Crash Bytes Newsletter August 2008 2019-11-07T11:13:21-07:00

THREE-CAR LOW VELOCITY IMPACT

How often have you seen this. . . . Your IV is involved in a minor impact accident in which the first CV is pushed forward into a second CV, with no injuries claimed in the middle vehicle, but injuries are claimed in the second CV. Your first inclination is to deny the injury claims from the second CV based on this logic: "If there are no injuries in the first CV, then there can't be any injuries in the second CV." Be careful. You could be denying a legitimate claim (resulting potentially in a hefty jury award down the road).

We recently analyzed a case in which a Lincoln Town Car impacted the rear of a Dodge Neon which then struck the rear of a Ford Escort.

No injuries claimed in the middle vehicle, but all occupants claiming injury in the Escort. Analysis of the bumper damages, headrest protection, and the accident circumstances revealed the impact force acting on the Neon occupants (middle vehicle) was below the relevant threshold for injury, but the force acting on the Escort occupants was above the threshold, given a lack of adequate headrest protection and other significant factors.

In other cases, the middle vehicle is a larger SUV or heavy-duty pickup which is pushed forward into a much smaller compact car. With a weight ratio of two or more to one between the SUV and the compact, it is very possible for the occupants in the middle vehicle to feel no discomfort at all, while the occupants in the smaller third vehicle are rubbing their necks (and writing down your "800" number)!

Inspecting front end of Lincoln Town Car involved in three vehicle rear end accident
Inspecting front end of Dodge Neon involved in three vehicle rear end accident
Inspecting rear end of Ford Escort involved in three vehicle rear end accident

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