Low-Impact Motor Vehicle Accident Results in Spinal Injuries

This case study explores a low-impact motor vehicle accident that resulted in significant spinal injuries, requiring expert insight into injury biomechanics.

ByExpert Institute


Published on February 6, 2024

Driver with back pain

Case Overview

This case study involves an adult who sustained significant spinal injuries following a low-impact motor vehicle accident (MVA). The incident occurred when the individual was parked outside a business, and another driver backed into their vehicle.

Despite the seemingly minor nature of the collision, the patient suffered from a posterior disc herniation that required cervical spine surgery at C3/4. There is also an indication for a second surgery at C6/7. This case required an expert in injury biomechanics to review the details and provide insight into the injury mechanism.

Questions to the expert and their responses


Can you describe your experience in injury biomechanics, specifically as it relates to assessing low-impact accidents resulting in injuries?

I hold a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering with a specialization in biomechanics and mechanobiology. My 25 years of experience span research, teaching, device design, and consulting in Biomedical Engineering.

My specific areas of expertise include impact injury, tissue biomechanics, and mechanobiology.


What information would you need to determine the mechanism of injury between the spinal injury and the MVA?

To establish the connection between spinal damage and the MVA, I would need comprehensive details about the impact itself.

This includes photographs of the vehicles involved, police reports, seating positions, among others. Information regarding vehicle damage repair bills could be relevant even in low-impact cases. Additionally, access to medical records is crucial, especially if there are complexities related to prior conditions or comorbidities.


Have you ever reviewed a similar case involving injuries from a low-impact MVA? If yes, please elaborate?

Yes, over the past five years, I have consulted on more than a dozen impact injuries. Many of these involved low-impact collisions, and most resulted in herniated discs.

About the expert

This expert boasts over 25 years of experience in biomechanics and mechanobiology, with a strong academic background that includes a Ph.D. in Bioengineering and the Mechanics of Materials from a renowned technological institute. They have contributed significantly to their field, holding six patents and authoring over 100 peer-reviewed works. Currently serving as a professor of Biomedical Engineering at an Ivy League university and a visiting professor at a top European university, this expert's extensive knowledge and experience make them highly relevant to cases involving injury biomechanics, such as the one under review.

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