Everyday hundreds of so called “fender benders” occur and the result is the same no injury, a little paint is scraped on the bumper and a small dent is there to fix. However, there are accidents where the outward signs of the accident appear minimal but the reality is serious injury has occurred. When two vehicles strike each other in a rear-end type collision there is always energy transfer from one vehicle to the other. This energy transfer will also be reflected in movement of the occupants. The position of the occupants at the time of the impact is a critical factor in assessing the mechanism and injury probability.
The important thing to remember is that when low speed impacts occur, lack of damage on a car’s external appearance may not reflect the true damage. When investigating these types of accidents, one must look at the bumper isolation systems and the support structure of the vehicle for damage that could have occurred. The bumper isolation system is designed to protect the vehicles safety systems, such as the front and rear lights. The isolation system is not designed to prevent visible vehicle damage. Today’s passenger cars, not trucks and SUVs, are required to have a bumper isolation system.
The assessment of a low speed vehicle impact accident also requires the inspection of both accident vehicles. It is very difficult to assess the impact forces from photographs or looking at the vehicles after they have been repaired. The direction and magnitude of the forces, on the occupant can be compared to the injuries to determine if they are consistent with the accident scenario. If you have suffered serious injury recently from a low impact crash please contact us.