Rear-end automobile collisions that happen at low speeds could produce forces strong enough in magnitude to cause many injuries. These include soft tissue injuries, particularly in the neck, also called whiplash, and a highly common injury from rear-end collisions. Other people commonly suffer knee injuries, hip injuries, and other joint or soft tissue damage.
Most low-speed crashes are commonly called “fender benders,” meaning they do not cause significant damage to vehicles. However, never discount the potential of these crashes to cause injuries that require medical attention and can leave serious effects on your life.
Low-Speed Rear-End Collisions
A low-speed rear-end collision usually involves two vehicles, and the vehicle behind hits the one in front. These crashes often happen at 15 miles an hour or less. Often, the rear driver was not paying attention when the vehicle in front either suddenly stopped, slowed to a stop, or was slow in accelerating when the vehicle behind collided from the rear.
These crashes usually occur at traffic lights or in stop-and-go traffic where the driver of the vehicle behind did not see the other vehicle or followed too closely to stop in time to avoid the collision. The driver or passenger in the front vehicle is almost always the one who files a personal injury claim against the driver who hit their vehicle.
The rear driver can challenge liability for the crash if they believe that the front driver was to blame. This might happen when the front driver cuts off the other driver or otherwise slams on their brakes without warning.
The speed can be low enough that the airbags might not trigger and deploy. This can also cause people and insurance companies to underestimate the injuries that happened in the collision. But enough forces can be present that can injure many parts of the body in serious ways.
Misperceptions About Low-Speed Collisions
People often erroneously believe, despite widely available evidence, that low low-speed, low-impact collisions rarely or hardly ever leave a driver or passengers with injuries. Leading those who peddle this wrong information are insurance claims adjusters who obviously have a self-corporate interest to undervalue claims. By challenging the potential for serious injuries, adjusters try to get claimants to accept low settlement offers.
The fact is that low-speed collisions can and do cause injuries, and anyone with such injuries should always fight for the compensation they deserve. Find a car accident lawyer with experience handling personal injury claims for clients after low-speed crashes.
Common Slow-Speed Collision Injuries
As noted above, whiplash is one common injury that occurs in low-speed collisions. Other injuries might include concussions, dislocations, fractures, and more.
Some symptoms to watch out for include the following:
- Stiffness and pain in the neck area
- Shoulder and lower back pain
- Inability to concentrate
- Lack of concentration
- Memory loss or complications
- Dizziness, irritability, and tiredness
- Trouble getting or staying asleep
- Motion difficulties
If you have any of these symptoms, you should seek a medical evaluation right away. Never discount signs of a possible injury, even if your collision happened at a lower speed.
What to Do After a Low-Speed Collision
These low-speed collisions are possible even for the most careful drivers, and they are bound to happen at one point during your driving history. While you cannot always avoid this type of collision, there are things you can do once they occur to protect your rights to compensation from the at-fault driver.
Be Careful What You Say
It is all too easy to say something after a collision that can jeopardize your claim. This is true at the scene or in the following days and weeks. When the police report to the scene or contact you at a later date, never minimize the crash or say anything that they might construe to blame you for the crash. The same is true in conversations with the other driver, insurance adjusters, or on social media. Even comments that seem harmless to you can work against you in your claim.
Getting Medical Help
Even if you see no visible injuries, if you feel any pain or discomfort, seek medical attention immediately after the low-speed collision. Many injuries common in low-speed crashes are not visible from the outside, so you might need to undergo diagnostic imaging tests to identify any injuries.
Some symptoms of injuries could take more time to manifest, and the sooner you get examined to identify them, the better for you. Then, make sure you follow all treatment plans, which shows that you are taking your injuries seriously.
Learn What a Car Accident Lawyer Can Do for You
If you have suffered an injury in a low-speed crash, consult a car accident lawyer who can assess your case and give you advice on the best way forward to obtain compensation for your injuries. Even if you were the rear driver and assume that you will be to blame, you should discuss a possible case with an attorney if you believe you did nothing wrong.
Once the lawyer establishes that you have a car crash case, they can do several things to prepare and file a strong injury claim seeking full compensation for what you deserve.
Some of the costs a car accident lawyer can help you recover are:
- Having your motor vehicle inspected and repaired if necessary
- Arranging for a rental car to use while your vehicle is at the repair shop
- The costs and expenses related to your medical care, including costs of any outpatient medical care you received
- Medication to manage your pain and other necessary prescription drugs
- Costs for rehabilitation and physical therapy
- Lost income and wages for any missed work
- Pain and suffering damages
If you have suffered an injury in a low-speed collision in Illinois, then speak to a local car accident lawyer for advice on what you need to do to obtain compensation for those injuries.