One of my recent clients is a woman who was rear-ended in a low impact car accident. The car’s damage was minimal and could be repaired for under $800. However, her body didn’t fare as well. She required two shoulder surgeries and incurred medical expenses that exceeded her underlying insurance. She was running into resistance from her insurance company. They didn’t believe that a small low speed accident in which the car received little damage could result in over $38,000 in post-surgery medical costs for the woman. This is very common with insurance companies. They are very skeptical when there’s not much damage to the car. They are going to question it. What appeared on the surface to just be a low impact accident ended with the insurance provider not wanting to cover the costs this woman incurred. She also had uninsured motorist coverage and insurance didn’t want to cover that either. She had to take the matter to court. She came to me and I helped her receive a six figure settlement on her case.
The woman’s doctor was brought in to give a testimony during the case and reinforced that this injury could only have been from this accident. It was not a pre-existing condition. While driving, her arm was positioned in a way that her shoulder absorbed the impact.
Low impact refers to speeds between 1 and 25 miles per hour. Experts have evidence that even at speeds of 5 miles per hour significant injuries can occur. Further research documents that high impact forces are transmitted directly to the occupant during low speed impacts and that the vehicle doesn’t begin to show damage until impact speed exceeds 20 miles per hour.
These types of cases can be challenging. With a low impact rear-end collision the car only receives a scratch, or maybe the bumper is knocked off. But you may be impacted deeply in your body, depending on your position when the impact occurs. Yet a jury is going to be less inclined to side with you in a low impact case. Sometimes people who are hurt less in a more damaged car receive a more supportive response from a jury. So these cases are tricky. Yet with the right legal representation, we can bring in the right experts and paint a more accurate and comprehensive story. After all the pain and struggle this woman went through I was able to find a better way to get her story across to a jury than she could get across to the insurance company on her own. We just settled for $100,000.
Just because you are in a low impact car accident does not mean you don’t suffer physical injury. There are cases where people in this scenario suffer greatly. Do not assume you will walk away scott free. Do not assume your insurance will cover an accident without putting up a fight. If you or someone you know has been rear-ended in a low impact accident call me. I can present a better way for you. (251) 202-3374