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A low-impact crash can cause surprisingly serious injuries

You may be quite accustomed to the volume of traffic in the San Fernando Valley area. In addition to freeway congestion, the surface streets can be packed with cars, especially at certain times of the day, increasing the possibility of a fender-bender. 

Rear-end collisions are common, often at intersections, but if you are a victim, the rear-ender may seem little more than a nuisance. You may get out of your car, check the damage and exchange insurance information with the other driver. Now it is decision time. Should you go on home or stop by the local medical center?

Why medical care is necessary

You may be experiencing nothing more than a stiff neck or sore shoulder, but medical evaluation is essential. To begin with, you might have sustained a soft-tissue injury that was not apparent at the time of the collision. An impact caused by a vehicle traveling at less than five miles per hour can still cause significant bodily harm -- injuries, in fact, that can be life-altering.

For example, your body absorbs the speed from the crash and whiplash occurs. This does not seem so serious, but hyperextension may cause damage to the soft tissue in your neck. There may be a ligament tear, a stretched muscle or a herniated disk. If the jolt caused your head to hit the steering wheel, you might have a concussion or some other kind of serious brain injury.

The matter of compensation

Not only is a timely medical evaluation important from the standpoint of your health, it is also essential from a legal point of view. Although you have a right to full and fair financial compensation, it is not easy to prove soft tissue injuries, since they are not visible. However, if you visited the medical center right after the rear-ender, the doctor's report can confirm your injury and tie it directly to the collision.

This will be a great help to the attorney who becomes your advocate in dealing with an insurance company that may either offer a lowball settlement or try to deny your claim altogether. While your recovery may be swift, it may also take a very long time, depending on the nature of your injury. In any event, you will probably never view a simple rear-end collision in the same light again.

 

 

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