Rear-End Collisions, Injuries, and What to Do Next
It’s the kind of accident that literally sneaks up on you. Being hit from behind is a fairly common accident circumstance. People aren’t paying attention and the next thing you know, you’ve been hit. But even a low-speed fender bender can result in an injury – sometimes even a severe injury.
To make matters worse, you may not even feel the effects for a few hours or days. The adrenaline rush of being in an accident can overpower the symptoms of injuries. And some injuries can take a while to materialize. Then there’s what you say at the scene – things that can come back on you later. Here’s some need-to-know information if you’re in a rear-end collision.
What Kind of Injuries Can I Suffer in a Rear-End Collision?
Rear-end collisions vary widely in their severity. Simple, very low-speed fender benders may simply result in vehicle damage, but may also cause injuries that take time to appear. More violent impacts can cause much more severe and obvious injuries. Here are some common ways people are hurt in rear-end collisions.
- Whiplash Injuries – The severity of the collision doesn’t matter as much as you think. When the muscles, ligaments and other structures in the neck are damaged, the symptoms can appear immediately or many days later, and the symptoms can vary widely.
- Back Injuries – Modern seats in cars have come a long way, including the inclusion of headrests, which can help prevent neck injuries. However, there are many variables at play, including how you’re sitting when the impact occurs. A severe back or spinal cord injury is possible.
- Musculoskeletal Injuries – Broken arms, wrists, and hands also happen in rear-end accidents. People are often holding the steering wheel when they’re hit, not knowing the impact is coming. These kinds of injuries can have a lasting, negative effect on daily life.
- PTSD and Anxiety – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and anxiety can occur in victims of rear end crashes. If you’re short of breath, trembling or shaking, notice an increased heart rate, or even have trouble sleeping, it is worth consulting your doctor.
What Causes Rear-End Accidents?
Rear end accidents can happen anywhere at any time. Some common causes are:
- Tailgating – following too closely
- Distraction – not paying enough attention
- Speeding – going too fast and being unable to react or brake in time
- Fatigue – being tired or fatigued reduces reaction times
- DWI/DUI – impaired by alcohol or drugs
This is by no means an exhaustive list. Sometimes, it may be a mechanical failure. Other rear end crashes may be a result of an erratic or aggressive driver, or someone who pulled onto the road suddenly. You never know what can happen, so stay alert.
5 Steps to Take After You’re in a Rear-End Accident
- Assess yourself. If you have any injuries, seek medical attention immediately.
- Assess the scene. Take pictures. Exchange information. Stay calm. Don’t speculate about what happened or how you feel. You may not know all the facts about the crash, and you may not know how you feel until well after the adrenaline wears off. Answer the responding officer’s questions.
- Beware of the other person’s insurance adjuster. They’re going to ask innocent-sounding questions that may be designed to lead you to answer in a certain way. They could turn around later and hold those answers against you if you try to make a claim. Do NOT agree to a recorded statement.
- Keep track of how you feel over the coming days. If you feel any pain or discomfort, you should consult with your doctor as soon as possible, and explain your situation.
- If you’ve been injured, consider hiring an experienced car accident attorney to represent you. Remember that insurance companies are businesses – the less they pay out for claims, the more profits they keep. Some may use all sorts of tactics to encourage you to settle quickly, and for less than you may deserve.
Turn to the Car Accident Attorneys at the Law Offices of James Scott Farrin
We’ve seen our share of rear-end collision victims and injuries. We know the law, and we know what you’re facing. Let us help you. Our team of attorneys can shoulder the burden of your case so you can focus on your health and family. For a free case evaluation, call us at 1-866-900-7078, contact us online, or chat with us right now. Tell them you mean business!