Can a Low-Impact Car Accident Cause Serious Injuries Requiring Serious Compensation?

Updated: Dec 26, 2022

Insurance companies will have you believe that only major or catastrophic car accident are worth serious recovery. But the reality is that even a small accident can cause severe injuries requiring extensive treatment and compensation.

Anyone who has ever driven in Los Angeles will tell you one thing with certainty: traffic, and lots of it. With traffic comes a lot of frustrated drivers, and this frustration will often cause a lot of road rage, which in turn causes accidents. However, accidents in slow moving traffic around Los Angeles tends to be largely low-impact due to the nature of the stop-and-go traffic. But these low to moderate impact collisions often cause serious body and/or brain injuries.

Low-Impact Car Accidents Usually Cause Soft Tissue Injuries

The most common types of injuries from a low-impact car accident are soft tissue injuries, such as a whiplash or a strain/sprain of muscles and ligaments. Most injuries will often require some degree of therapy and/or anti-inflammatory medications. Generally soft tissue injuries will heal in about 6 to 8 weeks, although some may take months or years to heal properly. But on average, soft tissue injuries heal relatively fast and without the need for extensive treatments or surgery.

Insurance Companies Believe All Injuries From a Low-Impact Car Crash Are Soft Tissue

In the past 20 years or so, insurance companies have done a great job in making the public believe that all low-impact car accidents are frivolous or fraudulent. They will use all sorts of experts to show that any and all injuries are exclusively soft tissue which will heal by itself in a short period of time. But the truth is much different than the propaganda which insurance companies and their hired guns have been spreading.

Minor Car Accidents Can Cause Serious Injuries

The reality is that even a low-impact or a minor car collision could cause severe and debilitating injuries, requiring extensive treatments and sometimes surgery. Research has shown that a sudden change in velocity may cause some of the following injuries:

  • Thoracic disc bulges
  • Spinal cord compressions
  • Disc herniations
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome or CRSP
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Loss of vision or taste
  • Headaches and migraines

This list is only an example of some of the types of injuries which can occur in these minor fender benders. The main cause for these injuries is due to a combination of stress factors involved in an accident, such as: bracing and responding to the accident, sudden jerking movement of the head and the body, trauma caused due to contact with the car’s interior, undue tension on parts of the body, etc., etc.

How To Combat The Insurance Companies

We rely on several strategies to show that a low-impact car accident has caused serious injuries. One such strategy is to hire a biomechanical expert to reconstruct how the accident occurred. This will often establish the mechanisms which caused the victim’s injuries. The expert will review the change in velocity and impact of the forces and provide an opinion as to whether the accident did in fact cause those injuries.

Additionally, we will often require a body shop to dismantle the vehicle to uncover any hidden damages. A frame damage could certainly indicate that the force was much greater than the minor damages shown on the exterior of the var. Modern vehicles are designed to absorb a tremendous amount of shock during an accident, such as creating a crumple zone in back bumpers. This zone is designed to absorb most of the impact in a minor or low-speed car crash. As such, the amount of shock and energy that is transferred to the body of the car and its passengers is lessened. But there could still be significant damage to the frame of the car and the passengers – even though they are not visible.

Best Way To Protect Yourself in a Low-Impact Accident

While most vehicle crashes may cause soft tissue injuries, there are some which will cause serious and long lasting trauma to the body. Unfortunately, the human body will often not manifest these types of injuries for days, or some times weeks. That is why it is important to always see your physician for a complete medical examination after a crash. Immediately afterwards, you should speak with a personal injury attorney to determine how to protect and preserve your rights to assert a claim or file a lawsuit against the other party. Only an injury lawyer can best assess the situation and provide advice as to the next steps – not the insurance company for the other driver. So consult with an attorney early.

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