Low Speed Collisions and Physical Injury More Distortions and Myths Pushed by the Insurance Industry
Insurance carriers and insurance defense attorneys routinely claim that forces encountered in low speed collisions are inadequate to cause any type of serious physical injury. Is this true?
The Dolman Law Group Approach to Minor and moderate Impact ClaimsBelieve it or not, research in the medical field has proven the contrary. Solid evidence backed by credible literature indicates that collisions at speeds as low as 10 km/hour are capable of doing much harm to the body. One particular example includes the cause of thoracic outlet syndrome (TOS). Medical research has noted TOS to be a mixture of shoulder or neck trauma plus an anatomic predisposition. Neck orshoulder injury, a causative factor of TOS, results from symptoms reported by thousands of patients, which include discomfort in their necks and arms as well as numbness in their fingers. Studies have also revealed significant cell changes in the neck and back muscles ofpatients diagnosed with TOS. Congenital bands and ligaments were analyzed in a vast majority of patients with TOS. A variety of many different kinds of bands, which arepresent since birth, have been acknowledged and properly categorized. In patients diagnosed with TOS, the bands become linked with symptoms following trauma – even minor trauma. The anatomic findings are, therefore, usually regarded as a predisposing factor and not a causative agent. One would figure that if the area of pathology in TOS patients is the scalene (small muscles in the neck) muscles, then abnormalities should be found within them. Well, areas of scalene muscle scarring have been discovered and well documented in TOS medical literature. Based on the above findings, differences in normal anatomy and cell changes in scalene muscles can easily explain the pathophysiology of TOS. The essential pathology in many patients is the scarring of the scalene muscles caused byshoulder or neck injury. The now tighter scalene muscles contribute to neck pain and headaches, as well as TMJ symptoms, which tend to develop within just a few days of the accident. As scarring within the muscles begins to develop, the muscles compress the brachial plexus, amplifying the symptoms of pain, numbness, and weakness of the upper extremities. The occurrence of extremity symptoms may be delayed a few days to weeks, and in some patients, even months – as it takes variable amounts of time for scar tissue to develop and compress. As the pathophysiology is established, scarring adds to the problem. These injuries create a vicious cycle. Pain, incorrect posture, poor physical strength, and mental anxiety all act to aggravate the vicious cycle. In conclusion, the anatomic problems that lead to TOS are now well known and recognized in medical literature. They consist of innateanomalies that are superimposed on some form of trauma – even trauma caused by low impacts. Matthew A. Dolman, Esq., is a Clearwater personal injury attorney who limits his practice to first and third party insurance claims that relate to physical injuries sustained in an automobile accident, motorcycleaccident, boating accident and pedestrian accident. Further, Mr. Dolman is often retained on claims involving a traumatic brain injury and physical injuries caused by the negligence of a drunk driver.