Rear-end collisions account for roughly one in every three car accidents in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Although they are often referred to as “minor” accidents, these crashes can result in severe injuries or even loss of life—and victims should carefully consider whether to pursue an injury case to recover compensation.
Common Injuries Suffered in Rear-End Collisions
A rear-end accident occurs when a following car strikes the vehicle ahead of it, making contact with the back bumper. Since these accidents often occur at low speeds, victims may refuse medical treatment after the crash, assuming that their injuries are not serious. However, many suffer an onset of pain and symptoms in the days that follow. They may have to take time off work, and they may incur medical costs long after the person who caused the crash has driven away.
Thousands of injuries occur every year as a result of rear-end crashes, including:
- Whiplash. One of the most common injuries associated with rear-end accidents is whiplash, which can cause extreme pain in the head, neck, or back. A sudden rear impact causes a driver’s head to jerk backward, then slam forward as he is caught by the seatbelt.
- Head and facial injuries. Victims may suffer nose fractures or traumatic brain injuries as their heads make contact with the headrest or airbag, while glass from a shattered windshield can cause facial cuts (lacerations) that result in permanent scarring.
- Broken bones. Arm and wrist fractures may occur as the victim reaches out to “brace” for the impact, while the sudden tightening of a victim’s seatbelt can cause bone fractures in the pelvis, shoulders, or ribs.
- Herniated discs. A victim’s spine may flex or twist unnaturally during impact, causing extreme pain as the sponge-like material cushioning the vertebrae (disc) bulges outward.
We Can Determine the Cause of Your Rear-End Crash
The driver in the rear vehicle is almost always at fault for causing a rear-end collision, since he is responsible for leaving a safe following distance. Some of the most common causes of rear-end collisions include distracted driving, tailgating, and speeding, but it will take some investigation into the details of your case to determine fault and how much you may be owed. Contact Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum via our online form today to schedule a car accident consultation at no cost to you.