Serious Injuries from a Rear-End Collision
Rear-end collisions are the most common type of accident in the United States, accounting for 40 percent of all accidents reported. It involves the front of a vehicle striking the rear-end of another vehicle, often resulting in injuries. This occurs due to speeding, inattention, following too closely, being under the influence of drugs or alcohol and poor road conditions because of weather. On rare occasions, a rear-end accident can be attributed to a car defect. Regardless of cause, these type of accidents often require the services of a lawyer.
Injuries Caused by Rear-End Collisions
The impact of a car being hit from behind can result in a variety of injuries, ranging from minor to severe. The points below can help determine whether a person needs a personal injury lawyer.
• Neck injuries occur when the neck is snapped back, then forward, by the impact. This results in the neck being stretched beyond its normal range of motion resulting in hyperextension, or whiplash, as it is more commonly known. While whiplash is not always serious, herniated cervical discs and pinched nerves can be very severe and can cause a person to suffer disability.
• Injuries to the back, such as strains, sprains and herniated discs in the middle or lower back can result from a rear-end accident. Disc problems can lead to significant pain and lack of mobility.
• Head and facial injuries occur because of hard contact with the steering wheel or windshield after impact, which can result in cuts, bruises and concussions. It is possible for a person to sustain a head injury without contact to the inside of the vehicle. The brain can be smashed against the inside of the skull if the head is whipped back and forth violently, which may lead to brain damage.
• Injuries of the legs, knees, ankles and feet happen when they come in contact with the dashboard, floor or pedals after the car is hit. Sprains, dislocation and broken bones are common with the lower limbs. These injuries do not usually result in permanent damage, but can keep the person off their feet and possibly out of work for a long period of time.
• Seatbelts may cause bruises and damage to internal organs when they pull tight after a rear-end collision. Airbags can cause impact injuries as well as chemical burns, after deployment. These burns can cause permanent scarring and disfigurement.
Other factors that determine injuries in rear-end accidents include how prepared the driver and passengers are for impact, where they are seated and if headrests and seatbelts are in use. In most cases, the driver who hits a car from behind is at fault. There are exceptions to this, which an experienced attorney can further explain.
When a person has been the victim of a rear-end collision that has resulted in injuries and property damage, a consultation with a personal injury lawyer should be scheduled as soon as possible. This protects the interests of the injured person and makes the responsible party accountable for their actions. It also ensures the best possible outcome for compensation and physical recovery.