No matter how carefully you drive, the odds are that you will be in a car accident at some point in your life. Hopefully, your collision will not be that serious and you do not suffer major or life threatening injuries. However, even if you’re in a low-impact “fender bender,” you may be more injured than you think.
A low-impact crash does not necessarily mean low-damages or bodily injury. In fact, the injuries you may sustain in a low-impact collision can be serious. And what’s worse is that these injuries may not even present themselves or be noticeable until years after your accident. For this reason, it is always best to report a fender-bender, no matter how minimal the accident seems, so that you are protected and can recover damages down the line when your injuries become noticeable.
The insurance industry has a category of claims referred to as MIST claims. This stands for Minor Impact, Soft Tissue. If your property damage is $1500 or less, your claim will likely be assigned to a MIST adjuster, who will assert the “MIST myth” to justify their low-ball offers. The MIST myth says your property damage is not serious, so your injuries cannot be either. The “MIST myth” does have some logical appeal, but it is flawed. It is obviously much easier to convince a jury serious injuries result from roll-over accidents or where a vehicle is totaled. However, we have all gotten packages in the mail where the box was fine, but the contents were not. It is a challenge to establish serious injuries where there is minimal property damage, and an experienced personal injury attorney will likely be necessary in order for you to obtain a fair recovery.
Because motor vehicles are extremely heavy, even low-impact crashes can cause extensive damage to your head, neck and shoulders. At the moment of impact, your torso and lower body are thrown forward while your head and neck are forced backwards/downwards – depending on how you wear your seatbelt. This puts a tremendous strain on your neck and shoulders. Then, a second later (after the initial impact), your lower body is thrown against the seat back snapping your head and neck forward again. This occurs at even very low rates of speed. And the damage can be serious. You may suffer soft tissue damage in your head and neck due to hyper-extension, whiplash, and possibly even damage to the cartilage in your spine.
At the very least, these injuries can cause a great deal of pain. Sometimes, these injuries can have a long-lasting effect on your ability to move normally and perform certain activities. You will incur medical and physical therapy bills to treat these injuries, which may take years to heal. This is why you should always report or document your car accident, no matter how minor you think it is.
Failure to report your collision can make it very difficult to recover your medical bills and other damages you sustained in the accident. This is because without documentation, you will have no proof that the other driver who hit you was negligent or that you were even in an accident at all. This is especially true if you have no third party eye witnesses who can verify your claim.
Accordingly, always report even minor, low-impact collisions and seek medical treatment right away. Then, call a qualified personal injury attorney.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, or any other type of personal injury case, you need the help of a qualified personal injury attorney to fight for you and get you the compensation you deserve. At Murphy & Garner, LLC, our personal injury lawyers have years of experience representing all types of accident victims and are here to help you. We also offer free consultations to injured people and their family members.