unfortunately, the symptoms of these injuries often don’t appear right away. Delayed injuries can often make it more difficult to receive compensation from an insurance company or other liable parties since it is more difficult to prove that the injuries were caused by the accident and not something else.
Low Impact Accidents and Pregnancy
Even in a low impact accident, women who are pregnant should seek medical attention as soon as possible. This is because even minor accidents can affect their pregnancy. The jolting movement and jarring of the body could cause injury or create stress for the baby. The potential emotional effects of being involved in an accident could also affect the baby.
Potential effects of a car accident during pregnancy include pre-term labor, miscarriage, hemorrhaging, internal bleeding, a high-risk pregnancy, or birth defects. Some of the potential effects of an accident could not appear for weeks after the accident occurred. Therefore, it is important to seek continuing care after an accident and inform your medical care team that an accident occurred so that they can be as diligent as possible in preventing further injury and identifying issues as soon as possible.
Insurance Claims with Low Impact Injuries
In many low impact accidents, it can be difficult to obtain compensation for injuries. Many insurance companies will claim that because there was minimal physical damage to the vehicle, there should be minimal injuries to the occupants.
Since insurance companies will be very skeptical about awarding compensation for injuries sustained in a low impact accident, it is important to document everything possible related to the accident and injuries sustained. This could greatly help the chances of receiving a low impact accident settlement with the help of your personal injury lawyer.
Be sure to include photos, medical documents, receipts, and witness testimonies regarding your injuries and how those injuries have affected your daily life. You may not be hurting now, but if you don’t get medical attention after a low-impact collision, you may feel some pain, and permanently, later on in life.