It may not seem that being hit in a rear-end collision at a traffic stop would be that serious, since it would involve relatively slow speeds. But a motorist could actually suffer severe and life-altering injuries if he is rear-ended.
Common Injuries You Could Suffer in a Rear-End Collision
These accidents are often caused by drivers following too closely, speeding, or driving while distracted. Here are the six most common medical problems an injured victim could face:
- Whiplash. When a vehicle is hit from the rear, the motorist’s head, neck, and spine are jerked fowards and backwards violently. He might not feel the pain right away, but it can become excruciating. While not always severe, whiplash injuries can be life-long and debilitating.
- Back injuries. The impact of the crash, even at low speeds, can cause compression of a person’s spine and the discs located in the mid or lower back area of the spinal column. This is commonly known as herniated discs, and the pain can be unbearable. The person could also sprain or strain his back, sometimes suffering long-term pain and limitations on his activities.
- Face and head injuries. The driver’s face could smash into the steering wheel, and he could break his nose, jaw, and cheekbone. His retina could also become detached. Even worse, he could suffer a concussion or closed head injury that could lead to permanent brain damage. Passengers could also smash into the dashboard and suffer similar injuries.
- Wrist, hand, and shoulder injuries. These are caused when arms and hands are jammed into the steering wheel or become wedged between the air bag and the dashboard. This can cause bruises, sprains, or cuts.
- Seat belt injuries. When a victim is thrust forward due to the violent impact of the other car rear-ending him, his seat belt could lacerate his skin or cause bruising to his hips, chest, or torso.
- Airbag injuries. An airbag is not supposed to deploy when a vehicle is driven at speeds of less than 20 miles per hour. However, in a rear-end collision, the airbag could deploy at slow speeds, burning the victim.
Herniated discs, back injuries, concussions, and closed head injuries can lead to life-long medical problems that result in constant pain and sometimes permanent disability. The driver who was at fault in rear-ending a victim may be responsible for compensating him for his medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
If you or a family member have been involved in an automobile accident where you were not at fault, our experienced legal team is here to help you understand your legal options. Start an online chat to learn how we can help you. We also offer free home and hospital consultations.