Low-speed collision

Low-speed collision

Contention: low-speed collision in personal injury case

Suppose the injured party is rear-ended at less than 5 km/h. Injured person starts a personal injury case against the rear-end collider. Can the low-impact collision be a relevant circumstance in determining and settling the injured party’s personal injury claim?

We can find the answer to this question in the judgment of the Arnhem Leeuwarden Court of Appeal of 21 July 2020 (ECLI:NL:GHARL:2020:5749). In r.o. 5.18 onwards, the court of appeal stated that a minor Delta V in itself does not necessarily preclude the assumption of a causal link between the pain complaints and the accident, but it is a circumstance that must be taken into account when answering the question whether there is a causal link. The court concluded that the fact that the injured party was taken to hospital by ambulance after the accident i.c.m. the finding that the pain complaints had been validated by the experts could not support the conclusion that the pain complaints could have been caused by the accident.

The conclusion that despite a low Delta V, the accident may have caused the complaints should be supported by a proper independent expert report, which assumes a low Delta V but from which it follows that even then there is a causal link between the accident and the complaints of the person involved. Thus, a low collision speed can indeed be a relevant circumstance in determining and settling damages.[1]

[1] Arnhem-Leeuwarden Court of Appeal 23 January 2018, ECLI:NL:GHARL:2018:733, and rb. The Hague 22 October 2013, www/stichtingpiv.nl.


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Written by Mr O. (Onur) Emre

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