How ‘Minor’ Car Crashes Can Cause Significant Injuries

woman grabbing neck right after car crashDrivers often consider some crashes to be more serious than others. For example, if you get rear-ended at a relatively slow speed, you may not be too concerned about suffering a significant injury. You may be more focused on getting your vehicle repaired and dealing with the inconvenience of renting a car for a few days.

Many people also believe that high speed crashes, like those that happen on interstate highways, are more serious. Head-on crashes and collisions that occur when a vehicle is turning also put vehicle occupants in greater danger.

It is true that injuries from these types of crashes often cause more harm than crashes at lower speeds. That said, it is important not to make assumptions about the severity of a crash. Even “minor” crashes can cause severe injuries that could affect you for weeks, months or forever.

Below, we discuss injuries that may result from seemingly minor crashes, but which might be a bigger deal than victims first realize.

When Crash Victims Assume a Crash to be Minor

Accident victims may assume a crash was minor if there is little damage to the any of the vehicles involved. For example, maybe your car has a few dents, but those dents do not prevent you from opening your doors or your trunk.

Another reason a victim may consider a crash to be minor is if the airbags did not deploy. Victims wrongly assume airbags always deploy in serious collisions that cause more injuries. However, this is a false assumption. It is possible to hit a fixed object or another vehicle relatively hard without the airbags deploying.

Drivers may also think of most parking lot accidents, and other types of crashes that occur while backing up, as minor incidents.

Victims of a crash may assume if they can safely drive their vehicle away from the accident scene, they were not badly hurt. However, it is possible for a minor crash to cause damage to their vehicle’s engine or body frame. Additionally, some severe injuries, such as a head injury, have delayed symptoms.

Dangers of Minor Crashes

It is important to understand that even a low-impact crash can create enough kinetic force to severely harm your body. While cars are built to withstand some force to reduce the amount of damage, your body is not. In a collision, your upper body could be whipped forward and backward, which can lead to severe neck and back injuries.


Your spine is a sensitive part of your body that may be prone to serious injury in many types of accidents. Your spine and neck are simply not built to withstand the force of a crash. In short, even if the crash is minor, you could still suffer serious harm to the soft tissue in your neck and spine.

A whiplash is a common car crash injury that involves the straining of tendons and ligaments in the neck. The medical community generally believes a whiplash could occur in crashes at speeds as low as five miles per hour.

If you notice any of the following symptoms after a collision, you may have suffered whiplash:

  • Pain in your neck
  • Soreness
  • Headaches
  • Pain in your back
  • Dizziness
  • Limited range of motion in your neck
  • Cognitive issues, such as confusion or memory loss

Whiplash symptoms can be severe enough to cause victims to miss work or limit some daily activities while they heal. Victims may need emergent medical care and may also benefit from physical therapy and medication.

Brain and Head Injuries

Even a low-impact crash can jostle your head around, potentially causing a mild brain injury. There is a common misconception that there is no concussion or other brain injury if a victim does not lose consciousness. However, this is not true.

If you experience any of the following symptoms after a crash, it could be a sign of a brain injury:

  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Ringing in your ears
  • Increased irritability
  • Other cognitive issues

Unfortunately, many people do not take these injuries seriously at first. They may wait to seek treatment until their symptoms get worse. Yet nearly half of the traumatic brain injuries that happen each year in the U.S. are due to car crashes.

It is possible you do not have a brain injury, but it is dangerous to make that assumption. It is better, and sometimes life-saving, to get evaluated by a doctor. Only then can you be sure whether you are injured and if more testing should be done.

Avoid These Mistakes After a Minor Crash

Do not wait to seek medical care after a collision, even if it seems minor. This step is critical for your health and well-being. If you wait to seek treatment, any injuries you sustained could get much worse.

Getting an immediate medical examination also helps your claim by linking your injuries to the crash. Waiting to get medical care gives the insurance company room to argue that your injuries were not caused by the accident.

Do not accept quick settlement offers from the insurance company. These initial, lowball offers are likely to be for far less than the full value of your claim. Once a settlement is finalized, the cost of any further medical care you need will have to come out of your own pocket.

Call TSR Injury Law for Help Following a Crash

If you were diagnosed with a car crash injury and have more than minor bumps and bruises, it is important to consider your legal options. Our experienced Bloomington vehicle crash lawyers are here to help you pursue the compensation you need at no upfront cost to you.

Give us a call today to learn more. (612) TSR-TIME

How a Gap in Your Medical Treatment Could Affect Your Claim for Compensation

helping patient bend kneeCar insurance companies are always looking for a reason to deny a claim for compensation or offer much less compensation than the victim may be eligible to receive. That is why it is important for victims to take steps to protect the value of their claim.

