How ‘Minor’ Car Crashes Can Cause Significant Injuries
Drivers 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
- Pain in your back
- 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:
- 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