Some car accidents are catastrophic; others are relatively minor by comparison. In either scenario, auto collisions are never a positive thing for those involved. Even minor crashes can result in life-altering injuries, including permanent injury from relatively low-speed car accidents. So, can a 5-mph car crash cause permanent injury? Absolutely. Just because a car crash didn’t result in broken bones, lacerations, or other highly observable injuries doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t consult a doctor or contact an attorney.
According to the 2016 Utah Crash Facts provided by the Utah Department of Public Safety, “Speed is the leading unsafe driving behavior that contributes to deaths.”[i] In fact, “Speed was a factor in 38% of fatal crashes.”[i] Statistically speaking, roughly 15% of speed-related accidents occurred under 30 mph.[i] However, there can still be a permanent injury from low-speed car accidents. Even if the low speed didn’t result in substantial damage to your car, vehicle damage or “property damage is neither a valid predictor of acute injury risk nor of symptom duration.”[ii] Often times, victims of car accidents brush aside the nagging soreness and stiffness in their neck, back, or head simply because they feel the car accident itself wasn’t severe enough. In reality, it doesn’t take much to result in life-changing damage to your body. According to some authorities, “no treatment currently exists to restore an injured tendon or ligament to its normal condition.”[iii] In addition, “Ligament healing is often slow and incomplete, as is the joint laxity caused by ligament injury which shows improvement gradually over a period of six weeks to a year after injury,” but “even at this point, objective mechanical laxity and subjective joint instability are still observed in a large percentage of patients.”[iv] Don’t discount the possibility of sustaining permanent injury from low-speed car accidents. Can a 5-mph car crash cause permanent injury? It certainly can. It would be wise to see a doctor and contact an attorney if you have been injured. The attorneys at Hepworth & Associates can help you seek compensation for any personal injuries you may have sustained as a result of a car crash. Call our firm at (801) 845-9197 to seek professional help. [i] https://highwaysafety.utah.gov/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2015/02/SpeedFactSheet2016.pdf [ii] Croft, A.C. and Freeman, M.D. (2005) Correlating crash severity with injury risk, injury severity, and long-term symptoms in low velocity motor vehicle collisions. Medical Science Monitor, 11(10), RA316-321 at p. 320. [iii] Tozer, S. and Duprez, D. (2005). Tendon and ligament: Development, repair and disease. Birth Defects Research Part C: Embryo Today: Reviews, 75(3), 226-236 at p. 231. [iv] Hauser, R.A., Dolan, E.E. Phillips, J.J., Newlin, A.C., Moore R.E., and Woldin, B.A. (2013). Ligament injury and healing: A review of current clinical diagnostics and therapeutics. The Open Rehabilitation Journal, 6, 1-20 at p. 15. The information contained in the article is intended for educational purposes only. Nothing in this article is intended to constitute legal advice, and by no means should be construed as such.