Written by attorney Steven Edwin Martin

Low Impact Auto Accidents

A low impact auto accident is generally defined as an incident that takes place atspeeds less than 10 miles per hour (mph). This type of collision usually causes the least amount of damage to the vehicles involved. Body injuries can result from any accident and that includes ones that occur with vehicles going less than 10 mph. Soft tissue injuries are the most common problem for those involved in a low impact accident.

A motor vehicle accident that takes place at speeds between under 10 mph often brings about little visible damage to the cars involved. Sometimes due to the fact that minimal damage was done to vehicle the injuries to the people in the vehicles are overlooked. This does not mean that bodily injury did not occur to the passengers during the crash. While an automobile is built to take a slow 5 to 10 mph crash that is not true for your body. In a low impact accident a person’s soft tissue can easily be damaged. The back and neck are the usual problem spots for soft tissue injuries and can result in life changing injuries. Soft tissue is a person’s ligaments, tendons and muscles. Soft tissue injuries are typically classified as contusions or bruises, sprains or strains. While these injuries may not appear as dramatic as a broken bone, if you have ever suffered from a sprained ankle or similar injury you know that they can be both painful and debilitating.

A contusion is an injury to the soft tissue caused by blunt force. This force produces pooling of blood around the injury causing discoloring of the skin. This is commonly referred to as a bruise. Bruising can be found in different shapes and colors.

A sprain is an injury to a ligament often brought about by wrenching or twisting of a joint. A sprain canbe a simple sprain, a partial tear or a complete tear. This can happen to various parts of a person’s body during an accident. It is not uncommon for a person to twist in their seat as a vehicle during the impact phase of the accident.

A strain is an injury to the muscle or tendon caused by overuse, force or stretching. The force of the car crash can push on a person’s soft tissue or cause parts to stretch in anabnormal way. Muscles and tendons support your bones. A strain may cause a partial or complete tear in the muscle and tendon combination.

The neck of a car occupant can whip forward causing the from a rear impact injuryknown as whiplash. General Motors (GM) conducted a study regarding crashes at speeds below eight mph. GM found, that injuries do occur at such low speeds. The study also showed that whiplash injuries account for more than half of all injuries connected tovehicular accidents.

A significant percent of those hurt in low speed collisions have reported having neck pain up to three years later. This injury is likely to be worse in those that experienced in a rear end collision. Depending on the age of the person this injury could cause permanent disability.

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