Many times, auto insurers use the argument that little to no property damage means no occupants could have been injured. This person making this argument is, at best, misinformed, or, at worst, dishonest. If you drop a carton of eggs, you don't look for damage on the outside of the carton, do you? Damage to the outside of the carton bears no relationship to the condition of the contents (or occupants)!
Race cars are designed to crush and dissipate the energy, thus sparing the occupant serious injury. These race cars have collisions at much higher speeds than the average traffic collision, yet the drivers have low injury statistics. The average vehicle on the road is designed with bumpers to minimize vehicle damage, as mandated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This means the vehicle will sustain less damage, thus causing the forces to be transmitted to the occupants. The NHTSA specifically states that car bumpers are "not a safety feature intended to prevent or mitigate injury severity to occupants in the passenger cars."
Many companies utilize the MIST (minimum impact, soft tissue) protocol. They separate their claims by amount of property damage. If the property damage is $1000 or less, the adjuster's contention is that the occupants could not have suffered injuries. If the damage is over $1000, the possibility of injuries is considered. This has been disproven in numerous scientific studies.
There are many factors that need to be taken into account in determining if an occupant could have suffered injuries in the trauma. A few of these include, physical condition of the occupant, age of the occupant, position of the occupant at the time of impact, size of vehicles involved, along with many other factors.
The state of Florida statistics show that, from 1994-1999, in collisions not involving pedestrians, bicycles, or speeds over 10 mph, there were an average of 318 fatalities and 46,752 injuries annually.
Citizens do get injured in low speed collisions, and they depend on qualified professionals to help them recover as well as they can, and to be compensated for their injuries.