Millions of people are injured every year in vehicles that sustain zero or minimal property damage. That means there is little or no “visible” damage to the vehicle. A common trend by insurance companies is to dispute or undermine injuries sustained in these low impact collisions. As a result, most accident victims are usually marginally compensated or receive no reimbursement for medical bills, care services or lost wages resulting from these injuries.
Although the seriousness of injuries that occur in high-speed vehicular accidents is usually harder to dispute, these same forces also apply in low-speed collisions. Studies show the weight of the average automobile is approximately 2,000 pounds. Based on data from the Department of Transportation (DOT), collisions that occurs between 10 and 20 miles per hour will result in an average impact force of about 3.7 tons and over. Likewise, in accidents with vehicle weights at 3,000 pounds or more, a collision that occurs at 10 miles per hour can produce an impact force of up to 5.6 tons. Careful investigation of automobile accidents that occur at or under 20 miles per hour with no visible property damage, in some instances, reveal that hidden impairments to the vehicle as well as serious physical injuries have also occurred.
According to the DOT, as much as 80% of all accidents occur at or below 20 miles per hour. And, following numerous studies and extensive analysis of collisions that occur at varying velocities, injuries to a normal, healthy person has been shown to occur at speeds below 20 miles per hour. In data collected by the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration documented tests also reveal that low-impact accidents typically cause soft tissues injuries to the neck and back. These injuries can be even more severe for the elderly and those in poor physical health.
Although there is no scientific evidence to support the claim that any injury sustained in a zero-property damage collision are minimal or non-existent, insurance companies continue to make and win this argument with insurers. To support this premise, the insurance industry is constantly shifting or expanding the definition of what constitutes a “low-impact” collision. As such, a multi-disciplinary approach is necessary to be compensated for any serious injury that occur in “low impact” accidents. Since most accident victims seldom have the knowledge or expertise by themselves to oppose insurance companies and their adjusters on the “no damage” equals “no injury” premise, compensation for injuries are frequently denied.
If you have been injured in a zero or low impact collision, you may have a greater opportunity of being fairly compensation if:
- If there are recorded statements from all involved parties, including reports from the occupants in the vehicles and witnesses. These can be ascertained by asking questions about the events leading up to, during and after the accident.
- There are photos of both vehicles involved in the accident and the immediate area surrounding the accident. It is possible for one vehicle to sustain significantly more damage than the other.
- Medical attention is sought immediately or soon after the accident at a hospital or from a qualified physician.
- There are legitimate medical records and expert testimonies that can help to support your injury claim.
- No check is accepted prior to seeking experienced legal representation. A qualified legal team will conduct a serious investigation of your accident and injury prognosis.
- The victim is just as committed to getting a fair compensation as the insurance company is to undermining or denying your claim.
Since there is no legitimate relationship from a monetary standpoint between the amount of vehicular damage and the extent of injuries, visible property damage is not a predictor of injuries sustained by the occupants in the vehicle. It is also true that validating injuries sustained in low-impact accidents can seem daunting. However, with the support of a qualified personal injury attorney that can provide credible evidence to support your case, you may have a better chance of receiving fair compensation.
To learn more about your rights after a low-impact property damage collision, call for a free consultation today at (561) 655-1990 or visit our website.
About Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath
Conveniently located in West Palm Beach for 27 years, Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, LLP concentrates in Personal Injury, Wrongful death, Medical Malpractice, Product Liability and Auto accidents. At Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath, we specialize in helping victims and their families get fair compensation for injuries caused by the negligence or recklessness of others. Our main areas of practice include personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, product liability, medical malpractice, and premise liability. We provide each client with the highest quality representation from a top Florida accident and injury lawyer.
Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath
515 N Flagler Dr, 10th Floor
West Palm Beach
Florida, FL 33401
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