Stephen Hasner | Car Accidents | November 12, 2020
Rear-end collisions can cause severe injuries for all parties. Insurance companies downplay rear-end crashes as “minor fender benders” that do not result in severe injuries. While that might be true in some cases, it is not true in all rear-end accidents.
Let’s take a look at some common rear-end collision injuries and how they can impact your life.
Whiplash and Neck Injuries
One of the most common injuries caused by rear-end car accidents is whiplash. Whiplash refers to a neck injury caused by the sudden “whipping” motion your head makes when you are rear-ended. The hyperextension and hyperflexion caused when a vehicle is rear-ended strains and tears the soft tissues in the neck.
Whiplash injuries can be excruciatingly painful for weeks or days. In many cases, whiplash heals entirely with time and rest. However, that is not the case for everyone.
Some individuals experience chronic neck pain that radiates down through the shoulders and arms. They might experience dizziness, headaches, numbness, tingling, muscle spasms, and stiffness.
A doctor might prescribe medications, neck braces, and ice/heat compresses. In a few cases, individuals could experience long-term whiplash symptoms.
Facial injuries are also common in rear-end crashes when the seat belt fails to restrain the driver. The driver’s face may slam into the steering wheel, causing numerous broken bones.
An airbag can also cause significant injuries when it deploys. The explosions can cause laceration and facial scarring. Also, shattered glass and debris flying around the vehicle can cause facial injuries.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Striking your head on the steering wheel, dashboard, window, or car frame can cause a concussion or a severe brain injury. Brain injuries can have long-term effects, including cognitive, physical, and emotional impairments.
Whiplash can also cause traumatic brain injury. The force of your head whipping back and forth can cause your brain to slam into the skull in multiple areas. The results may include bruising, swelling, tearing, and bleeding.
The effects of a brain injury after a rear-end accident can last for months or years. In some cases, the brain damage is permanent.
Broken and Fractured Bones
Cracked and broken ribs are common in rear-end accidents, as are broken ankles, wrists, arms, and legs. A broken bone might heal with a cast and time. However, some individuals require surgery to repair the damage.
Using metal plates, screws, and pins to repair a broken bone can cause long-term problems. It can weaken joints, thereby increasing the risk of another break or fracture. Some individuals require months of physical therapy to heal from a broken bone.
Damage to Internal Organs
A rear-end crash can cause a variety of injuries to internal organs. Seat belt syndrome can result in damage to the intestine and abdomen. Airbags can also cause injuries to internal organs when they deploy.
Damage to internal organs can be difficult to diagnose if there are no outward signs of injury. However, if left untreated, internal organ damage can become life-threatening.
Spinal Cord Injuries and Back Injuries
Spinal cord and back injuries can result in serious, long-term conditions. Paralysis and chronic back pain can severely change a person’s life. The person may be unable to work or care for themselves.
Back injuries include fractured vertebrae, herniated discs, reputed discs, facet joint injuries, and soft tissue damage. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to diagnose the cause of back pain. It might take a second opinion from a back specialist to obtain a correct diagnosis and treatment plan.
Psychological injuries are also common after a car crash. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety, and depression can be debilitating. It is just as important to seek medical treatment for psychological injuries after a rear-end accident as it is to seek treatment for physical injuries.
Why Is Prompt Medical Treatment Important After a Rear-End Car Accident?
Seeking medical treatment after a car accident is always important. You cannot be sure whether you sustained serious injuries until a medical professional examines you. Do not ignore aches and pains because they could be an indication of a severe car accident injury.
In addition to taking care of your health, prompt medical attention after an accident helps with your personal injury claim. Delays in medical care hurt claims. The delay in care gives the insurance company another reason to argue that the accident did not cause your injuries.
The best thing you can do for your health and your injury claim is to see a doctor immediately to diagnose, treat, and document your injuries.
Who is Responsible for a Rear-End Collision in Georgia?
Most people assume that the rear driver is always at fault for a rear-end accident. That assumption may be correct in many cases. Drivers have a duty of care to keep a lookout and allow enough distance between them and the car in front of them to avoid an accident.
Common causes of rear-end accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Following too closely for conditions
- Tailgating and aggressive driving
- Drunk driving
- Fatigued driving
A front driver in a rear-end accident can share liability for a crash. Anyone who contributes to the cause of an accident can be held liable for damages. If the front driver contributed to the cause of the accident, the compensation paid to that driver for damages could be reduced by the percentage of responsibility the driver had for causing the crash.
It can be difficult to determine liability in a rear-end collision. Instead of assuming you are at fault, reserve your comments and apologizes until after you speak with a rear-end accident lawyer. Do not give the insurance company a statement about the accident or answer any questions without talking to a lawyer.
Only after a thorough investigation into the cause of the accident can you be sure whether your share liability for the cause of the crash. Do not trust what the insurance adjuster tells you. The adjuster is protecting the insurance company from liability.
Recovering Compensation for Rear-End Accident Injuries?
Recovering from injuries caused by a rear-end collision can be costly and time-consuming. You could be out of work for weeks or months. Your medical bills could total thousands of dollars.
Filing a personal injury claim against the at-fault driver can give you the money you need to pay medical bills and living expenses. It can help you continue to recover from the physical, emotional, and financial damages caused by a negligent driver.
With the help of a car accident lawyer, you can seek compensation for damages including:
- Cost of medical treatment
- Loss of income and benefits
- Personal care costs
- Other out-of-pocket expenses and financial losses
- Emotional and mental suffering
- Physical pain and suffering
- Disabilities, impairments, scarring, and disfigurement
- Psychological injuries and conditions
- Loss of enjoyment and quality of life
Do not let an insurance adjuster convince you that your rear-end accident claim is not worth very much. Talk with a lawyer to get advice and guidance that can help you receive the maximum compensation allowed for your rear-end accident claim.