One step that is arguably more important than the others is establishing a record of consistent treatment of your injuries. That means getting to the doctor soon after the crash and attending all follow-up appointments.  In addition to documenting your claim, it is important to have consistent treatment to get back to your pre-crash health.

If you wait too long after the crash to seek treatment, or you skip appointments, the insurance company will argue your injuries are not that severe. They may also try to deny your claim, saying your injuries are not connected to the accident.

Below, our experienced Bloomington-based auto accident attorneys discuss the problems with gaps in medical treatment and what injury victims can do to help protect their claims.

Two Types of Gaps in Medical Treatment

The first type of gap that might affect your claim for compensation is a gap between the time of the crash and when you first saw a doctor to treat your injuries.

A gap of a couple of hours is not all that unusual. Unless you were transported from the scene in an ambulance, you might be there a couple of hours while police investigate the scene and complete their report. If you went directly from the scene of the crash to the hospital, it would be very difficult for the insurance company to claim you waited to seek treatment.

However, if you waited until the next day or even longer to seek treatment, the insurance company will start to investigate if you were injured because of something besides the crash. They may say you were involved in some other type of accident, and this was the cause of your injuries, not the crash. A timelapse of a week or longer to seek initial care could damage the causation between crash and treatment.  This claim may not hold up if your attorney challenges the insurance company on it, but this issue could make your claim more difficult than it needs to be.

Even if you think your injuries are not that serious, it is better to be cautious and see a doctor right away. If you are wrong, you may be glad you did because your medical records will help link your injuries to the crash. Even if you are right that your injuries are not that serious, you will know you have a doctor’s opinion backing up your own.

The other type of gap in medical treatment occurs when an injury victim skips an appointment or stops his or her treatment. The victim’s medical records show treatment stopped, which makes them assume the victim is fully healed or has reached the point of maximum medical improvement.

It is important to note there are legitimate reasons for missing doctor appointments. Maybe you could not get PTO at work or could not find a ride to the doctor because your car is still being repaired or you went out of town to help an elderly parent. Life happens, and this should not prevent you from recovering compensation. However, it is important to keep your attorney informed about missed appointments and why you missed them. More important than that is to reschedule appointments and continue your treatment. Taking steps like these helps to show the insurance company you are taking the situation seriously. Missing some appoints for real life reasons is allowed, but there is a limit to “excuses” that cause a lack of medical treatment.

Keep in mind your lawyer may be able to recover compensation for lost wages. If you are concerned about missing work to attend an appointment because you will lose wages, you can include lost wages in your claim. Minnesota No-Fault covers up to $500.00 a week tax-free, and other lost wages can be part of the injury settlement. You may also have short- and long-term disability policies that help cushion lost wages while recovering. While missing work can be bad in the short term, in the long run, missing work to get treatment can help your claim.

What if I Disagree with a Recommended Treatment?

These things can happen, and you are not required to go through with a type of treatment simply because you are trying to recover compensation for your damages. Your first concern with your treatment is doing what you think is in your best interests after discussing things with your family and your doctor. Your health recovery is most important, and you need to feel comfortable and have confidence in the treatment plan.

If you are unsure about a recommended treatment, you can research it, discuss it with your doctor, talk to your family, and even seek another opinion about your treatment. Keep your attorney informed so he or she will be prepared if the insurance company tries to use this against you.

You should not make decisions about your treatment based on how you think a particular treatment may affect the value of your claim. For example, a related surgery may increase the value of your legal claim but should only be considered if as a human it would help your pain. You need to make the best decision for you as a person first, then we can deal with the legal side.

Following Your Doctor’s Orders

While continuing your medical treatment is vital to the success of your claim, so is following the doctor’s orders between appointments. If the doctor tells you to avoid certain activities or to limit physical activity, make sure to follow his or her orders.

Disobeying your doctor’s orders could cause your injuries to worsen and could give the insurance company reason to think you are exaggerating your injuries. Disobeying doctor’s orders can be particularly bad if you post pictures to social media of you engaging in physical activity that makes it look like you are not injured.

Give Us a Call to Discuss Your Car Crash Claim

We have been helping car accident victims recover compensation for their damages for more than 20 years. We have been able to secure settlements from numerous insurance companies and are also prepared to go to court when necessary.

We understand this is a difficult time for you and your family and that is why there are no upfront fees for our services. We want you to know there is no financial risk in meeting with us or having us handle your case. We do not get paid unless you receive compensation.

Give us a call today to learn more. (612) TSR-TIME

Could Your Personal Injury Case Make it to Trial or be Settled Before?

jury box in courtroomThis is one of the most common questions injury victims have when they meet with an attorney to discuss their claims. Injury victims often feel a lot of anxiety about the idea of having to go to court or testify in front of a jury.

What many injury victims do not know is that most cases are settled outside of the courtroom. If a case settles, then there is no need for a trial. Some cases do make it to court, but it is rare.

