Most rear-end collisions happen because the tailing driver isn’t paying attention, or because he or she isn’t exercising proper control over their vehicle.
Too often, the front-most driver is left with little chance of avoiding the accident and escaping injury.
Sadly, those injuries can be as serious as they are unfair. Below, we look at several of the most common injuries you can get from being rear-ended in a car crash.
You don’t have to be traveling at fast speeds to develop whiplash. In fact, people have suffered serious cases of whiplash on slow-moving amusement park rides, on golf carts, in parking lot bump-ups, and a variety of other low-speed accidents. All it takes is movement at 5 miles per hour or more.
Whiplash happens when your head and neck are jostled back and forth, “whipping” more forcefully than the neck’s sensitive structure can handle. It can lead to everything from headaches and restricted movement to depression, cognitive difficulties, impaired senses, and unavoidable career change.
Even more modest cases of whiplash can lead to significant medical bills and claims for pain and suffering.
Spine and Back Injuries
Any injury involving your spinal cord can lead to a far-reaching range of health problems, including (but not necessarily limited to):
- Severe back pain
- Problems with your nerves
- Reduced range of motion
- Lost sensation of feeling
- Tingling (“pins and needles”)
- Paralysis (including paraplegia or quadriplegia)
Other back injuries may include:
- Slipped discs
- Herniated discs
- Pulled muscles
- Compressed vertebrae
- Broken bones
Head Injuries & Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
As with whiplash, head injuries can happen more easily than you may realize. In fact, whiplash can even cause a brain injury.
Traumatic brain injury is the term for any injury to your brain, which could be something as traumatic as a direct strike to your head or a penetration of the skull, or something less invasive: a jostling of the brain within the head itself.
Concussion is a serious form of TBI — much more serious than once believed. Long gone are the days when football players believed they could “tough out” a concussion. Today we know that every concussion involves a direct injury to the brain and can have long-term consequences. Prompt and thorough medical treatment is critical.
Seatbelt and Airbag Injuries
Even though seatbelts have been proven to save lives — and you are always better off wearing one — sometimes the force of collision can cause the belt to pull in on your body too tightly. Lacerations and bruises are common, while more serious injuries are possible in severe accidents.
Similarly, airbags have made automobiles much safer overall, but a forceful impact with an expanding airbag can cause serious damage. Likewise, a defective airbag can have devastating or fatal consequences.
Because rear-end accidents often propel the occupant forward just as the airbag is expanding, airbag injuries are among the most common injuries you can get from being rear-ended.
Joint Injuries: Knees, Wrists, Shoulders, Ankles, Elbows, Etc.
Knee injuries are some of the more medically complicated injuries we see in rear-end auto accidents. The human knee is made up of many complex parts. Any injury to the knee can produce adverse health effects for years to come, including impaired mobility and chronic pain.
Other joints can develop a wide range of complications after collision too, from inflamed tendons to soft tissue injuries and beyond.
Unfortunately, fractured or broken bones are among the most common rear-end accident injuries. Bones made vulnerable during rear-end collision include:
- Arm bones
- Leg bones
- Shoulder bones
- Pelvic bone
- Collar bone
- Rib cage
- Bones in the hands and feet
Disfigurement or Disability
The injuries you can get from being rear-ended include facial lacerations, cosmetic disfigurement, dental damage, burns, and other injuries that affect the way you look, feel about yourself, interact with others, and even your ability to carry out the physical tasks you used to. California personal injury law recognizes compensation for the economic costs that come with these injuries as well as the profound psychological hardships associated with them.
No discussion about the injuries you can get from being rear-ended would be complete without a discussion of the pain and suffering that comes along with any injury.
Emotional injuries are real, and you deserve to be compensated for them. There’s a lot to know about how these injuries get calculated, however, so it’s important to talk with an experienced attorney to fully understand your rights under the law.
Rear-end accidents are more likely to be fatal when the tailing driver is speeding, texting, distracted, or under the influence of alcohol or drugs. All of these things make it harder to avoid the accident in time.
California law entitles certain close family members to compensation for their economic and emotional losses after a death caused by someone else’s negligence. Compensation may also be available to the estate for funeral and burial costs, as well as any medical bills or other damages incurred by the victim prior to death. An experienced Bakersfield auto accident lawyer at The Law Offices of Mickey Fine can help.
At The Law Offices of Mickey Fine, We Fight Hard for the People We Represent.
If you have been injured in a rear-end accident in California, you may be entitled to financial compensation for your damages.
We invite you to contact our office and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with a Bakersfield auto accident lawyer.
Time limits do apply to personal injury claims in California, so please don’t delay.
At The Law Offices of Mickey Fine, we fight to maximize financial compensation for our clients. We’d like to fight for you too. We will never charge a fee for our services unless we get you money first. And the initial consultation is absolutely free.
Call 661-333-3333 in Bakersfield to talk with an experienced personal injury attorney today, or simply contact us online.