What’s the Connection Between Vehicle Damage and Injury?
Should you be embarrassed if you come away from a tame auto accident with severe injuries? Probably not. And now science supports this.
A psychology professor once showed his students a film of two cars getting in an accident.
A few days later, he divided the students in two groups and asked them each one of these questions:
- Did glass shatter when the cars hit one another?
- Did glass shatter when the cars smashed into one another?
Students asked the second question recalled broken glass in the automobile wreck at a 30% higher rate than those asked the first.
One problem: no glass shattered in the video.
The case demonstrates the way your human mind works: you can draw conclusions that didn’t actually happen when scenarios get presented to you in different ways.
So, when you see two cars completely trashed, you immediately think of someone unconscious going to the ER. And maybe you wonder who died. You might turn on the TV tonight to find out.
You see a mashed up bumper – and you naturally think everyone’s okay. Maybe a bump or bruise or two. But that’s it.
And if someone comes away from that with whiplash…they must be faking it to milk money out of the other guy.
But Do Things Work the Way They Seem?
Now, transfer this concept over to personal injury claims and recovering money for your injuries.
When it comes to claims, professionals in the field often think “No crash. No cash.”
That might be the reality of how it practically works.
But that may not be the way it should work.
Dr. Ronald J. Farabaugh, a low speed rear impact crash reconstruction expert, created a document published by the Spine Research Institute of San Diego in 2003.
Even though this was 15 years ago, he still had considerable evidence which destroys the link between crash and injury severity:
- In 1981, Callier found an offending car going as slow as 7 mph can cause severe tissue damage when involved in an accident
- In 1982, Mcnab found a 3.7 – 5.0 mph rear-end impact can cause up to 4.5 G-forces of stress on your spine and cause mild injury
- In 1986, Ameis found auto speed and damage are not reliable indicators of injury. You have to analyze each accident as its own independent event.
What’s This Mean For You?
Defending lawyers, if you have experienced an injury at a low speed, will try to say you’re faking it for the money. They’ll also use the severity of the crash against you.
Because, even though you now know these facts, they’re not necessarily widely accepted as the standard in court.
If you do find yourself in a situation where your crash looks mild, but you walk away with injuries, let go of your shame, fear, and guilt.
Instead, talk with an injury lawyer who understands the truth: that crash severity and your injuries don’t necessarily have a connection.
Your car crash has its own unique circumstances. And you need a lawyer who understands that and hires experts who know how to prove your claim.