Can I Still Suffer Serious Injuries from Low-Speed Accidents?


When we think of car accidents that cause serious injuries, our minds often jump to scenes of high-impact crashes involving vehicles traveling at high speeds. Although some of the most dramatic car accidents do involve such intense scenarios, the majority of car accidents are fender-benders or low-speed collisions that leave little damage to the cars involved. However, even car accidents that only involve low speeds can still result in serious and lasting injuries. 

What Are the Characteristics of a Typical Low-Speed Collision?

A low-speed car accident usually involves speeds under 10 miles per hour. Oftentimes one of the vehicles is at a complete stop. Usually, these types of collisions involve little to no damage to either vehicle. 

What Can Lead to a Low-Speed, Low-Impact Crash?

Some common scenarios for low-speed car crashes are as follows: 

  • One car abruptly pulls out of a spot in a parking lot into the lane where it is struck by another vehicle. 
  • A car fails to slow down enough or fully stop at a stop sign or stop light, while anticipating that the cars ahead will move fast enough to get out of the way, causing a rear-end collision. 
  • A driver stopped at a traffic light preemptively moves forward and rear-ends the car in front.  
  • A multi-car chain reaction causes a several accidents owing to one driver’s negligent actions. 

What Makes a Personal Injury Claim Challenging with These Accidents?

Car insurance companies have been known to deny personal injury claims on the basis that the accident in question did not result in serious property damage. The idea is that the minimal damage to the vehicles involved suggests that the accident was not serious.  

What Injuries Can Result from Low-Speed, Low-Impact Car Accidents?

Despite the large number of claims denials, there are many proven cases of serious injuries caused by low-speed crashes. These include: 

  • Whiplash. The most common car accident injury, whiplash occurs when force from the collision causes a person’s head, neck, and upper body to be thrown violently inside their vehicle. The weight of the head pulls on the neck, shoulders, and upper back, causing damage to muscles and connective tissues.
  • Other soft tissue injuries. Strains, sprains, and tears to ligaments, tendons, and muscles can happen in other areas of the body as well, including the shoulders, arms, and other places. Injuries to soft tissues can be difficult to detect on medical imaging machines. They often involve severe pain and reduced function. These injuries may also involve lasting numbness, tingling, or weakness. 
  • Herniated disk. A slipped disk or herniated disk is the result of a jarring injury that causes the protective cushioning between vertebrae of the spine be pushed out of place. This type of injury can cause extreme pain and difficulty walking, standing, or sitting upright. 
  • Traumatic brain injuries. When a person endures a sudden and violent thrust, as in a car accident, they may hit their head. Sometimes even without making contact that would result in bruises or other physical signs, the force can cause the brain to rattle around inside the skull and cause concussion, serious headaches, or other brain trauma. 

How Can Low-Speed Accidents Cause Serious Injuries?

The human body is defenseless against the force of a two-ton vehicle, even at low-speeds. When a seemingly simple crash causes significant damage to a person’s body, it is usually due to a principle called magnification of acceleration. This principle shows that in a low-speed car accident, the force created and transferred to the occupant’s car will affect the occupants at a higher rate, tossing them around at a much higher speed. 

How Can I Prove a Personal Injury Claim in a Low-Speed, Low-Impact Collision?

One of the most important things you can do to prove a personal injury claim after a low-speed car accident is to collect and preserve evidence that proves your injuries. Although pictures of the scene and witness testimony of the collision may be common ways to support claims in an accident case, they may not be the most relevant types of evidence to prove physical injuries. Rather, you will need to produce medical records and other proof that your injury is real and that it is linked to the accident. 

The best way to prove these things is to seek medical attention right away. This will indicate that the timeline of your injuries matches with the accident event. If your symptoms are somewhat delayed, or if you brush them off until they are undeniable, it may complicate your ability to demonstrate their connection to the accident.

Another crucial way to substantiate your injury claim is to follow through on the recommendations for your medical care. Keeping doctor’s appointments and performing physical therapy are the best way to prove that you are truly hurt and that you are taking your recovery seriously. 

What Should I Do Immediately after a Low-Speed Car Accident?

As in any accident, you should exchange contact and insurance information, even if there seems to be no vehicle damage. Injuries may not show up right away, so you will want to obtain this information while it is available. A police officer should be called to the scene to create an official report, which should be available in the days following the accident. 

You should notify the car insurance carrier of the crash. Importantly, you should not give any statements that suggest you are uninjured. Even if you think your headaches are just from the stress of the incident or that your neck pain will subside, you should take any physical symptoms seriously and have them evaluated by a doctor. If your injuries turn out to be more serious that you first thought, you will be in a better position to press for a claim to cover your losses. 

Mount Laurel Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Office of David S. Rochman Help Injured Clients Recover from Their Accident

Even low-speed car accidents can cause significant personal injury. If you have been injured in a car accident, reach out to the Mount Laurel car accident lawyers at the Law Office of David S. Rochman. Our experienced legal team will fight to secure the compensation for which you are entitled. Call us at 856-751-2345 or contact us online today to schedule a free consultation. Located in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout Mount Laurel and surrounding areas.