An NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) report shows that rear-end accidents account for 30% of all traffic collisions in the U.S.
Many rear-end collisions are not severe, nor do they lead to serious injuries. However, this is not always the case.
The impact of a vehicle colliding with the back of your vehicle can result in serious injuries that can impact your physical and mental abilities now and in the future.
Understanding some of the most common injuries in a rear-end accident can help you better understand how serious these collisions are.
Whiplash is the most common injury seen in rear-end accidents. While whiplash is not as severe as broken bones, it can be painful and limit your neck’s range of motion.
It occurs when your head is suddenly and violently “whipped” forward and back.
It is estimated that approximately 80% of people who sustain a whiplash injury will experience soreness and pain in their neck for over a week. Some people may experience pain and discomfort for up to one year (or longer).
While whiplash is considered a less serious injury in a rear-end accident, it can cause nerve and muscle damage. One symptom of whiplash that many accident victims are unaware of is stomach pain.
2. Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
You may sustain a concussion or a more serious TBI if you hit your head after being rear-ended. The impact from the vehicle behind you may lead to your head hitting the window, airbag, or steering wheel.
Hitting your head on these objects can cause several different TBIs. Usually, the severity of the injury is determined by the collision’s severity.
Symptoms of TBIs after a car accident include the following:
- Speech problems
- Vision problems
- Impaired cognitive function
- Memory loss
- Extreme fatigue
- Mood swings
- Loss of consciousness
For severe head injuries and TBIs, you may experience physical, cognitive, and behavioral disabilities. If the TBI leads to a coma, paralysis, or other problems, you may need ongoing care for the remainder of your life.
3. Soft Tissue Damage
The areas of your body that do not have bones can be damaged and injured in a car accident. This includes fat, nerves, tendons, muscles, and ligaments, all classified as your soft tissue.
Soft tissue injuries are likely if the rear-end collision throws you around the vehicle or causes your body to crush into the steering wheel. Examples include pulled muscles, soreness, sprains, strains, tears, and bruises.
In some situations, soft tissue injuries remain undiagnosed. If this happens, it may lead to serious complications.
When car accidents occur, broken bones are common. In a rear-end collision, you may sustain multiple broken bones.
For example, you may break your hips, ribs, legs, toes, feet, legs, arms, fingers, hands, and wrists.
It may be a simple fracture or a compound fracture, which is more serious since it means the bone protrudes through the skin.
In some accidents, you may experience crushed bones that require ongoing surgeries and rehabilitation.
5. Herniated or Slipped Disc
Your spine has vertebrae and rubber-like cushions stacked on top of each other. These “cushions” in between your bones are discs.
The discs in your spine are made with a soft nucleus in the middle and have a rubber-like exterior. A herniated or slipped disc occurs if the main disc tears through the exterior and moves out of place.
Not everyone experiences symptoms with a herniated disc, while others do. Some slipped, or herniated disc symptoms include muscle weakness, tingling or numbness, and pain in the arm or leg.
Most herniated disc injuries do not require surgery. However, if you do not seek treatment, the situation may worsen and cause more pain and discomfort.
Your Legal Rights After Being Struck in a Rear-End Car Accident
In most rear-end car accidents, liability is assigned to the car that hits you from behind. However, this is not always the case. Several factors must be evaluated to determine liability.
At The Law Office of Joseph J. Perrini, III, we can gather and evaluate the evidence related to your case to determine who is liable. We can also provide you with experienced representation to ensure your rights are protected.
The recovery period after any car accident can be painful and stressful. Our team will help reduce the stress by handling the legal aspect of the situation. You can count on us to fight for the full compensation you deserve for your injuries and losses.