Most motor vehicle collisions that cause drivers and passengers to be injured are not high-speed collisions. Most are low and moderate speed collisions. Why is this important?
Insurance companies and their attorneys have long been engaged in a deceptive campaign to claim that low-speed collisions do not cause injuries. The truth is that the speed of the vehicles and the amount of property damage to the cars are not reliable indicators of whether a person is injured in a collision or the severity of injuries suffered. The truth is that you can be in a high-speed collision where a car rolls over, and you can walk away with barely a scratch. On the other hand, you can be involved in a collision with very little visible damage to your car and you can suffer a very painful and long lasting injury that impairs your ability to work or live without pain. The truth is that insurance companies have been successful in promoting their theory that the amount of property damage in a crash determines the injury producing potential of a collision and that the lower the cost to repair a vehicle equals the lower the likelihood that an occupant of the vehicle is injured. Because they have been successful in promoting this false conclusion, they keep doing it.
So, what does determine whether a person is injured or not in any motor vehicle collision? The most important factor is you. How you felt after the collision. What you did after the collision? Where you were seated? Were you twisted in your seat? Were you prepared or braced for an impact? Did you have any prior conditions that made you more susceptible to injury in a collision. How did you move within the vehicle upon impact? Did you need medical care after the collision and did you get it? Did your doctor detect spasms, limitations of motion, stiffness, bruising, seat belt abrasions or other indications of injury? Did you have symptoms of a concussion, such as dizziness, nausea, disorientation or head pain, common symptoms of a concussion which do not require a high-speed impact. Women are proven to be more susceptible to neck injuries than men. Having your head or torso turned in your seat at the time of impact is proven to aggravate and increase injury producing potential in a collision. Having prior injuries makes one more easily injured in subsequent collisions.
The truth is there is no reliable way to determine who is going to be injured in a collision and who is not, no matter what insurance company propaganda says and no matter how many times they repeat it. In any given car crash with four people in the car, there is no way to predict who may be injured in the crash and who may not. The reason why, in this scenario, all four people are not likely to be injured in the exact same way is because everyone is different, from their health, size and body condition to their medical history and where and how they were seated in the car.
Do not assume that if a photograph of a car that was involved in a collision does not show graphic evidence of property damage, that the driver or passengers inside were not or could not have been injured. A close look at the structures underneath the flexible bumpers on newer cars often reveals structural damage that proves the car was hit much harder than the photographs of the exterior of the car would suggest.
Yes, injuries that result from lower speed collisions can be challenging to prove, but it can be done. Experienced personal injury lawyers know what steps to take to find proof of the injury producing potential in a collision.