You’re stopped at a red light or sitting in rush hour traffic when suddenly, you hear a loud crunch as your car lurches forward. What just happened? After recovering from the initial shock of the incident, you realize you’ve been the victim of a rear-end collision. What now?
Often rear-end collisions occur when drivers are traveling at low speeds and the injuries suffered are minor. However, rear-end collisions can be severe and cause serious injuries for those involved. If you or someone you love was injured in a rear-end collision you shouldn’t have to face the consequences alone. The experienced attorneys at Fielding Law are here to help. Call today for a free consultation.
Approximately 1.7 million rear-end collisions take place on U.S roadways every year. The following are the most common causes of these collisions:
Tailgating- This is when a driver intentionally follows the car in front of them too closely and it is considered a form of aggressive driving. When a driver is tailgating the vehicle in front of them, they don’t have time to react if the vehicle stops suddenly.
Speeding- A driver is speeding if they are driving faster than the posted speed limit, but speeding can also include any situation in which a driver is going faster than is safe for the current road and weather conditions, whatever the posted speed limit may be. Speeding increases the distance needed to stop a vehicle. If a driver is speeding and the driver in front of them stops suddenly, this can lead to a rear-end collision or even a multi-car pile up.
Distracted Driving– Distracted driving is any activity that takes your focus off of the road. This can include such things as texting, talking on the phone, eating, adjusting your navigation system or doing your make-up. When a driver’s focus is not on the task of driving, they may not notice the actions of the vehicle in front of them in time to respond.
Rear-end collisions can result in serious injuries. People often make the mistake of thinking that they haven’t been injured if they were involved in an accident that took place at a low speed. However, even a low impact collision can cause life-altering injuries. It is recommended to seek medical attention after any type of motor vehicle accident, even ones that seem minor.
The following are common injuries that are sustained after a rear-end collision:
Whiplash: This is the most common injury experienced by victims of a rear-end collision. When your vehicle is hit from behind, your body experiences a violent jolt. A person involved in a rear-end collision may not have time to brace for impact, meaning that their muscles are left in a relaxed state. This sudden jerking of a person’s head and neck can damage the soft tissue of their spine, that lead to spinal cord injuries.
Oftentimes, immediately following an accident, adrenaline is coursing through the bodies of those involved. As a result the victim may not feel any pain right away. It may take hours, days, or sometimes even weeks for the full extent of their injuries to be realized.
Symptoms may include neck pain, dizziness, headaches, and impaired vision.
Back Injuries: Even accidents that occur at low speeds can result in serious back injuries. The force of impact can cause compression of the spine and the discs of the lower back. Herniated or bulging discs can cause a victim to have severe pain, numbness or tingling for years afterward. These symptoms may be felt not only in their back, but also in their legs, knees, and feet.
Facial Disfigurement:Airbags won’t typically deploy in a rear-end collision and as a result, when you are hit from behind your face may make violent contact with the steering wheel. The force of impact may break your nose and cause fractures to your cheek and jaw. Injuries could also include cuts, bruises, or even a detached retina.
Any of these injuries may cause lasting scarring and cosmetic damage. Some victims may experience long term complications or even require extensive surgeries to repair the damage.
Brain/Head Injuries: A driver not wearing their seat belt can be thrown violently into the dashboard, steering wheel or windshield. This may result in a concussion, loss of consciousness, lacerations and many other serious injuries.
A brain injury may not immediately be apparent. It could take days or even weeks for the effects of the injury to completely manifest themselves. The following are common symptoms of a traumatic brain injury:
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you should see a doctor right away. Brain injuries can lead to permanent damage and may even be fatal.
The days following a car accident can be confusing and disorienting. After a rear-end collision, insurance companies will likely try to settle the claim quickly and before the full extent of the victim’s injuries are apparent. Before accepting a quick settlement with an insurance company, it is so important to be informed about your rights, options for treatment, and financial compensation.
The experienced attorneys at Fielding Law will fight to get you the high-quality medical care you need and the financial compensation you are owed. After an injury, your focus should be on your recovery, not on the financial repercussions of your accident. Let us take on the burden of negotiating your claim with the insurance company. Call the team at Fielding Law today for a free review of your case.