What Is Considered a Moderate Car Crash?

Car crashes can be divided into three categories: minor, moderate, and severe. Most crashes fall into the moderate category. So, what is considered a “moderate” car crash, and why does this matter?

At the Law Offices of Mickey Fine, our Bakersfield car accident lawyer has helped many accident victims obtain the justice and compensation they deserve for more than 25 years. We are committed to helping you recover from your injuries and move forward with your life.

What Is a Moderate Car Crash?

The easiest way to understand what is considered a moderate car crash is to compare moderate crashes to minor and severe vehicle collisions. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines a minor car accident as one in which:

  • Each vehicle can be driven from the crash site;
  • No airbags deployed; and,
  • No one sustained any injuries in the crash.

Typically, any damage to the vehicles involved in a minor car accident will be minimal. There might be a dent or scuff mark, but nothing that requires significant bodywork or repairs to the vehicle’s internal components.

In contrast, a severe car accident is one in which there is significant damage to one or both vehicles and one or more occupants sustain severe traumatic injuries. Typically, one or both vehicles will need to be towed from the crash site, and the financial and non-financial costs of the accident will add up quickly for the drivers and passengers involved.

A moderate car accident is any accident that falls in between these two extremes. While a moderate car crash does not have a precise definition, some common characteristics of minor car crashes include:

  • One or both vehicles traveling at speeds between 25 and 45 miles per hour
  • One or both drivers were able to slow down or attempt to avoid the crash
  • The crash involved a rear-end or side-to-side collision
  • The damage to each vehicle is significant but repairable
  • One or more occupants sustained injuries that require medical treatment but will not lead to permanent disability or loss of function
  • Everyone involved in the accident was wearing their seatbelt

However, these could easily be characteristics of a severe accident as well, and it is entirely possible that drivers and passengers could escape a potentially dangerous accident relatively unscathed. Ultimately, the consequences of any car crash depend on the specific facts involved—including even the smallest details that might seem insignificant under most circumstances.

Why Does it Matter if a Car Crash is Categorized as Moderate?

Why does it matter if a car crash is considered moderate? The simple answer is: It doesn’t. When it comes to recovering your losses after a car crash in California, the severity of the accident is irrelevant to your claim for compensation. All that really matters is: (i) who was at fault; and, (ii) how much the crash has cost you (and will cost you in the future).

This isn’t the case in all states. For example, in states that have no-fault insurance laws, accident victims must be able to prove that they suffered significant or permanent injuries in order to seek fault-based compensation. As a result, the ability to seek fault-based compensation is generally limited to cases involving moderate and severe collisions.

But, California does not have a no-fault insurance law. In California, accident victims can file liability insurance claims regardless of the severity of their injuries. So, whether your crash can be categorized as mild, moderate, or severe is irrelevant. If you can prove that the other driver was at fault, and if you can prove that you have suffered losses as a result of the accident, then you are entitled to recover fault-based compensation.

How Do You Seek Financial Compensation for a Moderate Car Crash?

Given everything we’ve just discussed, seeking financial compensation for a moderate car crash in California is just like seeking financial compensation for any other type of accident. This means that accident victims should:

  • Seek Medical Attention Promptly – If you were injured in the accident, you should seek medical attention promptly. Follow your doctor’s advice, or seek a second opinion if you feel that one is necessary.
  • Record as Much Information as Possible – Make sure you have the other driver’s vehicle and insurance information in a safe place, and write down as many details as you can remember about the accident.
  • Contact an Attorney – Hiring an experienced attorney is the best way to make sure you receive maximum compensation for a moderate car accident. Your attorney can use the available evidence to prove liability, prove how much you are entitled to recover, and fight to collect the compensation you deserve.

Talk to a Bakersfield Car Accident Lawyer Today

Do you have questions about seeking financial compensation for a moderate car crash in California? If so, we encourage you to contact us promptly. To speak with a Bakersfield accident lawyer in confidence, call (661) 333-3333 today.

Car Accident
by Mickey Fine Law
Last updated on - Originally published on