If you were involved in a serious car accident, you probably would not think twice about seeking medical attention or talking with a personal injury lawyer. However, most car accidents are fender-benders, resulting in some physical damage to the car and seemingly little to no serious injuries. However, even a low-impact crash could cause long-term injuries. You should not assume you are fine or that you do not have grounds for a lawsuit if the cars did not sustain significant damage.
A low-speed crash is difficult to define. There is no precise definition. Depending on the source, a low-speed accident occurs when the vehicles are traveling at less than 20 or 25 mph. However, if two cars collide at 25 mph, it could be the same as hitting a stationary object at 50 mph.
Most low-impact accidents occur in parking lots, on small streets, or in school zones. Even though these crashes are not as dramatic or catastrophic as accidents that occur at high speeds, they could still leave a victim with a life-altering injury. Our Baltimore car accident lawyers understand that low-speed crashes require the same attention to detail and aggressive representation as more devastating collisions. Call Rice, Murtha & Psoras at (410) 694-7291 to review the steps you should take if you were involved in a low-speed accident.
Common Types of Injuries Suffered in Low-Speed Collisions
Common injuries sustained in low-speed car accidents include injuries to the neck, back, shoulder, and head. Many people who are involved in low-speed collisions suffer whiplash, especially in rear-end accidents. it does not take a substantial amount of speed to cause a person’s neck to suddenly jerk back and forth. This action often results in the tearing of tendons, muscles, ligaments, or nerves in the neck, shoulders, or back.
Low-speed collisions also cause injuries to the lumbar spine area. This area of the spine includes the five largest vertebrae. When the muscles or tendons around this area are strained, a person could experience swelling coupled with restricted mobility. the pain and lack of movement could make ordinary activities or work impossible.
Even in accidents that occur at slower speeds, your body is still subjected to sudden forces. These forces could cause hyperextension to your neck area, resulting in nerve damage or herniated disks. Depending on the severity of the damage, you could experience numbness, loss of mobility, or even partial or permanent paralysis. Our Maryland personal injury lawyers handle many cases arising from low-speed accidents.
Seek Medical Treatment After a Low-Speed Accident
If you want to succeed in a personal injury claim, you need to prove that you suffered an injury. Our Maryland car crash lawyers will look to your medical records, diagnostic tests, and the testimony of your treating physician to build your injury case. However, to build this body of evidence, you need to seek medical treatment immediately following an accident. When a collision occurs at a low speed, many accident victims do not believe they need to see a doctor – especially if they feel fine immediately following the incident. Any hesitation in seeing a doctor could jeopardize a personal injury case.
The long-term effects of a low-speed injury are not always obvious. If your neck starts to hurt weeks after an accident or if you begin to experience troubles with your back a month or two later, connecting your injury to the accident will be difficult if not impossible if you do not have contemporaneous medical documentation from the time of the collision.
Insurance Companies and Low-Speed Accidents
Insurance companies are not in business because they settle every claim for the highest possible amount. These profit-driven companies employ teams of lawyers, accountants, and adjustors to limit their liability. In many cases, an insurance company will assume that an accident that resulted in very little physical damage to the vehicles did not cause a severe injury. If you failed to seek medical immediate medical treatment, it might be difficult to overcome this allegation.
You should not allow an insurance company to pressure you into accepting a settlement offer that is based on the physical damage to your car. Once you agree to an insurance company’s offer, you release the company of any further liability. If your injuries prove to be more serious, you will not be permitted to file an additional claim – either with the insurance provider or in civil court.
When negotiating with an insurance company after an accident, you want to have enough medical evidence to support your claim. Our Maryland car accident attorneys will work closely with your healthcare providers to gather the necessary evidence. However, if you have not sought treatment, our office’s options are limited.
Insurance companies are not the only ones who are swayed by the physical damage. When a jury sees photographs of twisted and mangled cars, it is not hard to imagine that anyone involved suffered severe injuries. However, if there is little or no physical damage, a jury will have to be persuaded that the collision caused a significant injury. To overcome these poor visuals, you will need to present compelling and convincing medical evidence.
Our Experienced Maryland Car Accident Attorneys Will Fight for Those Injured in Low-Speed Collisions
While you might believe you were lucky to have only been involved in a low-speed collision, you still might have suffered severe injuries. You should never take any accident lightly. Back, spine, and neck injuries could take weeks or months to fully reveal themselves. By seeking medical treatment and speaking with our Maryland car accident lawyers, you will ensure that you are protecting your health and your rights. At Rice, Murtha & Psoras, we understand that even collisions at low speeds are serious matters. Call (410) 694-7291 to review your legal options.