After a seemingly minor car accident, victims are often relieved to have escaped without a major injury. However, just because someone walks away from a crash does not mean they will remain that way. Musculoskeletal damage may not present symptoms until days, weeks, or even months after the car accident.
In a car accident, adrenaline can flood the body, masking serious injuries. For this reason, it is important to prioritize seeking medical attention immediately, no matter how minor your injuries may seem.
Do not wait to see a doctor if you experience pain or discomfort days or weeks after an accident. Delaying a physical examination can prevent you from being able to collect the compensation you deserve.
What Types of Injuries Can Result from Minor Car Accidents
Minor car accidents, also called fender benders, can have major consequences for accident victims. Some of the most common injuries that result from a minor car crash include:
- Soft tissue injuries
- Back injuries
- Herniated discs
- Shoulder sprains and strains
- Knee and leg injuries
Upper Body Injuries
Any sudden stop or crash can cause an injury to the delicate muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the upper body. When the head whips around during a collision, it can cause significant damage to the brain and neck, resulting in either a concussion or whiplash.
Muscles and tissues in the neck are particularly vulnerable to injury during an accident, which can cause spine misalignment. This can result in swelling from tears and strains, putting pressure on nerves and causing pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulder and headaches.
How serious is whiplash?
Most people think whiplash is a minor injury. While many car accident victims recover fully, some never do. One study published in the Journal of Orthopaedic Medicine found that approximately 50% of individuals who experience whiplash injuries continue to experience symptoms one year after the injury.
Lower Body Injuries
Even a minor car accident resulting in minimal damage to the vehicle can cause significant problems for your lower body. Like the spine, the knees are a complex system of muscles, tendons, ligaments, cartilage, and bone that work together to support your body’s weight and movement. Any twisting action during a collision can easily knock the knee out of alignment, leading to meniscus tears that require lengthy healing periods. Pain or range of motion issues can occur immediately after the accident or may develop over time.
The same goes for the hips, pelvis, and lower back. The sudden jolting and jarring of a car accident can cause herniated discs, resulting in a lifetime of discomfort and requiring major surgery. These injuries may not present symptoms immediately and can manifest weeks, or even months, after the accident.
How serious are lower back injuries?
According to Georgetown University, 16 million adults in the U.S. suffer from persistent and chronic lower back pain. It is the sixth most costly health condition in the country and accounts for over $12 billion in direct and indirect healthcare costs.
Chronic back pain can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life, making it difficult to work, perform daily activities, and participate in leisure activities. It can also lead to psychological distress, such as anxiety and depression.
Insurance Companies Don’t Trust Injuries From Minor Car Accidents
Insurance companies are skeptical of injuries sustained in minor fender bender accidents for several reasons:
- Lack of Visible Damage: In some cases, a minor fender bender may result in little to no visible damage to the vehicles involved. Insurance adjusters often assume that the lack of visible damage means the accident was not serious enough to cause injury, even though this is not necessarily true.
- Pre-existing Conditions: Insurance adjusters may question whether the injuries claimed were pre-existing. They will want to investigate your health history to determine if you already had the injury you’re trying to attribute to the accident.
- Insurance Fraud: Insurance companies are also wary of fraudulent claims and may be more likely to question the validity of claims from minor accidents. Some car accident victims may try to exaggerate or fabricate injuries to receive a higher settlement or compensation, and they know this. As such, expect them to go through your claim very closely.
Just because an accident is classified as a minor fender bender does not mean that injuries are impossible or unlikely. That’s why you need an experienced car accident lawyer to help you fight insurance companies and their biases against minor collisions.
Contact Our Atlanta Car Accident Attorneys Today
If you or a loved one have been injured in a car accident, our Atlanta car accident lawyers are here to help you obtain the compensation you need and deserve.
At Kim Law, our experienced Atlanta car accident attorneys offer a free consultation to discuss your case and begin advocating for your rights immediately. We operate on a contingency basis, meaning you don’t owe us anything unless we win your case. So, contact us today for a free consultation, and let us help you win your case. Just call us, and let’s win together!