Potential Injuries from Low-speed Car Crashes
As motorists we have all seen minor fender-bender accidents on the roadside while commuting to work or driving to the kids to school. What many people fail to realize is, that even in these relatively low-speed and seemingly inconsequential roadway collisions, the victims can indeed suffer from some fairly serious and sometimes long-lasting bodily injuries.
Here in the Baltimore area, the staff at Lebowitz & Mzhen, LLC, understands that even when an insurance company chooses to deny a claim of personal injury resulting from a negligent car or truck crash, there may still be recourse for the victims of that original careless or thoughtless act. There is no reason why anyone should suffer financially from a collision caused by another negligent motorist.
Having spent our own fair share of time behind the wheel, our attorneys know how even a pleasant Sunday drive can end with a driver or passengers in the emergency room of a local hospital. Maryland roads can be densely packed with drivers all trying to get to their respective destinations. Unfortunately, there are always a few bad apples who couldn’t care less about the well-being of others with whom they share the roadway.
Surprisingly, for many it isn’t just those high-speed beltway collisions that can cause severe injury to car, truck and motorcycle accident victims. Even low-speed wrecks may expose vehicle occupants to a variety of personal injuries. Sadly, it is not uncommon for auto insurance companies to view occupant injuries in the same light as vehicle or property damage. In other words, if there is little or no physical damage evident on the victim’s vehicle, the insurance company may be less apt to pay any large injury claim.
There are cases throughout the years where insurance adjusters may truly believe that a victim’s injury is significant, yet argue that at trial it will be hard to convince a jury that anyone could have possibly been injured to the extent the victim was when that person’s car was hardly damaged at all. Equating vehicle or property damage is one of the ways that auto insurance companies try to avoid paying out larger personal injury claims to deserving victims.
At Lebowitz & Mzhen, we know that this is not only unfair, but it flies in the face of the facts. Over the years, traffic safety and other auto accident experts have shown that the effects of a low-speed roadway collision on an vehicle occupant’s body is based on a complex blend of physics and biomechanics. There is no way that by simply viewing the victim’s vehicle one could ascertain the condition of the people inside following a collision.
It is for this reason alone that retaining a qualified auto accident attorney is critical to the potential success of a personal injury lawsuit, especially in those cases involving serious injuries to the head, neck and spinal cord. An experienced personal injury lawyer who works with auto accident lawsuits on a regular basis has the skills and training to build a credible argument for his or her client. In addition to sorting through all the facts of the case, choosing expert witnesses to support the victim’s claim is critical as well.
Medical professionals familiar with low-speed auto injuries can be of great assistance to a personal injury suit involving a seemingly minor fender-bender that resulted in serious injuries. Being able to present the victim’s current and future medical needs, sometimes necessitated when long-term disability or chronic pain is a factor, is one of the main points when preparing a personal injury claim for trial.
Because the automobiles that are manufactured today have bumpers designed to withstand low-speed collisions without apparent damage, it is possible for a car to hit a stationary object and not show any real damage when the speed is below 5mph. Hitting a wall or pole at 5mph is one thing, but in vehicle-to-vehicle collisions it has been shown that little or no significant damage may be seen even though the combined impact speed approaches 15 to 20mph.
The main point here is that accident victims can experience considerable physical trauma while the vehicle in which they were riding may have little or no outward evidence of a significant collision. The perception that a crash without vehicle damage should not have resulted in any real bodily injury is difficult to overcome with those who know little about the physics of modern automobiles and these low-speed impacts. All the more reason to contact a skilled auto injury accident lawyer.
In certain vehicle-to-vehicle crashes, where the bumpers are relatively well aligned, a considerable amount of force can be transferred to the vehicle occupants during the crash. If, for example, a person is riding in a passenger sedan that stopped in a parking garage and is hit from behind by another vehicle going about 12mph, there will be a tremendous jolt when the cars impact each other. As the victim’s vehicle is pushed forward several feet, there is a good chance that his or her neck will receive some kind of injury, which may not even become apparent for hours or days following the crash. At the same time the bumpers of both vehicles may not show much more than a scuff of the paint.
It has been shown that an impact of 2.5mph is enough to cause injury to a human’s neck or spine due to the so-called whiplash effect. Therefore, if a crash takes place at 10 to 15mph, the energy imparted to the occupants could be as much as four to six times the threshold for injury. On the other hand, due to the performance of modern 5mph bumpers, the vehicles will not necessarily show much if any indication of a collision.
As personal injury attorneys experienced in representing victims of automobile and commercial trucking accidents, the legal team at Lebowitz & Mzhen know that the energy required to move a stationary two-ton vehicle several feet can be significant. Considering that the force to move a massive automobile even a foot or two is more than enough to cause a neck or spine injury, in cases where there is even a little damage showing on a vehicle following a low-speed impact likely means that the occupants experienced substantial forces that could easily result in real injuries.
Whether you have been hurt in a low-speed auto collision or a high-speed traffic wreck, serious internal injuries, closed-head trauma or broken bones require medical attention, which comes at a cost. As Maryland car and trucking accident attorneys, we believe that nobody should have to foot the bill for medical costs and physical rehabilitation expenses resulting from a car accident caused by another negligent motorist.
This is why the professional legal staff at Lebowitz & Mzhen is ready, willing and able to assist victims of car, truck and motorcycle collisions recover what is due them. If you or somebody you care about has been injured in a traffic-related accident, please feel free to contact us and schedule a no-obligation consultation with one of our attorneys. You may email either Jack Lebowitz or Vadim Mzhen, or call our toll-free number at (800) 654-1949 to arrange a meeting.