How many times have you heard someone describing a car accident by saying, “Oh, don't worry, it barely left a scratch?” Often when a car accident occurs there becomes this unwritten (and quite fictional) decree that property damage and injury to the occupants of the vehicle somehow form a directly proportional relationship. This thought has become so inbred into our minds that when a car accident occurs and there is minimal damage, we assume there is no way we could be injured. Guess who else invests heavily into this thought? Insurance companies; some would even go as far to say they are literally taking the idea all the way to the bank.
According to the Mayo Clinic “…whiplash is a neck injury due to the forceful, rapid back and forth movement of the neck…”
Did you know that an impact of 2.5 MPH produces enough force to result in a cervical (neck) whiplash injury? This impact can assert 13lbs of force on your head.
It's like the gentle hurling of a large bowling ball; nothing to worry about. Speaking on this force, it can be brought on and stopped causing a variety of different spinal structure issues. The force of impact can cause a sprain in the cervical spine which is basically a tear or a stretch injury to the ligaments surrounding your spine and connected to your vertebrae.
The more ligaments stretch, the more compression that can be caused on the spine. This in turn can cause injury to the facet joints. The functional purpose of facet joints within the spinal column are to keep the spinal column from tipping over, becoming twisted or having excessive motion. Facet joints act as hinges allowing your vertebrae to pivot and slide against each other enabling a wide range of motion in the neck. Facet joints have small nerves attached to the joints called medial branch nerves. These nerves can send pain signals to the brain when a whiplash injury occurs.
It's true, automobiles today are safer than ever before but don't confuse myth with fact; cars are built to withstand force, your body is not. Most vehicles today are built with force absorption components in the front and in the rear called bumper mounts and absorbers. In most instances of a low impact collision that shows little to no damage, the velocity and accompanying force had to be transferred somewhere. Remember that bowling ball we talked about? Even with the addition and advancement of these components, a low impact collision can cause significant long-lasting injuries. Just because your car is operational, and the air bags didn't deploy doesn't mean you are ok. If you are involved in any car accident, take the time to get yourself evaluated.
Don't ever let an insurance company convince you that you aren't injured because there isn't “enough property damage.” At Kinney & Moore, Phil and Ben are more than knowledgeable on how to navigate low impact cases to ensure you receive the justice you deserve, nothing less. If you have been involved in a low impact/low damage car accident or trucking accident, please give us a call at 904-642-4111 for a free case evaluation.