Pennsylvania and Ohio Low Damage Car Accident Lawyer
Many people are injured in automobile accidents where the damage to the vehicle is not indicative of the personal injury, even though the injury is often quite serious. As such, insurance companies use photographs of vehicle damage for the jury to review as what they call "common sense" evidence. Their claim is that the severity of the injury should coincide with the amount of damage done to the vehicle, essentially saying that victims of these accident are falsely depicting the extent of their injuries.
Vehicle damage is not indicative of injury
However, it is a proven scientific fact that vehicle damage is not predictive or indicative of the severity or duration of the injuries sustained in an accident. While it is true that there are some types of motor vehicle accidents wherein the victims' injuries can be reliably assumed, most accidents do not share this quality. Similar to an injury sustained from a fall that can affect different people in different ways-depending on how the person fell, their height, weight, and physical condition-what happens to people in what may seem like a minor accident can be far worse upon further medical review.
Motor vehicle accidents produce different types of injuries for a variety of different reasons. Obviously, people who are in a vehicle that is travelling at high speeds are more susceptible to serious injuries compared to those travelling at slower speeds. However, this in no way means that people who are in low speed accidents, or whose vehicle's damages are minor, cannot be seriously injured.
Experts agree condition of car has nothing to do with injury
Expert crash reconstructionists who examine the exterior of a vehicle with minimal damage will tell you that the condition of the car has nothing to with the extent of a person's injuries or even if the person was injured at all. And despite defense attorneys' claims of "common sense" evidence, real common sense will tell you that a person's physical condition, position, gender, preparation for impact, seat and head restraint configuration, and other such factors have nothing to do with the force of the crash or the amount of damage the vehicle sustains.
Crash reconstructionists say that there is no scientific basis that concludes the degree of the vehicle's damage should necessarily be used as an indicator of injury types and injury severity. In fact, for injuries such as strains of the spine, disc herniation, jaw dislocation, and traumatic brain injuries (TBI), there are no established minimum thresholds of force by which scientists determine these damages can or cannot occur.
Real life examples of serious injury
Furthermore, we can see from other real life examples where this holds true. The accident that killed Dale Earnhardt-a professional driver who had previously been in gruesome-looking, multi-vehicle accidents where his car flipped and tumbled several times only to come out unscathed-was killed when his racecar took a turn into a wall in what looked like a minor accident with minimal damage to his vehicle, regardless of the speed at impact.
Another excellent topical analogy is that of the football player who endures concussions throughout his career. Players are protected by the best padding technology the world has to offer and most collisions do not look concussive; however, the force of each impact must go somewhere. The helmet protects a player's head during impact, but the force of the impact is ultimately absorbed by the player. Similarly, the vehicle's shell and crumple zones protect the driver and passengers from being crushed, but simple physics tells you that the energy generated by the crash must go somewhere and is usually absorbed by those inside the car.