Traffic accidents can, and often are life-changing events. Violent traffic accidents can result in lifelong injuries and massive amounts of material damages. However, what most people don’t know is that mild fender benders could also lead to severe health complications. We call such accidents low-velocity impacts. Here’s everything you need to know about them.
What is a Low-Velocity Impact?
The definition of low-velocity impacts differs from place to place. However, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia defines low-velocity impacts as impacts that occur at speeds under 8 km/h. Such collisions are categorized as LVI collisions which carry a number of consequences for potential plaintiffs.
The Murky Waters of Low-Velocity Impacts
Low-velocity impact traffic accidents have long been a controversial subject. Claiming injury during a collision that has caused no significant material damage to either vehicle has been a popular course of action for scammers for years. So much so that ICBC reserves the right to outright deny any compensation for potential injuries to victims of an LVI. That being said, there is a significant body of evidence that shows that you can sustain life-altering injuries during a low-velocity impact collision. In fact, it was determined that velocity changes from several km/h at around 8 km/h have caused whiplash injuries.
Is It Possible to Get Compensation for Injuries Sustained During an LVI?
Despite how bleak the legal landscape is as far as LVIs go, there is still plenty that can be done. Namely, modern case law (Duda v. Sekhon) in this area of injury law shows a fair amount of success. Different cases offer a track record of plaintiffs successfully proving that their injuries were in fact caused by low-velocity impacts.
That being said, these cases are rarely solved quickly or easily. Professional injury lawyers from https://www.kazlaw.ca/car-accident-lawyers/ argue that proving an injury resulted from a low-velocity impact takes a considerable body of evidence and data. When insurance companies are involved, the onus is almost always on the victim to prove their injuries in court.
What Kind of Injuries are Most Commonly Sustained in Low-Velocity Impact Collisions?
One of the most controversial parts of this entire subject is the nature of injuries one can sustain during an LVI collision. Human bodies are as delicate as they are robust. We can sustain extreme amounts of damage and survive. At the same time, suffering a small injury in the right place can lead to lifelong complications.
It all comes down to the exact nature of the impact, the position of your body, and many more factors. The highest percentage of reported injuries include the following:
- Strained muscles
- Various forms of head trauma
- Neck injuries
- Back injuries
Whiplash still remains one of the most common injuries sustained during low-speed collisions. Medical research shows that even mild cases of whiplash can cause long-term health issues such as stiffness of neck, pain, and other symptoms.
What Should You Do If You’re Injured in a Low-Velocity Impact Collision?
Going through a traffic accident can’t be stressful, no matter how severe it is. It’s important to cover all of your bases, exchange insurance information with the other party and complete that part of the process.
The issue with traffic accident injuries is that they don’t always manifest immediately. That being said, never ignore injuries no matter how small they might seem. If you experience pain and discomfort in hours or days following a traffic accident, make sure to go get checked out by a doctor.
It’s imperative to stay on top of any potential health complications. Additionally, you’ll want to document everything in writing should you find yourself filing a claim in court.
Speaking of courts, the next step is to hire an injury lawyer who specializes in traffic accidents. Having access to legal counsel that is experienced in traffic accidents is key. Even more important is their experience in low-velocity impact collisions.
The last piece of advice we can offer is to arm yourself with patience. Taking an LVI to court can seriously test your limits, both mentally and physically. Prepare for a long legal battle in a system that isn’t necessarily working in your favor.
That being said, the available case law suggests that the Canadian legal system is more than capable of recognizing the intricacies and nuances of this niche of injury law, which inspires both confidence and hope. As long as you build a solid case, you should be able to prove your point and get the compensation you are entitled to.