The Truth: What Insurance Guidelines Actually Say About Low Impact Injury

It is a common ploy for insurance adjusters to try and associate the severity of an injury to the amount of damage to the car. In essence: little damage, little injury! But what insurance guidelines ACTUALLY say about this?

There are guidelines put out by the Reed Group: MDGuidelines Retrun-To-Work Guidelines. Per their documents, the guidelines are based on the “world’s deepest database of over 2 million disability cases, covering 1,300 medical topics.”

This is what the guidelines say about mechanism of injury that contain low impact, but yet apparently cause injury.

“Cervical strain/sprain injuries may occur as a result of trauma from a fall or, most commonly, from motor vehicle collisions. These injuries can happen as a result of collisions from any direction and often occur when the individual’s car is hit from behind.

The sudden acceleration thrusts the individual’s body forward, with the head rapidly whipping backward and then forward (acceleration-deceleration). That movement can injury many different tissues and structures of the neck, including bones, facet joints, muscles, blood vessels, ligaments, nerves, the esophagus, and intervertebral discs.

Almost all cervical spine injuries result in some degree of muscle injury. Muscles in the cervical area stabilize the spine and produce motion, and significant injury can adversely affect these functions. In severe trauma, concussion may also occur. Injuries to the brainstem, bruising of the brain (subdural hematomas), and bleeding (hemorrhage) on the surface of the brain may occur. These multiple injuries may give rise to a myriad of symptoms.

Chronic pain develops in some patients who have experienced a cervical strain/sprain injury. It may be associated with injuries to the joints in the back of the cervical spine (facet joints), discs, and upper cervical ligaments. There is no direct correlation between the magnitude of impact and the degree of injury, although immediate onset of neck pain may be a predictor for chronic pain.”

As you can see, their own documentation based on a large data base indicates that there is not a direct correlation between the amount of property damage and potential injury