Insurance companies would love for you to think that the only car accidents that can cause injuries are high impact collisions. To be sure, it is easy to claim a high velocity impact resulted in injury. Insurance adjusters are known to look at the photos of the vehicles involved and make a judgment as to how severe the injuries involved are likely to be. However, California courts have consistently awarded high verdicts to plaintiffs who were injured in low or moderate impact collisions.
What's the difference between 'high impact,' 'moderate impact' and 'low impact'?
There is no objective measure of whether an impact is high or low, or somewhere in-between. A police officer's report may make mention of the rate of impact, but otherwise this is largely determined by an insurance adjuster, based on statements from the involved parties. More likely, however, they are prone to simply looking at photos and making a determination. What you say is moderate impact may be considered high or low impact by someone else.
Why does it matter?
If an insurance adjuster says you were involved in a low impact collision, they are likely to either deny your injury claim altogether, or at best offer you a small amount of money to settle. This simple, subjective categorization by an insurance adjuster can severely limit the amount of money the at-fault party's insurance will pay to cover your medical bills and pain and suffering.
What if you're injured in a 'low-impact' auto accident?
If you were injured and it was not your fault, you're entitled to have your medical bills and pain and suffering paid by the at-fault driver's insurance. A good personal injury attorney will argue on your behalf and make sure you're not taken advantage of in reaching a fair settlement. First, you should consult an injury attorney. You should also seek reasonable and necessary medical treatment as soon as possible. This is extremely important, as insurance companies love to tell claimants they waited too long to seek medical treatment. See a doctor as soon as possible. This will put you on the path to recovery, but it will also document your injuries, a crucial part of any injury claim.
What About 'Pre-Existing' Conditions?
Sometimes, even a low-speed collision can result in great injury. For example, if you are recovering from a surgery, and you're hit from behind, the impact may aggravate a 'pre-existing' condition. The person who hit you did not know you were recovering from a surgery, but they are still liable for aggravating your delicate condition. Cases like these can be complicated, but an experienced car accident attorney will provide invaluable guidance. If it was not your fault, but you were injured, a personal injury lawyer will likely be able to make sure you're able to recover what the law entitles you to.
The Lions Injury Lawyers have successfully recovered large settlements in personal injury cases that were the result of so-called 'low-impact' collisions. We recovered $100,000 on a case where the damage to our injured client's car was $1,200. How? The injury was legitimate, and the client's medical records clearly showed that the injury was the result of the car accident. If you were involved in a California car accident and were injured, even if the damage to your car was not severe, give us a call at (949) 329-5000 for a free consultation.