Can You File a Car Accident Lawsuit if There is No Damage?
When most people think of car accidents, they worry about how to get the damage fixed, and how to get that paid for. What people often fail to consider is injuries. Damage to the car is usually the first sign that there was a car accident. Even when there is no noticeable damage, you can still face severe injuries. Sometimes, even without an accident, your car may malfunction and cause you severe injury.
If you have been involved in a car accident without damage, or a “near miss,” but still suffered injury, talk to an attorney. An experienced Philadelphia car accident lawyer of The Reiff Law Firm have been serving injured victims in the Philadelphia area for decades, and may be able to help you with your case, too.
Car Accident Injuries – But No Damage
The human body can sometimes be hurt in the strangest ways. Especially today, cars are built so well that some car accidents may leave nothing more than a scratch. Despite the lack of obvious evidence that your car was involved in a crash, your body may still show the signs and symptoms. You can still suffer injuries even in minor car accidents with no damage
Sometime, you can even suffer injuries from a “near miss” situation. A near miss is an accident that doesn’t happen; someone swerves at the last second, your brakes save you, or a car drives off the road to dodge another car. In these situations, the sudden movement, sudden stopping, or irregular movement can still lead to injuries. These are not technically “car accidents,” but could be treated the same.
When you swerve, stop or start suddenly, or move in an uncommon direction, you could suffer whiplash injuries. Whiplash is very common in car accidents. When your head moves suddenly, then snaps back into place, the tendons and muscles in your neck can be damaged. These kinds of injuries can happen even in low-speed car accidents with no damage, or without an accident.
Despite how common it is, whiplash can be a very severe injury. Every case is different, but a large portion of whiplash injuries actually leaves victims with pain, discomfort, and numbness for the rest of their lives. Whiplash is also tricky, since it might not be obvious right after an accident or near miss. Because of the way the muscles and tendons in your neck work, the injury may take until the next day to “set in.” Do not hesitate to talk to a doctor, even days after a car accident.
Who is At Fault with a No Damage Accident?
Just because there is no damage from a collision does not mean there is no one to hold responsible for your injuries.
Many times, another drivers’ poor driving can cause you to swerve, brake, or leave the road to avoid them. While this may not be an “accident,” it should be treated the same. If another driver’s reckless or negligent driving caused you injury, even without damage to your vehicle, you might have a case against them.
If the other driver does not stop, the accident should be treated like a hit and run. In those kinds of situations, Pennsylvania’s insurance coverage for uninsured or underinsured motorists may be able to help pay for your injuries. Aside from that, if the police do not locate the individual who harmed you, or you did not get a good look at their license plate, you may have to rely on your own insurance for compensation. Pennsylvania requires “no-fault” auto insurance coverage, which may be enough to pay for less severe injuries.
Other injuries may not be the fault of another driver, but the auto manufacturer. Seatbelts, ignition locks, airbags, and accelerators may fail. These product defects can cause severe injury to drivers. Even if the car appears to be in good condition, if your airbag failed to deploy, your accelerator malfunctioned, or your car shut off, you might have been injured. This could even happen without the involvement of another car at all.
Our West Chester car accident attorneys have experience dealing with product malfunctions, including car defects. Our attorneys do not hesitate to fight the large, expensive legal teams some auto manufacturers hire to fight cases like this. As long as the proof and facts are there, we may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve.
Minor Car Accidents Can Cause Major Injuries
The Philadelphia personal injury attorneys of The Reiff Law Firm care about getting victims the compensation they need. Whether that means taking other drivers or auto manufacturers to court, we fight to see our clients’ injuries compensated. Call (215) 709-6940 today for a free consultation regarding your car accident injuries.