(210) LAW-3000 Search

Can a “Minor” San Antonio Car Accident Cause Serious Injuries?

Oct 05, 2021 Catastrophic Personal Injury, Spine Injuries, Vehicle Wrecks
  1. 1. Your Spine Is Complicated and Sensitive
  2. 2. A Minor Auto Collision Can Have Serious Consequences, Such as a Whiplash Injury
  3. 3. Preexisting Conditions Can Make Your Symptoms of Whiplash and Other Injuries Worse — but That Should not Affect Your Injury Lawsuit
  4. 4. The Average Settlement Covers All Types of Losses After a Car Crash
  5. 5. An Experienced Lawyer Can Help Explain Your Injuries and Help You Recover Compensation
  6. 6. 4 Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Back Injury or Whiplash Settlement Claim
  7. 7. Crosley Law: We Demand Justice for Our Clients in San Antonio and Throughout Texas

Can a “Minor” San Antonio Car Accident Cause Serious Injuries?

You’re stopped at a red light during your morning commute. Seemingly out of nowhere, another driver rear-ends your vehicle.

Your rear bumper has a small dent and your airbags did not deploy. Your neck only feels a little sore at the time of the crash, so you expect that all is well. However, three days later, you start noticing pain shooting down your arm and up your neck. Could that minor san antonio car accident have caused a serious injury?

Unfortunately, the answer is “yes.”

Your Spine Is Complicated and Sensitive

Your spine is composed of many delicate structures prone to injury. Typically, doctors organize the spine into five sections:

  • Cervical: the seven vertebrae between your head and shoulders
  • Thoracic: the twelve mid-back vertebrae that support your ribs and protect your heart and lungs
  • Lumbar: the five vertebrae in your low back
  • Sacrum: a series of fused vertebrae that connect your spine to your hips
  • Coccyx: your tailbone

Within each section of our spine, different tissues and structures exist:

  • Vertebrae are interlocking bones that create your spinal column.
  • Discs are the shock absorbers for your spine. Located between the vertebrae, each disc has a fibrous exterior (called the annulus) that holds a gelatinous material inside (the nucleus).
  • The spinal cord is a complicated bundle of neurons housed within the vertebrae that transmit messages between your brain and body.
  • Your spinal nerves include 31 pairs branching off your spinal cord and communicating messages to specific parts of the body.
  • Ligaments are fibrous bands of tissue that hold your spine together and protect it.

Many of the spaces that your nerves and soft tissues pass through in the neck, back, and spine are extremely narrow. For this reason, swelling, inflammation, and “mild” injuries can cause serious pain and dysfunction.

VIDEO: Can Minor Car Crash Cause Serious Back Injuries

A Minor Auto Collision Can Have Serious Consequences, Such as a Whiplash Injury

While insurance companies often argue that a “minor,” “no damage” car crash can’t cause serious injuries, this simply isn’t true. During a car wreck, your body is subjected to many forces, including acceleration, deceleration, rotation, and more. These can cause serious damage to your body, especially if you’re rear-ended or t-boned.   

Your neck is particularly vulnerable in an auto accident. Rapid acceleration and deceleration can make your neck whip back and forth, causing whiplash. Injuries to the soft tissues that hold your spine together can cause neck and shoulder pain, headaches, and other symptoms.

While insurance companies often argue that a “minor,” “no damage” car crash can’t cause serious injuries, this simply isn’t true.

You might also experience sprains, strains, compression fractures, or a spondylolisthesis (when a vertebra slips out of alignment). Under the right conditions, low-speed car accident injuries can even include broken bones or traumatic brain injuries.

RELATED ARTICLE: Do You Have Any of These Delayed Symptoms After a Car Wreck?

Preexisting Conditions Can Make Your Symptoms of Whiplash and Other Injuries Worse — but That Should not Affect Your Injury Lawsuit

Most adult spines are already affected by degenerative disc disease. According to some studies, 37% of people in their 20s have degenerative disc disease in their spines. Even if you don’t regularly experience back pain, there’s a good chance that you have some degeneration in your spine. This makes your spine more prone to injury, including severe whiplash injuries, during a car crash.

For example, suppose you have a tiny disc bulge in your neck. Most people are completely unaware that they have bulging discs because they never experience significant neck pain.

However, even a tiny, undetected disc bulge can put you at a higher risk of injury during a car crash. Acceleration and deceleration during a collision can put pressure on your spine and its discs. If a disc is already compromised, it’s more likely to rupture or herniate, which can require expensive, complicated surgeries and rehabilitation, leading to high medical bills.

While the insurance company might try to deny your claim by arguing that it was a preexisting condition, Texas applies the “eggshell skull rule” in car accident claims.

The eggshell skull rule protects car accident victims by holding the liable party accountable for all the injuries and damages they caused in a crash—including injuries exacerbated by a victim’s pre-existing condition. We don’t have control over our bodies’ vulnerabilities. When these vulnerabilities result in major injuries, insurance companies must accept injured people as they are, degenerative changes and all, and cover their claims when an accident causes a condition to worsen.

The Average Settlement Covers All Types of Losses After a Car Crash

For many people, injuries like whiplash are temporary conditions. However, motor vehicle accidents are all different, so some injured people may need more time and intensive medical treatment to recover (especially if pre-existing conditions complicates your injuries). If a seemingly “minor” car accident has disrupted your life and caused you extensive pain and suffering, you may be able to collect financial compensation to cover your crash-related expenses.

