Low-Impact Auto Accidents In Florida
When one thinks of a car crash, they usually imagine a high-speed wreck that leaves metal and glass everywhere, with victims being rushed to the hospital. However, the injuries that a person can sustain in much lower-impact crashes can also have serious, life-changing outcomes if proper treatment is not sought. It can be difficult for many to decide to sue over what may seem like a minor incident, but any injury has the potential to be severe.
Treat All Accidents Seriously
A sizable portion of Florida’s auto accidents are considered low-impact, meaning that they occur when the actors collide at 10 mph or less. It is very easy, in these situations, to immediately assume that because the velocity of the accident was relatively low, that no injuries could possibly have happened, and to merely evaluate any property damage instead of seeking medical treatment. This is especially true if no one appears to be in any physical pain immediately following the crash – it is not unheard of for both participants to simply go home after checking out their vehicles.
In reality, there are several types of injuries that are eminently possible at low speeds. A study published in European Spine Journal found that soft tissue injuries like whiplash can occur at speeds as low as 15 kph (roughly 9 mph). Even at such low speeds, the neck can very easily hyperextend and injure itself if there is a sudden acceleration and deceleration (that is, a sudden stop or start). It will obviously not happen in every accident, but the possibility is there in any car crash where sudden movement occurs.
Do Seek Medical Treatment!
Even if you believe that you have not sustained any type of injury that cannot be cured with rest, ice, compression, and elevation, it is still always a good idea to seek medical treatment after an accident, no matter how small. It is very common, and in some cases even expected, for soft tissue injuries like whiplash to not manifest until several days or even weeks after an auto accident, and a medical evaluation can help to either minimize those injuries or preemptively try to treat them. If you later decide to bring suit, those medical records are critical proof positive of any injury.
It is also important to seek medical treatment quickly – more specifically, within 14 days of your accident – because if you do not, but turn out later to have sustained a serious injury, you will not be permitted to access any personal injury protection (PIP) insurance benefits you have. Florida law explicitly states that a person may have “80 percent of all reasonable expenses for medically necessary” services covered if you receive initial treatment within 14 days of your accident. If you seek treatment later on, you will not be covered, and will be stuck paying bills out of pocket.
Contact A Tampa Auto Accident Lawyer Today
It can be very tempting to not bother going to the hospital or the doctor after a minor car accident, but the risk is often too great to ignore. If you have been injured in a low-impact car crash and need help getting through the process of making a claim, the Tampa car accident attorneys at the Rinaldo Law Group are happy to try and help. Contact us today for a free consultation.