Below, learn more about why most personal injury cases are settled and never end up in court. We also discuss situations where a case may go to trial.

If you have legal questions after suffering a personal injury, the Minneapolis personal injury lawyers at TSR Injury Law are here to answer them. An initial consultation with a licensed attorney is free and there are no legal obligations.

Reasons Why Cases are Usually Settled

It is usually in the best interest of both parties to settle the case rather than going to trial. While the trial itself may only last a few days, there are numerous hurdles to clear before a trial can begin. That means trying to resolve a case with a jury trial is going to take much longer than settling the case.

Insurance companies routinely deny and try to underpay claims. However, if you are represented by a lawyer, you may have a much better chance of recovering the compensation you deserve. Settlement negotiations may take weeks or months, but attorneys are usually able to get the insurance company to make a reasonable offer. If your lawyer can get a fair offer from the insurance company, there is no reason to go to trial.

You Are Not Asking for a Large Amount of Compensation

The value of a case could also impact the chances of going to trial. For example, say you suffered a permanent injury with significant medical expenses and non-economic damages. The insurance company may make lowball offers hoping you will accept one. Settlement negotiations could drag on without an offer you or your attorney are willing to accept. This is a situation where you should seriously consider going to trial.

On the other hand, if it is clear to the insurer that your claim is valid, but you are not seeking an unusually large amount of damages, the insurance company is likely to settle. This is a much cheaper option for them than going to court.

You Have More Control Over Settlement Negotiations

One of the benefits of settlement negotiations is that you and your attorney are free to reject any offers. If you go to court, you must accept what the jury awards you. The downside of a jury verdict is that it carries no guarantee of winning. This means you could be awarded more than the insurance company offered, less, or nothing at all.

Settling is Usually Less Costly for Insurers

Insurance companies often prefer to settle because they could end up paying out a lot more compensation if the case goes to court. They also have no control over what a jury may decide to do.

How Long Could It Take to Reach a Settlement?

Each case is unique, but typically it takes 6-12 months to reach maximum medical improvement and be in a position to settle. You never want to settle and then discover more injuries. Some cases require immediate surgeries, and those situations can settle faster because the injury is known, fixed and understood by the parties.

Once a demand is sent, it may take about three to six months to negotiate a favorable settlement for a personal injury The insurance company needs to review the records, bills, expert reports, police investigations and all the other materials that go into a demand.

Reasons Cases Might go to Trial

Your case might go to trial if the insurance company does not make a settlement offer you are willing to accept. In some cases, they may deny the claim up front and offer no compensation. Filing a lawsuit may be the only way to get the insurance company to agree to negotiate a settlement.

It is important to note that filing a lawsuit does not always mean the insurance company will allow the case to go to trial. They may realize they do not have a good chance of a favorable outcome in a trial. Taking this step could get them to decide to make a better offer to the victim.

Insurers Are Confident in Their Case

Insurance companies usually have a lot of confidence in their case if they allow it to go to trial. They may feel confident that their evidence is strong enough to invalidate your claim when presented to a jury.

The Case Involves Significant Damages

The higher the value of a case, the more likely it is to go to trial. Insurance companies do not want to pay out compensation, particularly if it could be a large amount. Even if you have a strong case, the insurance company will look for some way to underpay your claim. They may stick to a lowball offer, even after your attorney files a lawsuit.

Insurers Are Playing Hardball

There are times when the insurance company does not have a strong case but decides to go to trial anyway. There is really no hard and fast way to know how an insurance company may respond. That is why it is vital to have an experienced attorney handling your claim. One factor insurance companies evaluate is who is your lawyer or law firm. Does the Firm have a reputation of folding or will they try a case?  If they think your lawyer will fold because of past actions, they will never pay the full amount owed.

How Long Could a Trial Take?

It could take a year or longer to reach the point where your attorney makes a closing argument and the jury deliberates on your case. There are many steps that precede a jury trial, not to mention the time your attorney may spend negotiating before a lawsuit is filed.

Why You Need an Attorney Who is Prepared to go to Court

Insurance companies are always looking for reasons to deny or underpay claims. If you have no attorney representing you, particularly one with courtroom experience, a lowball settlement offer is more likely. If an insurance company believes there is little chance a case could go to court, there is less incentive for them to make a better offer.

Your goal when seeking compensation is to recover all the compensation you need to help you and your family move forward. If your lawyer is not prepared to go to court, that goal could be much more difficult to accomplish.

At TSR, we are often able to settle claims without the need to go to court. However, we are always prepared if the insurance company denies or undervalues a claim.

Need Legal Help After a Personal Injury? Call TSR

For more than 25 years, TSR Injury Law has been securing compensation for personal injury victims. We are prepared to manage the legal process on behalf of our clients, at no upfront cost. We do not get paid for representing you unless you receive compensation.

