Can I Recover Compensation for a Low-Impact Vehicle Collision?
Posted on behalf of Lynch Law Firm on May 12, 2022 in Car Accidents News
There is a common misunderstanding that a low-impact collision is a minor accident that does not result in major injuries. Unfortunately, these types of crashes can result in serious or long-lasting ailments. Assuming these accidents are minor is often a bad idea as you could delay treatment, and this could make your condition worse.
If you were hurt in a low-impact crash, you may be wondering whether you can recover compensation for your damages. Our New Jersey car accident attorneys can discuss your claim during a free consultation to see what legal options may be available to you.
There are no upfront fees, and we do not get paid unless we recover compensation on your behalf.
What is Considered a Low-Impact Collision?
A low-impact collision is usually a crash that occurs at a low speed, usually under 15 miles per hour. Also called a “fender bender,” a low-impact crash is most likely to occur in stop-and-go traffic or a parking lot.
Some of the common causes of low-impact collisions are:
- Low visibility
- Distracted driving
- Following too closely
- Poor road conditions
- Failing to obey yield signs
- Failure to check a blind spot
In some cases, a low-impact collision could set off a chain reaction accident involving multiple vehicles.
What Types of Injuries May Occur in a Low-Impact Crash?
While an accident at less than 15 miles per hour may not sound like it could result in any serious injuries, some victims may experience long-lasting effects. Serious injuries may be more likely if the injury victim had a prior injury that was aggravated by the collision.
Whiplash is one of the most common types of injuries experienced in a low-impact crash. This type of injury occurs when your head and neck are whipped back and forth too quickly, causing damage to the tendons, muscles and ligaments in the neck and shoulders. Whiplash can result in:
- Shoulder pain
- Neck pain
- Soft-tissue damage
A low-impact crash could also result in a concussion if the victim hits his or her head on a hard surface inside a vehicle or if his or her brain is rattled by the collision. The brain, just like the spine, is a very delicate organ that could be seriously damaged in low-impact crashes. Even if you are only shaken around and do not hit your head, the brain could move around and suffer damage.
The impact from another vehicle, even at low speeds, could trigger an airbag release. Although airbags are meant to help reduce injury, they can be dangerous when deployed. Some accident victims have been burned by airbags, suffered facial injuries or other serious injuries.
What Compensation May Be Available After a Low-Impact Crash?
Low-impact accident victims may be able to recover compensation for a variety of damages, depending on several factors.
It is important to keep in mind that New Jersey is a no-fault state, so compensation for your economic damages should be covered by your own insurance policy. When filing a Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claim, accident victims may be able to recover compensation for the following:
- Lost wages
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractic therapy
- Prescription medication
- Image testing (MRI, CT scan, X-Ray)
You may only be able to recover economic damages up to your PIP limits, so it is important to review your policy with our knowledgeable attorneys. If your damages exceed your own insurance policy’s limits, you may be able to file a third-party claim with the at-fault driver’s insurance.
Seeking compensation for your non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering, for a low-impact collision could be more complex. Your options depend on whether you selected a basic or standard insurance policy with the limited or unlimited right to sue.
Insurers Will Try to Deny Your Claim
The liable insurance company will most likely try to fight back against your claim for a low-impact accident in one of two ways.
First, the insurance company will claim you were not injured in the crash because it was a collision that occurred at low speed. However, you may be able to prove you do have an injury by disclosing your medical records.
If you manage to successfully prove your injuries to the insurer, they will try to argue that your injuries are from a prior accident and that they bear no liability for your damages.
While it may be true in some instances that an accident victim had a prior injury or preexisting condition, they may be able to prove an old injury was aggravated by the crash. A person with a preexisting condition that makes him or her vulnerable to serious injury, even in a minor crash, may still recover compensation.
We Are Ready to Help. Call Today
Low-impact accidents can result in injuries to you and damage to your property. Victims of these crashes may have the right to pursue compensation.
Let our knowledgeable attorneys help you through the process of filing a claim so you may be able to pursue maximum compensation.
We offer a free consultation to discuss your options and there are no upfront fees. Our attorneys have decades of experience and are ready to help.
Call (800) 518-0508 today to get started.
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