Minor Car Accidents: Do I need a lawyer?

minor car accidentYou’re stopped at a red light when suddenly you feel a nudge. The car behind you miss judged the distance and tapped your back bumper. There is some damage to cars, but not much.  You exchange information with the driver and then head home. Late that night, your neck feels sore and the next day the back pain sets in. Can this happen from such a minor accident? The answer is yes.

It’s true that major accidents are more likely to cause severe injuries, but sometimes smaller car accidents also cause injuries. In fact, the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, published an article from Dr. C.G. Davis, which concludes that there is no relationship between vehicle damage or speed and whether an occupant is injured. His findings demonstrated that some soft-tissue injury can occur even at speeds as low as 2.5 mph, while vehicle damage usually doesn’t occur unless the vehicle is traveling at speeds above 8.7 mph. One Chiropractic Group put it like this:

“It is wrong to assume that maximum neck injury occurs in a high-speed collision; it is the slow or moderate collision that causes maximum hyperextension of the cervical spine.”  [source]

Even body size plays a role in how severe an individual’s injury can be. Tall people are at greater risk of “Whiplash”. This is because they are most likely to have head restraints that are too low to be of any help at impact. Individuals with less muscle mass (i.e. women, children and the elderly) pose a higher level of injury risk.

So you may wonder whether you should hire a personal injury lawyer after a low-speed minor car accident. The answer is that if you had any injuries, and would benefit from treatment, you should consult a lawyer. It does not matter whether the vehicle was damaged or not, if you were damaged you should get medical treatment and see an attorney.