James A. Maniatis
Low-Impact Accidents That Cause Serious Injuries
Low-impact vehicular accidents often leave no skid marks or noticeable damage to either vehicle. Still, studies show that vehicle impact velocity of only 2.5 miles per hour can cause injuries to occupants. Sometimes, those injuries linger for a very long time.
If you have been involved in a low-impact accident and suffered injuries as a result, you should not discount those injuries. You may be able to be compensated by the at-fault driver for your medical expenses or pain and suffering. Low-impact does not mean your claim has no value.
At the Law Office of James A. Maniatis, I help clients throughout the Commonwealth of Massachusetts pursue compensation for injuries sustained in low-impact accidents. With offices in Shrewsbury, Southborough, and Webster, I am ready to discuss your case.
How Low-Impact Accidents
Cause Serious Injuries
Research has shown that the body of an occupant in a vehicle struck, even at low impact, accelerates faster than the vehicle they are in. Even at a speed of less than 10 miles per hour, the vehicle completes absorption of the impact before the body in the vehicle responds to “catch up.” This physics principle, called “magnification of acceleration,” is how injuries are sustained at low-impact. The body is thrown forward, but the head and neck remain stationary, causing extension and flexion as it whips forward and back again.
Common Low-Impact Accident Injuries
Low-impact car accidents result in a variety of injuries, but the more common ones include:
- Soft Tissue Injuries — Injuries to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons are the most common. These include the “whiplash” injuries caused when the head and neck whip forward and back or side to side upon impact. Soft tissue injuries may cause muscle spasms, weakness, and pain in your joints, neck, and spine.
- Spinal Injuries — Your spine comprises three sections: the cervical spine (neck and upper back), the thoracic spine (middle back), and the lumbar spine (lower back). Spinal cord injuries are common due to the structure of ligaments, tendons, bones, and discs. These injuries may first seem to cause only soreness but might indicate something much more serious, such as hairline fractures or disc injuries. These types of injuries may also exacerbate an existing degenerative spinal condition, causing a relatively asymptomatic condition to become symptomatic.
- Brain Injuries — Head injuries can range from mild concussions to traumatic brain injuries. These concussive injuries are caused by the brain striking the inside of the skull when your head whips forward and back.
Personal Injury Claims
There are three key areas you should address when filing a personal injury claim:
- Without injuries, all you have is a property damage claim. Any injury, whether immediately apparent or not, must be confirmed by a medical professional that it was caused by the accident, or that a pre-existing condition was exacerbated. You should always seek immediate medical treatment following a collision. You may not need emergency care at the scene, but a visit to an emergency room, urgent care center, or your family doctor when you leave the scene provides documentation of your complaints of obvious and potential crash-related injuries. Whiplash, spinal, and brain injuries don’t always manifest themselves right away. Monitor your symptoms and return to your doctor if they worsen.
- Follow the treatment plan your doctor orders. This might include medications, physical therapy, and chiropractic care. It will be important to your claim that diagnosis, treatment, and compliance with that treatment are documented in your medical records.
- Make sure that you know the extent of your injuries before agreeing to an insurance settlement, and that you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI takes treatment and time to reach, so don’t be in a hurry. You will want to pursue compensation for the full treatment of your injuries and this could require considerable time.
Work with an Experienced
Personal Injury Attorney
Because injuries from low-impact accidents may not immediately be apparent or may exacerbate an existing condition, it can be difficult to tie them to the collision. You need a personal injury attorney who knows how to investigate the incident, review medical records, and document your claim to an insurer or in a court of law.
The insurer of a negligent driver who struck you at a low speed in an accident that might not have even resulted in a property damage claim will discount your personal injury claim. You need an attorney with the knowledge and experience to build your case against them.
At the Law Office of James A. Maniatis, I have helped countless clients from Shrewsbury, Southborough, Webster, Westborough, Northborough, Grafton, Boylston, Millbury, Upton, Dudley, and Oxford, Massachusetts, develop a case for compensation for injuries following low-impact collisions. Call my office today.