One of the most common types of car accidents here in Georgia and across the country are rear-end crashes. These can happen for just about any reason, in any weather and at any speed. However, we want to focus on low-speed collisions. Many people – and insurance companies – think that a low-speed accident means no injuries.
Unfortunately, that can’t be further from the truth. Experts have found that many slow-speed crashes can actually cause severe and long-term injuries, most notably concussions and other head trauma.
Physical effects of a low-speed car accident
Here’s the science behind a car accident, especially rear-end collisions. When your car is struck from behind, no matter what speed either car is going, your torso continues to move with the vehicle but your head and neck remain stationary. When this occurs, your neck experiences extension and flexion as it whips back and then forward, resulting in the soft tissue injury called whiplash.
Many insurance companies may attempt to deny or minimize a personal injury claim involving injuries from low-speed car accidents, stating that these crashes are not serious enough to cause severe or lasting injury. However, Harvard Medical School reports that if you’re sitting in a stationary car that’s hit by another vehicle moving only 10mph, that collision can put up to 9 Gs of force on your neck.
It’s important to remember that your head and neck don’t have to strike anything in order to suffer injuries. A minor case of whiplash can heal in a few days with proper medical care and rest. However, some people may experience chronic pain and other complications, including:
- Blurred vision
- Depression or anxiety
- Headaches or migraines
- Loss of range of motion
- Memory issues
- Nausea and dizziness
- Neck pain and stiffness
- Pain in the back or shoulders
If you were involved in a low-speed wreck, you should always seek medical attention – even if it appears you aren’t injured at the scene. Many of these injuries may not manifest until a few days after the accident occurs.
Traumatic brain injury and low-impact crashes
When the head and neck snap back and forth after your vehicle is hit at any speed, your brain gets jostled around inside the skull. This sudden movement can cause your brain to hit your skull, damaging the delicate tissues in the brain, resulting in a mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), or concussion. Symptoms of mTBI are similar to whiplash, but can lead to more serious complications, including:
- Anxiety and depression
- Confusion or aggression
- Light and sound sensitivity
- Nausea and vomiting
- Personality changes
- Sleep disturbances
- Slurred speech or speech difficulty
These symptoms can range from minor to severe, depending on the severity of the brain injury. Again, if you are involved in a car accident, you should always seek medical attention.
Our Georgia car accident attorneys understand how to handle these types of personal injury claims, especially when insurance companies attempt to deny your claim. We know how to prove that low-speed collisions can cause significant injury.
When you are injured in a car crash that wasn’t your fault, the personal injury lawyers at Harris Lowry Manton LLP are here to help. Our legal team helps you seek maximum compensation for your injuries and losses so you can take the time to heal from your injuries. Please contact us at 404-961-7650 for our Atlanta office, or in Savannah at 912-651-9967, or fill out our contact form, and schedule your free consultation today.