Some car accidents are referred to as low-impact collisions because they occur at a relatively slow speed. These crashes usually do not cause significant damage to the vehicles involved, beyond some scratches and minor dents.
Often, airbags do not deploy after a low-impact collision. Airbags are designed to deploy when a crash happens at about 16 miles per hour or faster. If you were traveling at a slower speed, it is unlikely the airbags will deploy.
Despite what the liable insurance company may say about these crashes, victims may still be able to seek compensation for damages. Low-impact crashes, including those where the airbags did not deploy, could cause significant neck, back or spine injuries. Even though insurance companies often dismiss soft-tissue injuries as minor in nature, they can be quite significant.
Below, we discuss the injuries that could occur in crashes with no airbag deployment and how victims of these crashes may be eligible to seek compensation.
If you are unsure if you have a case, give us a call today to discuss how we may be able to assist you. The initial consultation is free and there are no upfront fees for our services.
Types of Low-Impact Collisions That May Not Trigger Airbag Deployment
There are various situations when a low-impact crash could occur. For example, sometimes cars collide in heavy/stop-and-go traffic when one driver attempts to change lanes.
Low-impact crashes also happen at:
- Four-way stops
- Pedestrian zones, like crosswalks
- Parking lots
- School zones, as these crashes may involve school buses
Another example of a low-impact collision is a rear-end collision at low speeds, such as one that occurs at a stop sign or a red light. For example, a driver stopped at a red light may get rear-ended by a driver who was not paying attention.
Sometimes the rear driver may think the lead driver is going when he or she was only moving forward slightly. The rear driver may hit the gas thinking the lead driver is going and a crash may result.
It is important to note airbags may not deploy in a rollover crash. The rollover may not have resulted from a collision with another vehicle. There is often little deceleration from front to rear. Even though there was little to no impact or airbag deployment, the crash can cause serious injuries.
Insurance companies routinely downplay the severity of a low-impact crash. They are hoping crash victims will think recovering compensation will be too difficult. Insurers may even tell victims hiring an attorney is expensive and the lawyer will take a lot of the settlement.
However, at Galloway Jefcoat there are no upfront fees and we do not get paid unless our clients receive compensation.
Injuries From Low-Impact Crashes
Rear-end crashes are the most common type of low-impact accident. These collisions can cause the driver’s head to snap forward and backward violently in a whipping motion. That is how the term whiplash came about when describing injuries that often happen in rear-end accidents.
Whiplash can be a severe injury that causes significant pain for a prolonged period. Whiplash can restrict range of motion and cause pain in your neck, back and arms. The soft tissues in the neck simply cannot withstand the forces that act upon them in a car crash.
Even though the insurance company may downplay the severity of whiplash or even deny the existence of an injury, you may be able to recover compensation for medical expenses and other damages.
The spine could also suffer damage in a low-impact collision. For example, victims could suffer a herniated disc, which can press on nerves and cause significant pain.
Other injuries could include:
- Blunt force trauma
- Pulled muscle
- Torn ligament
These injuries can occur because the body accelerates faster than the vehicle, causing the body to absorb most of the force of impact. Even at lower speeds, the body is not built to fully withstand the force of impact of a crash.
It is important to note a low-impact crash could easily aggravate an existing injury, such as a back injury, broken bone or soft-tissue damage. While you cannot seek compensation for the original injury, you could seek compensation for aggravation of the existing injury. However, these types of claims are difficult to prove, and victims would greatly benefit from the help of an experienced attorney.
The central issue in a personal injury claim is whether your injuries were caused by another’s negligence. If they were, and you suffered damages, you have the right to seek compensation for those damages.
Call Today to Discuss Legal Options
Car crash victims often have many questions about their options and the value of their claim for compensation. Insurance companies know this, which is why they often try to mislead crash victims. They may try to convince crash victims they do not have a case or that it is not worth much compensation.
That is why it is so important to discuss the situation with an experienced attorney. The licensed Lafayette vehicle accident attorneys at Galloway Jefcoat can explain your legal options. Unlike the insurance company, we are focused on your best interests.
Call Galloway Jefcoat for legal assistance. (337) 984-8020