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Low-impact Accidents Can Lead to Serious Injuries

July 05, 2013

It is commonly believed that serious injuries do not result from low-impact collisions, but is this true or one of those urban myths that has woven itself into the fabric of our reality?  The fact is that low-impact accidents can and do lead to serious injuries and even death, and that the accusations of fakery and fraud are often sadly misguided and based upon widespread misinformation.

An average vehicle traveling at ten miles per hour can impact a stopped car with an impact force sufficient to cause serious injuries because of the fact that energy is going to be transferred from the moving vehicle to the stopped vehicle, leading to significant impact force.  This is exacerbated by the scientific principle of magnification of acceleration, which means that the occupants of a vehicle that has been impacted will accelerate faster than the vehicle itself, thereby absorbing the largest portion of the impact shock.  A collision like this frequently will lead to injury to the neck and back.

Additionally, it is not just the amount of the force, but the manner of the application of the force that can determine the extent of someone's injuries.  For example, if someone's head is turned sideways, they may sustain more injury from a rear end collision than if they are looking straight.  Further, every person's anatomy is different and some people may have prior injuries, so some people are hurt worse than others from the same impact. 

Unfortunately, some people feel that there is a stigma associated with pursuing a damages claim for personal injuries when the affected vehicle sustained little or no visible damage, but that should not stop someone with real and significant injuries from seeking the help that he needs.  Low-impact accidents often cause soft tissue damage.  The classification of soft tissue covers muscle, ligaments, tendons, and disks in the neck and back.  There are a number of frequently held beliefs that need to be overcome in order to succeed with a personal injury case resulting from a low-impact accident:

  • Any injury will present at the scene of the accident.  The implication is that if the person being impacted did not complain of pain at the time of the accident then there was no harm done.  This is not true as adrenaline and other factors mask the pain, often for several hours.  Other injuries take time to develop, such as nerve root inflammation.
  • If there is an injury, it will heal on its own.  The generally-held belief is that any injury resulting from a low-impact crash will heal completely within a few weeks, up to a couple of months.  However, studies show that nearly half of those suffering injuries from this type of accident will continue to experience pain and disability for many years.
  • Whiplash injuries are no longer common.  Current car design elements are, in fact, constructed in an effort to help limit damage from “whiplash” type injuries.  However, if the headrest is not adjusted properly or the impact of the collision results in a reaction whereby the driver or passenger is driven up and over the headrest, or if the person is turned sideways, to just give a few examples, the headrest can actually increase the pressure on the head and neck, increasing the resulting harm.
  • The person alleging the injury is faking or exaggerating to get a large cash settlement or award.  It is difficult for people to believe that there is significant damage when x-rays do not show anything on the films.  However, studies have shown that there is serious and long-term harm that appears in autopsies and specially-constructed pain block analyses that do not appear in x-rays.
  •  Any injuries that exist are the result of pre-existing conditions.  It is a commonly-held belief that those injury victims claiming serious harm as a result of a low-impact crash are trying to get compensation for a pre-existing condition.  Even if there were a previously diagnosed condition, the impact from a collision can exacerbate or accelerate the damage, and be legally considered a new injury.

There are many negative and totally incorrect opinions circulating through the general public about those who seek compensation from a low-impact crash.  Do not let these erroneous beliefs prevent you from pursuing the compensation that will allow you to get the proper medical and rehabilitation to lead a full life, in addition to the financial compensation you deserve.  Much of the rhetoric can be traced to insurance companies that do not want to payout on claims, but remember that the possibility of needing coverage is why you pay insurance premiums.  Our experienced attorneys can get you the funds that you are entitled to and deserve.

Why Call Montlick & Associates About Your Accident Claim

The experienced and knowledgable Atlanta Auto Accident Attorneys and  Georgia Auto Accident Attorneys at Montlick and Associates are available to discuss your case. We will carefuly review your case and help you understand all of the legal rights afforded to you under Georgia law. We represent accident victims throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.

For over 39 years, the experienced Personal Injury Lawyers from Montlick & Associates have been helping families in Georgia and throughout the Southeast.  Montlick & Associates concentrates its practice on personal injury law, providing caring and high quality legal representation. In addition to its goal of being the best personal injury law firm in Georgia, Montlick & Associates is also dedicated to giving back to the community through the firm's extensive public service programs, which have received extensive public recognition.  The firm was recently honored by the Georgia House of Representatives for its 30 years of service, with the passing of House Resolution 394, recognizing Montlick & Associates for "the outstanding accomplishments of this distinguished firm," and "for providing efficient, effective and dedicated services to the citizens of Georgia."

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Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
All information provided by our blogs is general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Consult a Montlick attorney for details about your unique situation.