Can I Sue for Injury If There Is No Damage to the Car?
A. Yes. A driver or passenger injured in a car accident can have a successful personal injury claim even if both cars didn’t have any damage.
The amount of car damage has nothing to do with the value of an injury. We have obtained large personal injury settlements for many clients who were seriously injured in car accidents with little or no damage to the cars.
Can a Driver Have an Injury if the Car Didn’t Have Any Damage?
A. Yes, a driver or passenger can be injured even if the car did not have any damage from the accident. Whether a car had damage or not from a car accident, doesn’t have anything to do with causing an injury.
What Injuries Can Be Caused When There Is No Damage to the Car?
However, we have seen other injuries from minor car accidents. We even had a client with a breast implant rupture from a car accident from a minor car accident.
Injuries people often get in car minor accidents with little or no damage:
If There Is No Damage to the Car a Soft Tissue Injury Can Be Worth a Lot of Money
I frequently hear from someone, “There was no damage to the car and your client was walking around and wasn’t injured. How could your client have needed surgery?” That’s because these injuries don’t cause immediate pain until the next day and then get worse over the next few days after the car accident.
Soft tissue injuries often get worse over time and eventually require surgery. One example is our client, Nyda, who had surgery more than a year after her car accident.
This can result in a substantial personal injury settlement. Just watch Nyda’s video, and you’ll see her soft tissue back injury settlement gave her enough money to buy her dream apartment on the Hudson River in New York.
After we settled Nyda’s back injury from a car accident in The Bronx, she bought her dream apartment on the Hudson River!
You May Think You Have Minor Pain But It Can Worsen Over Time
At the time of a car accident, you may think your neck pain or back pain is a minor strain and will go away in a few days, but it can get worse, and you could eventually need surgery.
This video shows how minor neck pain from whiplash can worsen over time.
Other Serious Injuries Can Also Be Caused by a Car Accident Without Any Collision Damage
Other serious injuries can also be caused by a car accident without any collision damage. A driver or passenger may suffer a broken bone, concussion, or brain bleed without realizing it immediately after the car accident.
We have had many cases with a driver or passenger who was seriously injured in a car accident when there was no damage to the car, and they didn’t know they were injured until after they got home, sometimes even days after the car accident.
Example of Someone With a Fracture When There Was No Damage to the Car
We had many clients with injuries from car accidents with little or no damage. The insurance company may suspect the injury is fake because there was little or no damage to the car. But when we prove the injuries were caused by the car accident, the insurance company has to pay.
For example, one of our clients was injured when hit in the rear by a car in a very slow-speed, low-impact car accident but he didn’t know he was injured and there was no collision damage to either of the cars. The car in the rear was traveling only 3-4 MPH.
Because there was no damage to his car, no injuries, and no one went to the hospital, he didn’t call the police. He almost didn’t even get the other car and driver’s information. As he was about to leave, he decided to get the driver’s information just in case he found damage when he got home.
After our client got home, his pinky finger became swollen and painful. A few hours later, he drove to the hospital to get an X-Ray. Our client hit his pinky finger on the steering wheel, but he wasn’t aware of any injury at the accident scene, even though he is a doctor.
The X-Ray at the hospital showed he had a broken pinky finger and he needed surgery. That’s when he called the car accident lawyers in New York at 1-800-HURT-911®.
He was out of work for two months because he was a dentist and needed his hand to work. Earning a $25,000 per month salary he lost a total of $50,000 in salary.
Allstate Insurance didn’t want to settle this case because they said there was no damage to the cars, the police were not called, and their driver said our client wasn’t injured.
We created this medical illustration to give to Allstate insurance company to show why we were demanding payment of the entire insurance policy to settle the case. The insurance company immediately settled by paying the entire insurance policy.
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See how Nyda got a new house! What will you do with your settlement money?
How Often Is Someone Injured When the Car Had No Damage?
It’s actually rather common that people are injured in car accidents when there is no damage to the cars. Many of our cases involve people who don’t even realize they were injured at the time of the accident. Obviously, they also don’t look injured at the scene of the accident.
Frequently, people in car accidents when there is no damage to the cars, don’t know they’re injured at the time of the car accident. When they get home or the next day, their shoulder, knee, or back start hurting, and they go to a doctor. Sometimes, a few months after the accident, they find out that they need surgery.
One of our clients was hit in the rear while exiting the Long Island Expressway in Queens at the Van Dam Street exit in New York City.
He didn’t know he was injured, but when he got home, his knee started hurting. He thought the pain in his knee would go away in a few days, but it didn’t.
Two weeks later, he went to see a doctor who treated him for a sprained knee. When the pain didn’t get better, the doctor sent him for an MRI that showed he had a torn meniscus. We settled his personal injury claim for the entire $100,000 insurance policy.
See how some seemingly minor injuries can become serious injuries.
Damage to a Car and the Speed of the Car in an Accident Has No Relation to Injury
There is much research that shows that significant injury can be caused by a slow-speed, low-impact car accident.
This study Rear-end impacts: vehicle and occupant response at the National Library of Medicine found, “There is a lack of relationship between occupant injury, vehicle speed and/or damage. There does not seem to be an absolute speed or amount of damage a vehicle sustains for a person to experience injury. Crash tests indicate that a change of vehicle velocity of 4 km/hr (2.5 mph) may produce occupant symptoms. Vehicle damage may not occur until 14-15 km/hr (8.7 mph).”
Can a Driver or Passenger Be Injured if They Didn’t Have an Injury at the Car Accident?
Often, some injuries, such as internal bleeding, concussion, neck injury, back injury, knee injury, and even broken bones are not immediately apparent.
Injuries are often not noticed until hours or days after a car accident. There may not even be visible damage to the car. See our example above.
These injuries are certainly not visible to the other driver who caused the accident.
People often do not feel any pain from a serious injury, even a broken bone, at the car accident scene because of adrenaline and shock.
Frequently, someone in a car accident will feel pain but think it will go away in a few days. Instead, it gets worse and, eventually, they go to a doctor.
Eventually, when the accident victim goes to a doctor, the doctor will treat the injury therapeutically. If the injury doesn’t resolve (get better) after 3-6 weeks, the doctor will send the patient for an MRI. That’s when a serious injury may be first diagnosed.
Surgery may be discussed with the patient at the time the MRI result comes back or months later after further physical therapy doesn’t help.
Can Less Damage Cause a Bigger Injury?
This video explains why a low-speed impact can cause a more serious injury when the car did not have any damage than a car accident when there is damage to the car because it transfers the energy to the person instead of the car.
Can a Low-Speed Crash Cause a Brain Injury?
Yes, a driver or passenger can easily have a concussion which is an MTBI, or Mild Traumatic Brain Injury caused by whiplash from even a minor car accident.
This video shows how a low-speed impact that did not cause any damage to the car, can cause whiplash and a neck injury with a bulging disc or herniated disc which is a serious injury.
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Philip L. Franckel, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York; He has a 10 Avvo rating; Avvo Client’s Choice with all 5-star reviews; Avvo Top Contributor; and a former Member of the Board of Directors of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.
Robert Plevy, Esq. is one of the HURT911® Dream Team™ Founding Partners at 1-800-HURT-911® New York. Rob began his legal career in 1993 as an Assistant Corporation Counsel defending The City of New York against personal injury lawsuits.