One morning you wake up with the worst pain in your neck and back. The pain is so intense that you can barely get out of bed. When you do make it out of bed and to your medicine cabinet, taking whatever pills you have to ease the throbbing pain, you rack your brain for what could have caused your debilitating pain.
And then it hits you, maybe it was the low impact car accident you were involved in three days ago.
The accident you were involved in happened while waiting at a red light. The driver that hit you was going less than 10 mph. You both pulled off to the side of the road after the accident. He asked you if you were okay, and you said that you were. And it was true, you were feeling perfectly fine. And you both checked out the back bumper of your car. There was barely a scuff and a minor dent. You counted yourself lucky, accepted the other driver’s apology, and both of you drove away without exchanging names, never mind insurance information.
So, the terrible pain you are now experiencing could not be from the low impact car accident, could it?
Low impact car accidents can cause serious injuries
Unfortunately, the above scenario is all too common. The truth is that low impact car accidents can cause real, lasting injuries.
One major reason why low impact car accidents cause serious injuries is because of the whiplash motion that occupants of vehicles in low impact accidents often experience. When the collision occurs, the force of the collision may push a person forward, but their lower body and mid-section may be restrained by a seatbelt. The person’s head and neck will then continue to extend forward until they cannot go any farther forward, at which point they are violently jerked back. This motion can cause a host of injuries, many of which are soft tissue injuries.
Soft tissue injuries refer to injuries to muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Whiplash can also cause injury to the discs in a person’s neck and back. Such injuries can also cause pain, weakness, or numbness in a person’s arms or legs. A disc injury can be serious enough that it may even require a person to undergo surgery to find relief from their symptoms.
The same whiplash motion that can cause a neck or back injury can also cause a brain injury. The most common brain injury in car accidents are coup-contrecoup injuries. The force that jerks a person’s neck can also cause a person’s brain to be move quickly forward and then quickly backwards, which can cause a concussion or a traumatic brain injury.
Brain injuries can be especially debilitating and difficult to treat. And individuals are often not even aware that they have suffered a brain injury because the symptoms can be subtle and seemingly unrelated to a brain injury. For example, a brain injury can cause blurred vision, ringing in the ears, fatigue, and even affect a person’s mood. It is important to seek immediate medical attention if you believe you have suffered a brain injury.
The amount of damage to your car offers almost no indication of the potential injuries you may suffer in a low impact car accident
Automobiles have never been designed with more safety features than they are today. Cars are largely made up of steel and aluminum. The average mid-sized sedan weighs over 3,000 pounds, or one and a half tons. So, it is little wonder that your car will often come out better than you in an accident.
Just because your car sustains little to no damage in a crash, does not mean that significant force was not involved in the accident. A low impact car accident can exert more than a half ton of force on an occupant of the vehicle involved in the collision. Modern vehicles are designed to absorb as much of the energy as possible in a collision. However, in low impact car accidents, cars do not absorb the forces as effectively because the forces are not strong enough to do damage to the vehicle. So, our bodies are left to absorb forces that they were never designed to absorb, resulting in very serious injuries.
Do not be fooled into settling your claim with an insurance company in the days following a low impact car accident
It is important not to negotiate with an insurance company in the days following a low impact collision. An insurance company may offer you a $1,000 to settle a claim. A $1,000 a day after an accident in which your car was not damaged and you do not feel any pain may seem like a great outcome. However, insurance companies will make offers like that because they know that injuries following a low impact car accident will often not show up for several days.
If you settle with the insurance company in the days, or even hours, after the collision, by the time the excruciating pain in your neck or back shows up days later, you will have nowhere to turn. You could potentially be left without financial help to deal with injuries that could plague you for years, if not for the rest of your life. Do not fall for this common trick that insurance companies use.
It is especially important to hire an attorney if you have been involved in a low impact car accident. Insurance companies love to dig their heels in for accidents involving a low impact collision. The experienced attorneys at Valiente Mott can help you if you have been the unfortunate victim of a low-impact collision. Call 702-623-2323 today for a free consultation.