Depending on your unique circumstances, you may be compensated for the following:

  • Medical expenses
  • The cost of medications
  • Rehabilitative and therapeutic expenses
  • Lost income
  • Loss of future income
  • Pain and suffering
  • Medications and physical therapy
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of consortium

If the insurance adjuster or someone else is telling you that your claim isn’t worth much because the crash “wasn’t that bad,” don’t believe them.

Compensation is based on how the car crash affects your life. Our law firm has decades of experience handling all types of car accident claims, so we know how devastating even low speed “fender benders” can be.

For many people, injuries like whiplash are temporary conditions. However, motor vehicle accidents are all different, so some injured people may need more time and intensive medical treatment to recover (especially if pre-existing conditions complicates your injuries).

If a seemingly “minor” car accident has disrupted your life and caused you extensive pain and suffering, you may be able to collect financial compensation to cover your crash-related expenses.

If you need to know what your neck injury case is worth and the amount of compensation you are owed for your injuries, it’s in your best interest to speak with an experienced Texas personal injury attorney as soon as you can.

RELATED ARTICLE: What Is the Eggshell Skull Rule and How Does It Apply to Texas Car Accident Cases?

An Experienced Lawyer Can Help Explain Your Injuries and Help You Recover Compensation

Insurance companies and their experts love to point out medical studies implying that low-speed collisions do not cause serious injuries. However, a well-prepared legal strategy and expert testimony can effectively debunk the insurance company’s claims using the specific details of your situation.

Every person and crash is different. The forces involved in your collision and their impact on your body will depend on multiple factors, including:

  • The types and sizes of vehicles involved
  • The point and direction of collision (rear-end, T-bone, or head-on)
  • How fast each car was moving
  • Where you were positioned in the vehicle
  • Whether you were wearing a seatbelt
  • Your age, height, weight, and gender
  • Whether you had preexisting conditions that increased your risk of serious injury
  • Whether your airbags deployed properly or any other vehicle parts were defective
  • The type of property damage sustained in the crash, which can also provide clues about what happened

With all of these factors involved, a “minor” accident can be much more devastating than it seems—especially when a victim’s unique health conditions increase the risk of injury.

A personal injury lawyer can look at all the factors of a whiplash injury or other injury case and use it to negotiate a fair settlement payout with the insurance adjuster. And if the insurance company refuses to cooperate or offer a fair settlement amount, your lawyer can hold them accountable by filing a personal injury lawsuit on your behalf.

With all of these factors involved, a “minor” accident can be much more devastating than it seems—especially when a victim’s unique health conditions increase the risk of injury.

RELATED ARTICLE: Understanding the Costs and Complications of a Spinal Cord Injury

4 Steps You Can Take to Protect Your Back Injury or Whiplash Settlement Claim

Car accident claims can be complicated. Follow these tips to protect your case until the compensation is in your hands:

  • Get medical attention as soon as you can. If you have a neck, spine, or whiplash injury, you need to see a doctor who can diagnose and treat you. Not only will medical attention help your injury from getting worse, but the medical records will also act as valuable evidence in your injury claim. Once you have recommendations from your doctor, follow their advice as closely as you can.
  • Record details of your pain and mental state. As your recovery progresses, you will eventually begin to forget the intensity of your pain and suffering. This process is your body’s natural way of protecting itself from terrible memories, but these terrible memories are a critical piece of your injury case. In the days, weeks, and months after the crash, write down how you feel physically and mentally, any anxiety or depression you experience, and if your injuries hold you back from household activities or going to work. These notes provide a picture of your experience and can help your legal team fight for you.
  • Don’t engage with insurance companies. Your car accident attorney should be the one to speak to the insurance company, not you. Why? The insurance adjuster does not have your best interests in mind and is not legally bound to provide you information about how to get the money you deserve. When you let your attorney handle the negotiations, you can trust they’ll advocate for a fair settlement, stand up to the insurance company’s lies, and provide you with accurate trustworthy legal advice.
  • Keep details of the accident off social media. Those looking to discredit your case can easily view what you say on social media and other public forums. Anything you say might be twisted to shift blame onto you and counter the work of your attorney. To protect yourself and your case, don’t discuss the accident online. If you have questions about your social media activity, consult with your personal injury attorney.

RELATED CLIENT STORY: Minor Collision Causes Major Injuries; Betsy’s Story

Crosley Law: We Demand Justice for Our Clients in San Antonio and Throughout Texas

At Crosley Law, we pride ourselves on our attention to detail, cutting-edge litigation strategies, and personalized focus on the attorney-client relationship. If you-or a loved one suffered serious injuries in a car accident, call us at 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000 or complete our simple, online form for an initial, free consultation.

When you work with our law firm, a skilled car accident lawyer will start with a free case evaluation. Then, they carefully assess your crash, the evidence, and your losses. They may also consult with medical, biomechanical, and accident reconstruction experts. Armed with this information, we fight for our clients, demanding fair compensation and closure after a crash.

References

Brinjikji, W., Luetmer, P.H., Comstock, B., Bresnahan, B.W., Chen, L.E., Deyo, R.A., Halabi, S., Turner, J.A., Avins, A.L., James, K., Wald, J.T., Kallmes, D.F., Jarvik, J.G. (2015, April). Systematic literature review of imaging features of spinal degeneration in asymptomatic populations. American Journal of Neuroradiology. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4464797/

The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.

Related Articles

View All Blog Articles

Do you or a family member
need legal advice?

Crosley Law Firm, PC is a professional corporation of trial lawyers focused on representing individuals and families who have suffered serious personal injuries or wrongful death. If you’ve been injured, fill out the form for a free consultation, or call 210-LAW-3000.

We Can Help

Request Your Free Consultation
  • This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

    * Required
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Schedule Your Free Consultation

Office Locations and Contact Info