Low velocity accident injury claims can and often are very complicated requiring very detailed evidence in support.  The scientific basis of these claims remains in issue often being decided by the Courts. More often than not the Claimant faces allegations of fraud which can be distressing.

Cases where a low velocity impact arguments are raised by the Defendant insurer’s it can be very difficult to prove and often the success of these type of claims is very much dependent upon the credibility of the Claimant.

A velocity impact collision is commonly defined as a collision between two or more vehicles at very low speeds.  So low in fact that on a balance of probabilities the argument is that the occupants of the vehicles were unlikely to have suffered any real occupancy displacement, or displacement which is sufficient enough in force to cause a recognisable injury.    Often the warning signs that a Defendant insurer’s may raise this argument is where both parties vehicles sustained minimal damage, for example a scratch, paintwork damage, where the costs of repair was low, or where no repairs were carried out, the collision occurred at an approximate speed of less than 5 mph.  Whilst this list is not exhaustive it does provide some insight into the potential for when a Defendant insurer may raise a low velocity impact collision argument.

It is critical for Claimant solicitors to request for the client’s medical records, repair documentation, any engineering evidence detailing the level of damage, and any photographs taken of the damage to the vehicle. This will all be important in building  supporting a Claimant’s case and assessing the prospects of success. The Case of Casey v Cartwright [2006] made it clear that if a Defendant wishes to raise low velocity causation he should notify all other parties in writing within three months of receipt of the claim.

To ensure a low velocity impact argument is not accepted by the Courts we must have all the evidence to prove your injuries exist (attendance at your GP, a log of how your injuries affected you).  This causal link confirming that the injury sustained was as a direct result of the accident will be made by an independent medical expert. You must however keep all repair evidence, any photographs taken at the scene to assist us in making a decision on the merits of the case.   Claimant’s must exercise cautious with what they say or text to the Defendant’s post accident as this can all be used as evidence later down the line.  

Although the process for low velocity impact claims is not as straightforward compared to other road traffic accident claims, seeking legal advice early on can offer the best possible chances of success for genuine Claimant’s.

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