Rear-end collisions can happen anywhere but are very common at intersections and in parking lots. One second you are waiting for a light to turn green and the next a careless driver has slammed into your rear fender, forcing your car forward.
Many people dismiss rear-end collisions as mere “fender benders,” but the reality is that these accidents can cause serious, life-changing injuries. At DC Law, we help our clients get full compensation after a rear-end collision, and we are eager to help you as well.
This is a very common soft-tissue injury that affects the neck and upper back after a rear-end collision. The force generated by impact pushes a person’s head forward before their chest is restrained by the seat belt. The motorist’s head then snaps back. This forward and back whip-like motion is what gave rise to the name “whiplash.” Some people also suffer whiplash in side-impact collisions, which cause their heads to snap side to side.
Ligaments in the neck and shoulders can be stretched beyond their normal range of motion, leading to constant, debilitating pain. Nerves in the upper back and shoulders can also be impacted.
Minor whiplash can clear up in a matter of weeks and might only require over-the-counter pills to manage pain. However, more serious whiplash can last for more than six months and will require massage and regular physical therapy.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
A person can suffer a TBI if they strike their head on the steering wheel or dashboard. Even if they don’t suffer a blow to the head, the whiplash motion can also shake the brain in their skulls, leading to a TBI.
Common symptoms of a TBI include confusion, mood swings, problems with balance and coordination, impaired senses, and compromised speech. Short-term memory can also be affected. As with whiplash, these injuries might clear up with rest and painkillers after a few months. More serious TBIs can require surgery, physical therapy, and antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication. TBIs are serious injuries, so follow your doctor’s advice closely.
As motorists shield themselves after the rear-end collision, they can suffer broken bones in their hands, arms, wrists, and face. If they are not wearing a seatbelt, they might also suffer fractured ribs, which can cause a host of complications, including a collapsed lung or damage to their kidneys, spleen, or other internal organs.
Fractures in the face might also cause temporary or permanent disfigurement, which is emotionally scarring. Some people need reconstructive surgery to regain a more “normal” appearance.
Spinal Cord Injuries
The impact of a rear-end collision can also damage the spine. A person’s vertebrae might fracture or shatter, which can damage the spinal cord. Many people suffer paralysis in parts of their body below the site of impact. Spinal cord injuries are very difficult to treat and often do not respond to aggressive physical therapy, so some loss of movement or sensation could be permanent.
Injured in a Rear-End Collision? Contact Us