Low-Impact Accidents That Cause Serious Injury
Nov. 14, 2022
In 2020, there were nearly 43,000 crashes in New Jersey that resulted in injury. This statistic, from the state’s Department of Transportation, is a startling reminder of the dangers on our roadways. However, many people who’ve been involved in a car accident falsely believe that because their injuries were only “minor” that they don't need to be taken seriously. This couldn’t be further from the truth. All injuries should be addressed by a medical professional. Low-impact accidents that result in serious injury are more common than you might think, and if you don’t act quickly in pursuing a claim, you may find that your insurance company doesn’t think your injury is serious as it really is.
If you’d like to speak to a car accident attorney about your situation, reach out to Law Offices of Mitchell R. Friedman, P.C. serving clients in West Orange, New Jersey as well as individuals in East Orange, Newark, Jersey City, and the rest of Hudson County.
How Low-Impact Accidents Can Result in Serious Injuries
When you’re involved in a car accident—no matter how minor you think it is—you may be at risk of serious injuries. After any traumatic event, you’ll have adrenaline coursing through your veins and this can give the false impression that you haven’t been injured. The nature of car accident injuries often means that the real symptoms won’t show up for hours, days, or even weeks after the crash, leading victims not to seek medical attention. However, it’s very common for low-impact accidents to result in serious injuries. This is often the case if you’ve been rear-ended or experienced a head-on collision even at very low speeds. The fact is that any sudden and unexpected jolt to your body can result in injuries.
Common Injuries That Can Result from Low Impact
A “low impact” crash is typically one that occurs at speeds of less than 10 miles per hour and are regularly referred to as “fender benders.” Common locations where this could happen would be slowing down for a red light or stop sign, entering into an intersection after coming to a stop, driving in a parking lot, or navigating stop-and-go traffic. While 10 miles an hour may seem like a safe speed, you should never assume that this is the case.
One of the most common results from a low-impact crash is a whiplash injury which often affects the muscles and ligaments of the head and neck. Whiplash occurs when your head and neck are suddenly jolted back and forth, causing your muscles to tense up to try and protect themselves or hyperextend past their regular range of motion. Your neck is mainly soft tissue and it often can’t endure even this seemingly small yet forceful impact. Whiplash injuries are commonly seen after a car has been rear-ended because the driver is usually caught unaware.
The other two most common outcomes of a low-impact accident are back and neck injuries. These can arise from whiplash but can also happen with other side-impact or head-on crashes that cause a person’s body to suddenly move back and forth in the car, injuring their spine and back and neck muscles. This can cause bruising, lacerations, blunt force trauma, a herniated disc, or even concussions.
Personal Injury Claim
Even in the most minor of car wrecks, it’s often still in your best interest to pursue a personal injury claim. The steps you take in the days and weeks following the incident are crucial. The most important thing you can do to better your chances of a successful claim is to seek medical attention immediately, even if you aren’t in much pain. Only a trained medical professional can adequately evaluate your condition and inform you if something that seems “minor” is in fact a serious injury. Always retain all documents from these visits, including diagnosis and bills.
Secondly, you’ll need to follow through with whatever treatment your doctor advises, whether this be rest, physical therapy, or meeting with a specialist. When filing an insurance claim, the adjuster will always double check this to ensure that your injuries are “real” and serious enough to require follow-up care.
Lastly, never accept a settlement offer until you know the full extent of your injuries and your Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). Many times, car accident injuries can take a long time to heal and require months of follow-up care and medical attention. Adjusters want to close out your case as quickly as possible, but you have every right to take your time to ensure your needs are met.
Skilled & Compassionate Legal Help
If you’re in the West Orange, New Jersey area and would like to speak with a personal injury attorney about a recent car crash, call Attorney Friedman at Law Offices of Mitchell R. Friedman, P.C. to make an appointment.