Can You Be Injured In a Low Speed Accident?

You may have heard of instances where claims have been made by someone to then be told by the Defendant Insurer that they do not believe that an injury could have been sustained because of the low speed of the impact. These are known as “LVI” claims. Can a person be injured when the accident happened at a low speed?

Practically it can cause many issues for a Claimant who has a genuine claim when injury has been sustained when the vehicle he/she was travelling in was hit at a low speed.

An example of this could be where vehicle A and vehicle B are stuck in slow moving traffic when vehicle B misjudges the flow and speeds up colliding in into the rear of vehicle A which is either stationary or moving at a slower speed.

A Third-Party driver could inform you at the scene that he/she is sorry and didn’t see you in time but this should not be taken as an admission of injury although could be noted to be an admission of the collision itself. The Third Party Insurer could also telephone you to take an account of the circumstances. This does not mean that they accept you were injured.

As your Solicitors we would suggest that you request they simply write to you with any questions they may have and pass on our details.

If you start to discuss the case with the Third Party Insurer you could inadvertently prejudice any claim you may have.

It can be frustrating for a Claimant who has suffered whiplash or other injury to be told that there are questions being raised about his credibility and if he is actually injured. You must remember that the duty is on the Claimant to prove his case and it is important to ensure that there is sufficient evidence to do this.

It may be worth noting that evidence in medical records of attendance at the GP and the timing of this attendance can support your case. Medical records would form important evidence for you as a Claimant.

If you make a claim for injury, we will arrange to send you for a medical examination in order for a medical report with a review your medical records to assist in preparing the report.

Medical evidence and engineering evidence in addition to any witness evidence will be vital for valuing your injury and vehicle damage and also establishing the collision as being the cause of your injury.

It is often the case that further engineering evidence in the form of a Forensic Report is obtained by the Third Party Insurer to assist them in fighting your claim and in an attempt to show that you could not have been moved in your vehicle sufficiently to cause injury.

The Third Party Insurers can allege that there is no visual damage to the rear of vehicles and therefore the impact must not have been that great. It must be noted that vehicles are designed to sustain impact damage and retract on impact. We would point out that, an impact can still be moderate or more sever but show little visual damage on the exterior. Engineering evidence to support your case of severity of impact is therefore important and should be obtained.

 

Case law governing the points to be met by an opponent such as Third Party Insurer or driver when wishing to raise low velocity impact is outlined in the case of Casey –v- Cartwright[2006] EWCA Civ 1280  which was heard in 2006.

This was a case which involving two vehicles which collided and in which it was alleged that they collided at low speed.

Important procedural points were clarified including:

  1. If a Defendant wishes to allege low velocity causation he should notify all parties in writing within 3 months of receipt of the letter of claim.
  2. This allegation should be identified in the Defence supported by a statement of truth.
  3. Within 21 days of serving a defence raising the causation issue the defendant should serve on the court and the other parties a witness statement which clearly identifies the grounds on which the issue is raised. That statement should deal with the defendant’s evidence on the issue “including the circumstances of the accident and any resultant damage.”

Should the main points of this procedure not be complied with by the Defendant then the Defendant is less likely to be permitted to rely on their expert evidence to assist them on the issue of causation.

The Defendant could of course still ask the Court permission for expert evidence to be permitted but failure by them to comply with the requirements of Casey v Cartwright will not give them a ‘smooth ride’ in their fight.

Any prospective Claimant should ensure in collisions which maybe of low velocity, that legal advice is sought from a Solicitor or equivalent qualified person as to prospects and issues which could arise and which may affect your case. At Nayyars Solicitors we specialise in LVI claims and are not afraid if the Third Party Insurers put up a fight.

Mohammad Raza Javid

Solicitor

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