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Common Injuries From Rear-End Car Accidents

Hundreds of thousands of accidents occur on Georgia’s roads each year. In 2020, the state recorded more than 330,000 crashes. Nearly 40% of the accidents led to injuries.

Rear-end car accidents, make up a significant percentage of road accidents each year. Many people involved move on quickly if there are no immediate physical problems. Unfortunately, injuries from rear-ending accidents can be debilitating if symptoms linger.

On impact, the car and all passengers jerk forward at high speeds. The body snaps back against the seat, pushing the skull and spine backward. With most people rarely braced for a rear-end crash, the motion is violent.

Thus, a rear-end collision often causes mild to severe injuries.

It’s important to seek medical help quickly to identify the injuries and seek the right legal assistance. Some of the common rear-end collision injuries include:

Whiplash Injury

Whiplash injury affects the soft tissues in the head and neck. During rear-end collisions, the sudden movement jerks the head forcefully, hurting the neck and overstretching its tendons and ligaments.

Many people ignore whiplash after taking a few painkillers. However, the injury can worsen over time without adequate treatment.

Some of the symptoms of whiplash include a stiff neck, burning sensation in the neck, shoulder pains, dizziness, and neck pains. More serious whiplash can cause traumatic brain injury.

Whiplash symptoms may not show up until weeks after rear-end collisions. Treatment often includes the use of muscle relaxers and painkillers. You may also need to wear a collar for up to two weeks.

This is one of the common injuries following an accident, but many people only assume it’s neck pain that will disappear quickly. However, even the least painful neck injuries require urgent attention.

Back Injuries

Back injuries also among the most common injuries in rear-end collisions. Force to the back of your car can cause severe strain in your back. Symptoms of back injuries include pain in the lower back, stiffness, shoulder pain, and sharp chronic pain with the movement of muscles in the back.

Back injuries require swift treatment. Ignoring the pain might mean worsening symptoms. Most people dealing with such injuries after getting rear-ended seek medical help quickly because it’s harder for them to complete daily activities.

The treatment options include medication, physical therapy, and, in some cases, surgery. Painkillers help when the injuries are only muscular.

Concussion and Other Forms of Traumatic Brain Injury

Head and brain injuries, also known as traumatic brain injuries or TBIs, are common in car accidents. The impact of being rear-ended causes the brain to hit the inside of the skull, causing tissue compression and bruising. So, medical professionals check for signs of concussion after a rear-end car accident.

The concussion or TBI isn’t always visible at the crash scene. It’s best to watch for signs of concussion for up to 24 hours after an accident. Some common symptoms of concussion include disorientation, confusion, loss of balance, nausea, severe headaches, memory loss, blurred vision, dizziness, sensitivity to light and sound, etc.

Without urgent medical attention, complications may occur following a concussion. Even when you do not suspect head injuries following a crash, it’s important to get checked out quickly. Head injuries can become worse over time, leading to conditions such as permanent memory loss.

Airbag Injuries

The airbags in your car protect you in the event of a crash, deploying if you get rear-ended at more than 10mph. However, they can also cause severe injuries. They deploy at high speeds, sometimes leading to neck, back, and spine fractures.

Airbags can also cause eye injury. You should receive medical checkups if your airbags deploy in a rear-end car accident. The checks will rule out several injuries.

Herniation and Spinal Injuries

Herniation occurs when the outer fiber surrounding a disc ruptures or tears following impact from a collision. Herniated discs occur around the thoracic, cervical, and lumbar regions. Spinal injuries are herniations in the lumbar region.

Severe spinal cord herniation following rear-end collisions causes numbness, back pain, paralysis, and tingling. An individual with a spinal fracture may experience pains in the lower extremities, especially around the knees and feet.

In some cases, herniated disc symptoms may remain unidentified initially due to shock. It’s important to pay attention to how you feel in the hours after an accident. It doesn’t matter if you were behind the steering wheel or if you were a passenger.

Herniations of the spinal cord are not the only spinal injuries you may experience after a rear-end accident.

Other common spine injuries include a torn rotator cuff and compression fracture. Both are painful, but the latter is a serious injury that requires immediate attention. It’s known to cause victims severe pain, as the spinal discs are a part of the core nervous system.

If you have any form of spinal injury, you may need weeks of treatment and physical therapy to recover fully.

You should book an emergency visit if you notice any of the following after any rear-end accidents:

  • Lack of balance
  • Increased muscle spasms
  • Sharp pain along the neck, spine, and shoulders,
  • Reduced sensitivity
  • Loss of bowel and bladder movements
  • Paralysis

Medical personnel will identify injuries and set a course for treatment immediately.

Facial Injuries

Facial injuries occur in rear-end accidents when you hit your face on a hard surface with excessive force. Rear-end collision is one of the main causes of this type of injury. A traumatic brain injury and facial disfigurement often go hand in hand.

You may hit the dashboard or steering wheel with your face, leading to a broken jaw, broken bones, and severely ruptured facial muscles. Most serious facial injuries from a car accident often require surgery to correct.

