Liability insurance adjusters frequently throw around the phrase “minor impact collision” to describe an automobile accident where the property damage to a vehicle is either unable to be seen by the naked eye or appears to be due to a low speed collision. Any collision where the physical damage to the vehicles makes the collision appear like nothing more than a fender bender is often considered a minor impact collision.
Auto insurance companies routinely try to exploit the myth that car wrecks occurring at less than 10 mph, otherwise known as “low-impact car accidents,” cannot result in injuries. Adjusters will point to the speed of vehicles involved and attempt to focus on the minimal damage to the cars. They will also sometimes note the lack of tread marks in the road or the fact that the injured party did not immediately seek medical treatment. All of this is done in an effort to undermine your claim and cause you to not seek the treatment you may be needing or make you believe the low value settlement being offered is fair.
One simply cannot accurately measure the degree of injury by comparing the damage done to large pieces of steel and metal. Considering that the average mid-sized sedan on the roads today weighs 3,351 pounds, an impact at a speed as slow as 10 mph will result in an impact force of approximately 1,500 foot-pounds. To put this into perspective, it is estimated that the amount of force contained in a Mike Tyson punch was only 1,200 foot-pounds. With this much energy being transferred and the average American weighing only 175 pounds, the potential for serious injury is high. To learn more about the force involved in a collision check out this article from the National Safety Commission.
Moreover, whether or not someone is injured in a car accident is determined by a multitude of factors beside just the speed at the time of impact, including:
- Age of the individual
- Whether a seatbelt was worn
- Angle of the impact
- Weight and/or height of the individual
- Overall physical condition of the individual
- Pre-existing medical conditions of the individual
- Location of the individual in the vehicle
At Miller, Dawson, Sigal & Ward Injury Attorneys, we recognize that low-impact collisions absolutely have the potential to cause injuries – and sometimes substantial and lasting impairments. If you’ve been suffered injuries after being in a car accident, contact the Thumbs Up Guys today at (843) 885-8000 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case evaluation.