Give us a call today. We are ready to help you seek the compensation you need and hold liable parties accountable for your damages.

TSR Injury Law. Experienced Attorneys. Proven Results. (612) TSR-TIME

Fault for a Car Crash When a Vehicle is Backing Up

adjusting car rearview mirrorWould you be surprised to learn there are thousands of car crashes that occur each year when drivers are backing up?

This includes crashes in parking lots and crashes involving drivers backing out of driveways and into lanes with passing traffic. Even though many of these crashes occur at relatively slow speeds, they can result in significant injuries that may have long recovery times. For example, backing up crashes could result in broken bones, serious bruises and whiplash.

Below, TSR Injury Law’s experienced attorneys discuss fault for these crashes. While the driver who was backing up is often at fault, there are times when fault may be shared. Sometimes both drivers involved in a backing up crash were negligent.

If you were injured in a crash in Minnesota, TSR Injury Law may be able to help you seek compensation for your damages. We offer a free consultation and do not charge upfront fees.

Why do Backing-Up Accidents Happen?

Like most car crashes, backing-up accidents are caused by some form of driver negligence. Unfortunately, drivers are often much too reckless when backing up, whether they are backing out of a parking space or driveway. They rely on their mirrors and do not turn to look behind them. Even if they do look, they may pull out way too fast.

Sometimes drivers in passing cars are at fault for trying to pass instead of stopping. For example, if a driver is already halfway out of a parking spot and a car tries to swing around, the driver of that car may be found liable.

Sometimes drivers take unnecessary risks when backing up. For example, drivers backing out of a driveway onto a main road may try to do so quickly because they do not want to wait longer for traffic to clear. Oncoming drivers may not be paying attention and may not be able to slow down quickly enough to avoid a crash.

Reasons Drivers Who Were Backing Up are Often at Fault

Typically, drivers on the road or through lane you are backing into have the right of way. That is one of the main reasons why drivers who are backing up are commonly found at fault for these crashes. If they are not 100 percent at fault, they likely still bear most of the fault.

There are exceptions to this general rule, however. If the oncoming driver was negligent in some way, he or she may be partially to blame. Examples of negligence that could lead to a backing-up crash include:

  • Speeding – Even though a speeding driver may have the right of way, speeding is still negligence. Driving over posted speed limits puts other drivers at risk because you have less time to react to dangerous situations.
  • Intoxication – If a driver was drunk or on drugs during the crash, he or she is likely to be found partially to blame for the crash.
  • Failing to yield – When another driver has the right of way, you are required to yield. Unfortunately, drivers are often impatient and do not want to wait for drivers to finish backing out.
  • Reckless lane changing – If a driver attempts to back out into a lane where traffic is clear, but another car moves into that lane at the last second without signaling, he or she may be held liable. Even if the oncoming driver signals, he or she may be held partially liable for changing lanes because the driver who was backing up thought the lane was clear.

Determining Fault for Parking Lot Crashes

Many backing-up crashes happen in parking lots. As there is a lot of activity in parking lots, determining fault for crashes may be difficult.

Below we discuss some common types of parking lot crashes and how fault may be assessed.

Backing Into a Parked Car

As the parked car was not moving, the driver of the other vehicle is likely to be found at fault for the crash. That said, if the car is illegally parked, the owner/driver of that vehicle could be found at fault. You would likely need to prove it was difficult to see the parked car if you were the one that hit it.

Backing Into a Moving Car

You are required to look behind you when backing out of a parking space to avoid hitting moving cars, parked cars or pedestrians. If you were the one backing up and a crash happens, you are likely to be found at fault. There may be an exception if the other driver was not paying attention or was speeding.

Two Cars Back Up at the Same Time

It is likely that the drivers of both vehicles will be partially responsible for the crash. However, one driver may be more at fault than the other, such as if one car was much further out of the parking spot than the other.

Preventing a Crash When Backing Up

The key to avoiding a crash in these situations is to be cautious. Take your time, look behind you, and if necessary, wait for traffic to pass. There is no need to rush because that may make a crash more likely.

Many vehicles are equipped with backup cameras. While these are helpful, you should not use them as a substitute for checking for traffic. Make sure to use your mirrors, peripheral vision and turn your head to be sure the path is clear.

Contact TSR Injury Law Today for Legal Help

Unsure of your legal options after a car crash?

TSR Injury Law is here to assist you in recovering compensation for your damages. Our Minneapolis car accident attorneys have helped numerous crash victims recover compensation – over more than 20 years we have secured $1 billion in compensation on behalf of our clients.

Schedule a free legal consultation today to learn more about how we may be able to assist you. There are no upfront fees or legal obligations. Our goal is to recover full compensation for your injuries and damages.

Contact us today. We are here to help: (612) TSR-TIME.