Wrist and Arm Injuries

Trauma from the forceful forward and backward movement during a car accident can damage your nerves and limit the use of your wrist and arms. Even when the accident occurs at low speeds, the sudden forward and backward snapping of the neck can cause inflammation and damage to the nerves responsible for mobility.

Rear-end accident victims may also have broken bones in their extremities.

With the adrenaline still coursing through your body after the accident, you may not immediately experience the signs of broken bones in your wrist and arms. In some cases, the symptoms only start showing days after the accident.

The symptoms of wrist and arm injuries may not be as severe as some of the others on this page, but they can still lead to substantial time spent in treatment.

Symptoms are worse when a driver or passenger reflexively uses the arm as a wedge following a rear-end collision. Drivers hold the steering wheel tightly, while passengers seek support by holding the dashboard or the doors.

The severity of fractures and the number of broken bones correlates to the severity of the impact. Minor impacts often cause easy-to-manage arm and wrist injuries. Heavier impact can cause serious injuries requiring elaborate treatment and physical therapy.

Seat Belt Injuries

Seat belts are there to save lives in an accident, but they can still cause car accident injuries. The belts often tighten to secure you in an accident. This movement in a rear-end accident will typically lead to shallow cuts and bruising.

These more minor car accident injuries are easier to manage. The medical personnel will dress your wounds and give you some over-the-counter medication to numb the accompanying pain.

What To Do After a Rear-End Collision

After a rear-end collision, you should do the following:

Make a Note of Witnesses and Gather Evidence

If you can move after the accident, take pictures of your vehicle quickly and pay attention to possible key witnesses. Is there a shop in the area? Are there CCTV cameras? They will come in handy in the investigation.

If you can’t move, do not force it to avoid worsening your condition.

Report the Accident to Your Insurance Company and the Police

When you file a police report, be careful with your statement. It’s important to avoid saying anything that will imply that you were at fault for the rear-end collision.

If you admit to being at fault, the insurance company will use your words to deny you financial compensation for the accident. This could mean missing out on a substantial payment.  

Take a picture of the damages to your car and save your repair receipts. They may come in handy during the claims process.

Seek Medical Treatment

Even if you feel okay after a rear-end crash, getting a complete medical evaluation to document any injuries sustained from the accident is important. Do not ignore any common injury. As discussed above, minor injuries may become fatal injuries if you do not know the warning signs. You also need professional evaluation to document injuries that will not appear in photographs.

For example, spinal fractures or a spinal cord injury are conditions that may change your life forever, but they may not be visible immediately after the accident. Other less severe internal injuries include:

  • Dislocated shoulder
  • Whiplash injuries
  • Soft tissue injury
  • Head injury
  • Neck injury
  • Herniated disc

The insurance provider or the other driver may claim that you did not sustain the speed-related injuries due to the accident accident.

Beyond documentation, you need medical care to reduce the risk of complications. The most crucial step to take after an accident is to do all you can to ensure your complete recovery.

Contact a Lawyer

You should consider meeting a motor vehicle accident lawyer after a rear-end crash. The lawyer increases the chances of securing compensation from the at-fault driver or the insurance provider. While they fight for you, you can focus on your recovery.  

How an Auto Accident Lawyer Can Help in Rear-End Collisions Cases

Dealing with the fallout of a rear-end collision is exhausting. When you consider the demands of treating your injuries and fixing your car, dealing with an insurance provider may be a little too much to handle. An auto accident lawyer can help you in the following ways:

Investigating the Accident

The lawyer will independently investigate the rear-end collision to determine who was at fault. They will collect evidence, including witness statements, police reports, surveillance footage, pictures, and more. They will draw a conclusion after scrutinizing the evidence.

Filing an Insurance Claim

Medical expenses from rear-end accident injuries can exhaust your insurance coverage. You may need to pursue damages from the negligent driver and their insurance provider for your medical bills and all expenses related to the accident, including damage to your car.

You don’t have to be in a highly traumatic accident to seek compensation. Even a minor accident can be costly.

The lawyer will file all relevant paperwork and submit supporting documents and evidence backing your claim as the accident victim. They will communicate with the insurance provider on your behalf, including negotiating a settlement.

Filing a Lawsuit

The lawyers will initiate a lawsuit on your behalf if the insurance company doesn’t agree to a reasonable settlement.

According to Georgia laws, you have only two years to seek compensation following a rear-end collision. Working with a lawyer increases your chances of landing a favorable settlement before the statute of limitations passes.

Find a Rear-End Car Accident Lawyer in Atlanta, GA

Every rear-end car accident is different. However, there is a high chance of sustaining injuries. Regardless of how you feel after the accident, seeking medical care is important.

Complete all the recommended tests and keep up with all required treatments until you receive the all-clear. If you choose to take legal action and seek compensation, you must work with an experienced lawyer.

Our auto accident lawyers undertake settlement and compensation cases for accident victims. We improve your chances of receiving a favorable outcome. You don’t need to foot the medical bills and loss of income alone.

Contact Georgia Auto Law at (404) 662-4949 to schedule an appointment for your rear-end accident injury case in Atlanta, GA.

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