Common Rear-End Car Accident Injuries in 2019
Rear-end auto accidents are the most common type of auto accident and they account for 28% of all collisions per year. Rear-end auto accidents are not always fender benders, accounting for 6% of all fatalities. These fender benders cost people millions of dollars in damages each year.
When it comes to rear-end auto accidents, negligence is almost always present. The vehicle coming from behind is almost always liable in a rear-end auto accident. This means they are responsible for any medical fees, lost wages, and other destroyed property suffered by the driver of the vehicle they struck.
Common Rear-End Injuries
When vehicles are struck from behind, injuries generally result in the same pattern. If an individual has suffered a rear-end motor vehicle accident, they are likely to experience one of many common injuries.
- Whiplash – Rear-end collisions are the most common type of auto accident, and whiplash is the most common injury. Whiplash is when there is soft tissue damage caused by a violent, sudden movement of the neck and head. The driver in the front vehicle, caught unaware and struck from behind, usually has injuries that are more severe. This is because there is no chance to brace for impact and the driver’s muscles are in a relaxed state rather than a contracted one. This allows the head, neck, and back to move more violently, increasing the chances of serious injury. Treatment usually includes pain medications, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antidepressants, muscle relaxants, and a cervical collar (usually worn for 2 to 3 weeks).
- Back injuries – These types of injuries are also highly common. Back injuries can range from mild to severe, causing soreness or even excruciating pain. The force of impact of a rear-end collision results in compression of the spine and the discs in the lower spinal column. This force exerts extraordinary pressure on the vertebrae.
- Airbag injuries – These types of injuries are only common if and when the airbag deploys. Typically the airbag will deploy at speeds of over 20 miles per hour. Deployed airbags can burn the face or scalp. They may also cause broken bones, such as the nose or ribs, depending on the area hit the hardest.
- Spinal cord paralysis – The most serious rear-end collisions can cause brain or spinal injury. This can leave the victim completely or partially paralyzed. If the victim suffers injury to spinal discs or specific parts of the brain, the greater the chances of the rear-end collision victim becoming paralyzed.
- Head and brain injuries – Head and brain injuries are always possible in a rear-end collision and require great care and attention. Head injuries that can result from such a collision include concussion, loss of consciousness, lacerations, swelling, bruising, and more. If an individual is in a rear-end collision, even if the pain is not present, they should always seek medical attention. Be observant of symptoms of traumatic brain injury, which may include:
- Loss of Consciousness
- Chronic Fatigue
- Abnormal Changes in Behavior
- Impaired Speech
- Reduced Cognitive Performance
- Facial disfigurement – Facial disfigurement might be the result of airbag deployment or other injuries during a rear-end accident. These injuries are more than just cosmetic problems. If the face strikes an object in the car, there can be long term medical problems that require extensive treatment and surgeries. These types of injuries may include a broken nose, cheekbone, or jaw, and detached retina.
- Wrist and arm injuries – Since the driver most likely has their arms on the steering wheel during a rear-end collision, wrist and arm injuries are common. In many cases, if the driver sees a car approaching from behind, they brace for impact by gripping the steering wheel. This is actually counterproductive and can cause serious injury to the hand, wrist, and arm.
- Seat belt injuries – Seat belts are helpful in an accident, but this does not mean they will not cause injury. When struck from behind, the driver’s seat belt immediately tightens in order to hold the body firmly in place and prevent it from striking the steering wheel, dashboard, and windshield. This is lifesaving but can cause the seat belt to cut the skin when the body moves forward. The most common seat belt injuries are bruising or lacerations to the chest, neck, and torso.
Regardless of the severity of a rear-end collision, individuals should always seek medical attention. After that, individuals should seek professional legal counsel for representation for their damages.