CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: What We Are Doing to Protect Our Clients

Two of My Recent Cases - Factors and Variables Involved in Each

vehicle property damage

Above are photos of vehicle property damage for two cases I recently handled. Can you tell by the photos which client sustained the greater injury?

Well, the clients in Car A above walked away with a few bruises and glass scratched. The client in Car B suffered a cervical disk injury with disk replacement surgery. That case went to verdict in December and the jury awarded over 4 Million Dollars.


So, what are some of the factors that determine severity of an injury. There are literally hundreds, but here’s a few of the more important ones:

The Angle of the collision.

The angle of collision plays a big role in what forces the neck experiences, and what tissue is damaged. A head-on crash is actually typically less harmful than a collision from an angle where the spine may be twisted.

The speed and weight of the rear car

The heavier the rear car and the faster it is moving, the more force is directed into the occupant in the front car.

The speed and weight of the front car

If the front car is large, there may be little apparent damage to the vehicle. A smaller can can experience much more acceleration even if the impact is minor. More acceleration equals a greater chance of injury.

Was the roadway dry, wet or icy?

The amount the car moves after impact is critical and an accident on ice or gravel is likely to be more serious than one on a dry asphalt pavement.

Where was the patient looking?

A turned head will expose the patient to more stressors and an increased injury risk.


Women have a much higher chance of chronic neck pain than do men.

Occupant awareness of impact

Sometimes, being braced can lessen the chance of injuries. However, bracing of arms and legs can lead to injury in those areas of the body.

Head Restraints not utilized properly.

If the headrest is too low it can act as a pivot for hyperextension.

Seat belts in use?

Typically seat belt use decreases the chance of a serious head injury but increases cervical and lumbar strains.

Secondary Collisions

Can complicate the injury patterns.

Medical History

A history of pre-existing spinal degeneration or of headaches can complicate healing.

Pain Onset

People who report pain onset immediately are more likely to have long term problems down the line.

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento personal Injury Lawyer. Feel free to have your clients call me anytime for free, friendly advice. Or call me yourself for any medico-legal issue. In Sacramento, I can be reached at 916.921.6400. You can find my firms reviews on Yelp or on Avvo.

Because so many people have no idea how to choose a good accident lawyer, I recently produced this video:

Client Reviews
"Me and my wife; had a car accident. We were amazed how easy, professional, friendly attorney Ed Smith is along with his staff. Everybody is amazing. Thank you so much, we are very impressed!" Alex & Dinah M.
"Ed Smith and his office team took on a difficult personal injury case on my behalf and for the passenger in my car. Ed is a top- notch attorney. His staff couldn't have been more helpful and kind. No need to look elsewhere. I give Ed Smith my highest recommendation." Beverly
"Ed and Robert have been taking great care of my husband and I for the past 5+ years. They are always there when you have a problem and a quick resolution! Even when the issues have nothing to do with them. They are willing to help ease the pain off your shoulders. They are as good as it gets! Thank you again for everything." Annie T.
"Very professional. Great team, staff and service all around. Mr Smith was very honest, straight forward with his advice. He gives the word "attorney" an honest reputation. I will seek his council anytime, and would recommend him at the drop of a dime." Jeremy M.
"I would highly recommend Ed Smith to any friends or family in need of a personal injury attorney. Ed, and his staff, are very caring on top of being very experienced in this field. The staff always keeps you informed of the status of your case and they are always easy to reach by phone." Shannon D.
"Edward Smith law offices provide competent, thorough, and personable help for victims of personal injury. When you first meet the staff you know you contacted the right office. This law office treats clients like people. I recommend this office to anyone seeking representation regarding personal injury." David M.