Do Low-Impact Car Accidents Qualify for Settlements?

March 8, 2023
Media Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Fight for Those Injured in Low-Impact Car Accidents.

A settlement is a lump-sum payment offered by an insurance company to an accident victim to compensate them for injuries and property damage. It is a common way to resolve claims for damages without going to court.

Low-impact car accidents can be resolved through settlements just as any other type of car accident. A settlement should reflect the losses incurred, such as medical bills, property damage, missed work, and future medical care. A low-impact car accident can cause more damage than many people think.

What Causes Low-Impact Accidents?

A low-impact car accident is defined as one in which the vehicles were moving at a speed less than 10 miles per hour. This can happen in a number of scenarios, such as stop-and-go traffic, merging traffic, and when a driver fails to yield the right-of-way at a four-way stop, two-way stop, or traffic signal. Vehicles can also collide at low speeds when traveling through pedestrian zones and crosswalks. It should be noted that an accident that happens with one vehicle traveling 35 miles per hour and another vehicle traveling at 45 miles per hour is also considered a low-impact accident because the difference in speed is only 10 miles per hour.

Low-impact car accidents are commonly caused by negligent driving behaviors, such as tailgating, distracted driving, drunk driving, drugged driving, drowsy driving, and failing to yield the right-of-way. Weather conditions like snow and ice can also be contributing factors.

Injuries From Low-Impact Car Accidents

The most common injuries from low-impact car accidents include:

  • Whiplash: Whiplash occurs because the impact of the crash causes the head to move at a different speed than the body, which is typically restrained by a seat belt. The head and neck are unnaturally jerked forward and backward and sometimes sideways, damaging the muscles, ligaments, nerves, and discs of the neck area. Whiplash can be very painful and affect the upper limbs and back as well as the neck. In some cases, the effects are long-term. Symptoms may not appear until a day or two after the accident.
  • Head injuries: Concussions are another common low-impact car accident injury that also may not be immediately apparent. That is why it is important to always see a doctor after an accident to have yourself checked. After the shock of a car accident, you may not realize you are injured, but a medical professional can perform tests to diagnose concussions and other car accident injuries.

Other common injuries include broken bones, cuts and lacerations, and back injuries.

Filing a Claim for a Car Accident in Pennsylvania

If you are considering filing a claim for injuries suffered in a car accident that was caused by the negligence of another driver, you should know that the state of Pennsylvania gives you two years from the date of the accident to do so.

If you were partly to blame for the accident, you may still be able to collect compensation because Pennsylvania uses the principle of comparative negligence. If your case goes to trial, the damages awarded to you by the court will be reduced by the percentage you are found to be at fault. In other words, liability for the accident is shared. Note that you must not be more than 50 percent liable, otherwise you will not be able to collect damages.

Media Car Accident Lawyers at Eckell Sparks Fight for Those Injured in Low-Impact Car Accidents

Collisions at low speeds can cause severe injuries. If you need legal help after an accident, speak with our Media car accident lawyers at Eckell, Sparks, Levy, Auerbach, Monte, Sloane, Matthews & Auslander, P.C. Call us at 610-565-3701 or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation. Located in Media and West Chester, Pennsylvania, we serve clients in Delaware County, Chester County, and Montgomery County.