Rear-end collisions are extremely common on Georgia roadways. While many of these collisions are minor, they can potentially cause devastating and fatal injuries.
A rear-end collision occurs when one vehicle hits another from behind. These incidents are common when one driver follows too closely or is speeding.
The Impact of a Rear-End Collision
When a vehicle is rear-ended, the bodies of those inside the cab will undergo movement and stress that can cause an injury. It is not uncommon to experience a sharp or sudden jerk when a car is rear-ended. Some people will be restrained by their seatbelts, but others may hit the dash, front seat, or steering wheel.
Injuries to the face, body, and head are common, even though less force is applied when seat belts are used. Also, the whipping motion of the head may cause spinal, nerve, or soft tissue damage. A doctor or specialist must conduct an initial evaluation to determine the severity of your injuries. This information is also important if you have plans to file a claim for compensation
After a rear-end accident, it is wise to contact our legal team at the Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines for help with your claim.
Here you can learn more about some of the most common injuries that occur during a rear-end accident.
The most common injury seen in a rear-end accident is whiplash. While this injury is not the same as a broken bone, it can sometimes be just as painful.
Whiplash is an injury to the neck that occurs when your head moves forward quickly and suddenly, usually in a jerking fashion.
Many people who experience whiplash will suffer pain and soreness in their neck for over a week, with some experiencing pain for more than a year.
Even though rear-end accidents are considered some of the most minor accidents in many cases, they can result in injuries that damage your nerves and muscles.
Seat Belt Injuries
Seat belts can help save lives. However, they can also cause injuries in rear-end accidents.
If your vehicle is hit from behind, your seat belt will tighten automatically. This is done to help keep you from hitting the dash, windshield, or steering wheel. Because of this, if you are thrown in a forward motion during a collision, the seat belt could slash your skin. Most seat belt-related injuries occur on the torso, neck, and chest.
While this is true, you need to ensure that you always wear your seatbelt. This is your best defense against inattentive, aggressive, and drunk drivers. When you are belted in, you reduce the possibility of being ejected in an accident, which is usually always fatal.
In a rear-end collision, the force of the impact may cause you to move forward (as mentioned above) and impact the steering wheel or dashboard. Even in cases of minor collisions, a head injury may occur.
If you strike your head, in any way, in a rear-end accident, you should seek immediate medical attention.
Even if your airbags are deployed, your head may still collide with a solid object inside the vehicle. If this happens, you may experience some of the following:
- Swelling or bruising
- Loss of consciousness
- Cognitive impairment
All of these (among others) are symptoms of a brain injury. Unfortunately, the symptoms for these injuries can take days, weeks, or longer to appear. Because of this, it is essential that you seek a full medical evaluation after being involved in a rear-end accident. This is especially important if you hit your head in an accident.
You can harm your spine in several ways after being involved in a rear-end accident. You may experience a herniation of the discs in between the vertebrae, which can cause numbness and pain in other parts of your body.
You may also experience back sprains and strains, which can cause a lot of pain.
Wrist and Arm Injuries
When an accident occurs, most drivers have their hands in front of their body, on the steering wheel. If you know the accident is about to happen, you will likely grip the wheel even tighter than usual. Unfortunately, this natural reaction can increase the likelihood of an injury to the wrist or arm.
It is not uncommon for drivers and passengers to experience shoulder injuries or wrist fractures in a rear-end accident.
Facial injuries are common during a rear-end collision. In some serious cases, the injuries may cause permanent scarring or disfigurement.
These injuries may impact your self-confidence and lead to serious, long-term medical issues. One example is if your head strikes something in the vehicle. If this happens, you may experience lifelong eye or vision problems. Injuries that impact the nose or jaw may also have long-term effects.
When one vehicle hits another from behind, the impact may cause a part of the spine to collapse. This is called a compression fracture and usually impacts the mid-back.
Besides severe pain, compression fractures may also result in a deformity or loss of height. Recovery from this can take several months, but it can take even longer if surgery is required.
Even in minor accidents, you should seek medical attention immediately. Some injuries can take days or longer to show.
Do Not Wait to Contact Us for Help with Your Injury Claim
If you are involved in a rear-end accident, our legal team at the Law Offices of Matthew C. Hines is here to help. The first step is to contact our team to schedule a free initial consultation.