It seems counterintuitive, but the amount of damage a car suffers in a crash is not always directly proportional to the seriousness of injury to that car’s occupants. You might assume that, because the car is not substantially damaged, the person inside could not have experienced the force necessary to be injured, but research shows that this is simply not how physiology or modern vehicle design operates. Read on to learn about claims for damages from low-damage or low-speed crashes.
If you incurred under $1000 in repair damages to your vehicle, chances are good that the insurer will first deny a claim for bodily injury damages. Courts are often easily sold on the idea that an accident that didn’t seriously damage a car likewise couldn’t have seriously damaged its occupants. Additionally, insurers will hire biomechanical experts to testify to this fact, making the claimant look as though they’ve fraudulently made a claim for injuries which couldn’t exist.
This testimony from so-called experts in biomechanics sounds like it should be right, based on instincts about how car accidents work. However, it does not comport with the past ten years of biomechanics research. Studies have shown that bodies experience tears or strains to muscles and ligaments in crashes occurring at speeds as low as 25 mph. This damage, resulting from the body being thrown forward, abruptly stopped by a steering wheel or seat belt, and thrown back against the seat, is known as Cervical Acceleration-Deceleration trauma, and can require extensive treatment over a long period of time. Not only are tendons, ligaments, and muscles in the neck and spine damaged, but the spine itself can be forced out of its natural S-shaped curvature by the seat back, resulting in possible damage to the spinal discs.
Additionally, modern cars are designed to be resistant to showing damage. This design feature has the result of saving you money on repairs, but might end up costing you more in doctor’s bills. Studies have found that, since the car does not absorb as much of the force of impact, that energy gets redirected to the occupants of the car instead, resulting in more severe whiplash-type injuries. The reverse of this phenomenon can sometimes be observed in cases where an older car was totaled in a wreck, but the occupants walked away injury-free. Damage to a car now has even less of a relationship to the injuries experienced by its occupants than it ever has.
If you or someone you love has been hurt in an accident in Kentucky, seek help from an experienced and compassionate personal injury attorney to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries, and contact the Richmond car accident attorneys at Luxon, Patterson & Himes for a consultation on your case, at 859-623-6233.