Crumple Zones Help Prevent Catastrophic Injuries and Deaths

Posted on February 27, 2016 by bermanstaff

The declining number of fatalities and serious injuries per mile traveled is thanks to a lot of factors. For one, vehicles are safer now than they were decades ago. One of the most important safety features of any vehicle is the crumple zone, which was invented in 1952 and is now used in all vehicles. The crumple zone helps decrease the force the occupants are subjected to in a collision by slowing the rate of deceleration. While 2.3 million car accident victims suffer serious injuries every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of injuries would certainly be much higher if crumple zones were not used.

A Crumple Zone is a Pre-Weakened Exterior Frame

A crumple zone is essentially part of the front end frame that is designed to crumple or be crushed in a front on collision. Crumple zones are also present in the rear and even at the sides of some vehicles as well, but all vehicles have front end crumple zones. While the crumple zone is designed to deteriorate or deform in an accident, the inner cabin that contains the occupants is designed to be extra rigid in order to avoid deformation.

Slower Crashes Are Less Traumatic, and So Too Are Slower Rates of Deceleration

You may be wondering how something that is designed to be weak could actually be a safety advancement. Crumple zones work by absorbing the force of the accident and distributing that shock wave of force away from the occupants of the vehicle. They also work in an even more important way than redistributing the force: crumple zones actually decrease the force created in a crash. Force equals mass times acceleration, and by decreasing the acceleration, force can also be decreased. However, in this scenario it is actually time to stop that we are worried about, which is deceleration, which acts the same in the formula. By increasing the time to stop the vehicle while it collides and crumples, the force can be decreased. If it takes twice as long for the car to come to a stop from the front end crumpling and slowing at a longer rate, the force is also halved. Another way to imagine the physics of how a crumple zone works is to picture jumping from a tree onto grass as opposed to pavement. The grass “gives” way while the pavement does not. You actually take longer to slow down by landing on the grass than by landing on the pavement, where the landing and deceleration is extremely abrupt. The force you experience is less by landing on grass or by being in a car collision with a crumple zone.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

If you have been injured in a collision you may be able to receive compensation for your injuries. This compensation can help pay for your medical bills, pain and suffering, and property damage. If the collision was no fault of yours, contact one of our experienced car accident attorneys today at 858-350-8855 with the law offices of Berman & Riedel, LLP.

About Berman & Riedel, LLP firm managing partner attorney William M. Berman:

Attorney William M. Berman focuses his practice in the areas of catastrophic personal injury, wrongful death and elder abuse and neglect. Strictly a plaintiffs’ dedicated firm, he never represents insurance companies in the defense of claims. Mr. Berman’s firm remains staunchly committed to helping those who have suffered serious injury or loss due the negligence, intentional misconduct or wrongful acts of others. Mr. Berman has grown his firm to what is considered one of the largest and most successful elder abuse/neglect practices within California. Through his continued successes in handling claims involving nursing home and elder abuse and neglect, Mr. Berman remains a prominent figure in advocating on behalf of this vulnerable class of citizens.
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Below are answers to common questions people have about personal injury cases and working with a lawyer. During your initial consultation, we will be happy to answer questions that are particular to your case.

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The attorneys at Berman & Riedel, LLP, accept cases on a contingency-fee basis. This type of agreement means you do not pay any attorneys’ fees out-of-pocket for legal representation. Attorneys’ fees are also contingent on the outcome of your case.

You benefit from legal representation in exchange for an agreed-upon percentage of a settlement or jury award. We will only recover a fee if you recover compensation.

Can You Tell Me How Much My Case Is Worth?

There is no way to determine the exact value of a personal injury case, especially early in your case. However, an experienced attorney can give you an estimated range based on their experience with similar cases.

There are many factors that may influence the value of your case, such as:

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  • The severity of your injuries
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  • The strength of your case
  • Whether you share fault for your accident
  • Insurance policy limits 

Some damages are easy to calculate, such as lost wages and medical bills. Calculating the value of diminished earnings for the rest of your life or future medical needs; however, may require the help of experts. Non-economic damages like pain and suffering have no intrinsic financial value. These damages are challenging to calculate. 

If your case goes before a jury, you may potentially be able to recover more than you could through a settlement. However, this introduces a new element of risk: the jury. The circumstances of your accident and even how sympathetic you or the defendant are can influence the outcome.

During your consultation, and throughout your case, we will help you understand how these factors influence your case. We will also work tirelessly to document the value of all your damages and pursue maximum compensation on your behalf.

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An experienced lawyer will build your case as if it will go to trial from the beginning. The stronger your case and evidence, the more likely a fair settlement will be reached.

How Do I Know If I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer?

If your case involves mostly property damage or minor injuries, you likely do not need a lawyer to handle a claim with the insurance company. The more serious your injuries, or the more complex your case, the more important it becomes to seek experienced legal counsel.

Remember that the insurance company is not on your side, even if the insurance adjuster seems sympathetic and you receive a settlement offer. If you are being blamed for your accident or sustained serious injury, a lawyer will help you protect your rights and build the strongest case possible. This includes calculating the full value of your current and future losses.

Legal representation is also vital if your case involves a complex area of law such as elder abuse or neglect, premises liability, commercial vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, or serious work-related accidents. Determining liability, navigating decades of legal precedence, and interpreting specific statutes in these cases is best done with years of relevant legal experience.

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