An auto accident that causes minor damage to the car does not necessarily mean that the driver or passengers in the car were not seriously injured. Especially today, cars are built so well that some car accidents may leave nothing more than a scratch. Despite the lack of obvious evidence that your car was involved in a crash, you may still be seriously injured. A good example of this is the egg carton theory. When shopping for eggs, don’t you open the carton to make sure none of the eggs are cracked? That is because the true story of what happened inside the carton cannot be judged by the carton itself. That same logic applies to car accidents.
Many times, what may appear to be minor injuries in the first few days or weeks after the accident can turn out to be major injuries. Some of these injuries include: injuries to your spine, disc protrusions, whiplash, herniated discs, lower back pain, nerve damage, carpal tunnel, nerve entrapment, TMJ disorder, post-concussion syndrome, traumatic brain injuries and/or headaches and many more types of injuries.
Sometimes you can even suffer injuries from a “near miss” situation. A near miss is an accident that does not happen; someone swerves at the last second, your brakes save you, or a car drives off the road to avoid another car. In these situations, the sudden movement, sudden stopping, or irregular movement can still lead to injuries. The sudden movement, known as whiplash, can cause your head to jerk violently and snap back into place. This type of sudden movement can damage tendons and muscles in your neck. These kinds of injuries can happen even in low-speed car accidents with no damage, or without an accident.
Despite how common it is, whiplash can be a severe injury. Every case is different, some whiplash injuries heal over time, but there are many whiplash injuries that cause pain, discomfort, and numbness for the rest of their lives. Whiplash is also tricky, since it might not be obvious right after an accident or near miss. Because of the way the muscles and tendons in your neck work, the injury may take until the next day to “set in.” Do not hesitate to talk to a doctor, even days after a car accident.
You can also suffer serious injuries requiring major surgery despite a low impact to your car when you have a preexisting condition making it more susceptible to injuries than someone who does not have such preexisting conditions. For example you could have ongoing disc degeneration making it more likely the discs in your spine become injured following an accident. Or you could have some genetic disorder – such as a connective tissue disorder – making it more likely your back or other part of your body suffers a serious injury despite a minor impact to your car.
If you’ve been in an auto accident, you should focus on how you feel. If you are injured, you have a right to be examined by a doctor. You don’t need to be concerned that the insurance company will try to use the lack of damage to your car against you. There are many medical and scientific studies that prove a person can be seriously injured even if his or her car suffered no damage or minimal damage.
If you believe that you were injured in a car accident, The Thistle Law Firm is experienced in these claims and can help you understand your legal options and answer your questions at 215-568-6800.