$43 Million Verdict for Spinal-Cord Injury in Rear-Ender Dispels Low Impact Collision Myth


August 09, 2013

Sometimes those injured in serious motor vehicle accidents are the victims of misinformation and myths perpetrated by the auto insurance industry and the business community.  The rationale is to discourage people from pursuing valid personal injury claims through misinformation.  An example of this type of false information perpetrated by the insurance industry is that rear-end collisions tend to occur at relatively low rates of speed and do not justify substantial damages.  The theory is that minor vehicle damages equate to minimal injuries.  In reality, rear-enders often result in very serious injuries.

A recent $43 million jury verdict involving a rear-end collision, which left the injury victim without use of her extremities, illustrates the complex factors that can play a role in the severity of injuries suffered in a rear-end collision.  The 51-year-old car accident victim was wearing her seatbelt, but the seat back collapsed during the force of impact, according to the AP report.  The AP report also indicated that when the seat collapsed, the woman suffered a severe spinal-cord injury rendering her a quadriplegic.

According to the Burlington Free Press, the manufacturer of the car seat objected to the award claiming that its car seat exceeded all industry and government standards.  Even if the manufacturer is correct, compliance with government safety standards does not necessarily insulate a company from liability for injuries caused by its product.  Sometimes these federal safety standards are viewed as “minimum” standards rather than criteria that ensures a business will not be determined to be liable for injuries caused by their product.

This tragic accident illustrates that a rear-end collision can be complex so it is never advisable to simply accept a claim made by an insurance adjuster that a crash is a “low impact” collision and that there is no basis for significant recovery.  While this particular incident involved extremely serious injuries where such a claim was not plausible, many unsuspecting motorists who suffer injuries that are harder to diagnose may settle their claim based on these sorts of false representations.

Insurance companies tend to make such claims when there is little or no vehicle damage during a rear-end collision.  However, there are no scientific studies that show minimal property damage of a vehicle made of steel, hard plastic and glass corresponds with only minor injuries to human tissue, skin, muscle, ligaments, tendons and bones.

If you are involved in a rear-end collision or any motor vehicle accident, you should seek legal advice from an experienced Atlanta car accident attorney regarding the value of your claim rather than rely on information provided by the other party’s insurance company.  If you or your loved one is injured in a rear-end collision in Georgia, our experienced Atlanta accident lawyers at Montlick and Associates are available to provide effective legal representation to those 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. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333).  You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.