Common Rear End-Collision Injuries and How You Can Recover

Rear-end collisions are one of the most common types of car accidents in the United States. In 2019, there were 2.194 million rear-end accidents, which included 2,346 fatal crashes and 595,000 injury crashes. Rear-end collisions accounted for almost one-third of all car accidents in 2019.

In Missouri, there were 157,038 reported car crashes, resulting in 881 deaths and 55,112 injuries. Rear-end collisions represented over 40 percent of the crashes involving two or more vehicles, making it the most common type of accident in 2019.

Many of the rear-end crashes in Missouri are caused by driver error. Speeding, distracted driving, and drunk driving are common causes of rear-end crashes.

Whiplash and Rear-End Car Accidents 

The type and severity of a car accident directly impact the injuries sustained by accident victims. However, other elements can have a significant impact on the injuries sustained in a car wreck. Therefore, any type of accident has the potential to cause a wide range of injuries.

One of the most common rear-end collision injuries is whiplash. Whiplash, also known as a neck strain or neck sprain, is an injury to the soft tissues of the neck. 

The injury is referred to as whiplash because of how it occurs. When another vehicle slams into the rear of your vehicle, the collision can cause your head to be “whipped” back and forth violently. The sudden flexion and extension caused by the whipping motion can injure the ligaments, discs, muscles, intervertebral joints, and nerve roots in the neck.

Although insurance companies downplay whiplash, it is a serious rear-end collision injury. Many cases of whiplash heal within a few weeks with rest and pain medications. However, some cases of whiplash could result in long-term symptoms and complications that could last for months or years after the injury.

Symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Neck pain
  • Neck stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Back or shoulder pain
  • Burning or prickling sensations

In some cases, a person could experience memory loss, sleep disturbances, lack of concentration, depression, fatigue, and cognitive problems. 

Treatment may include pain relievers, muscle relaxants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and antidepressants. The doctor may prescribe a cervical collar for two to three weeks. In severe cases, a person may require physical therapy or cervical traction. 

Other Injuries Common in Rear-End Collisions

In addition to whiplash, people may sustain a variety of other injuries in a rear-end crash. 

Other injuries that are common in rear-end accidents include, but might not be limited to:

  • Back and spinal cord injuries
  • Shoulder injuries
  • Knee and ankle injuries
  • Chest injuries, including damage to internal organs and fractured ribs
  • Wrist and arm injuries
  • Broken bones and fractures
  • Facial injuries and disfigurement
  • Traumatic brain injuries, including concussions and contusions 
  • Wrongful death

When a vehicle slams into the rear of another vehicle, the front vehicle may be pushed into oncoming traffic or another vehicle or object. The result could be catastrophic injuries or life-threatening conditions. 

It is important to note that even a low-speed rear-end crash (typically referred to as a fender-bender) can result in serious injuries. It is crucial to seek medical treatment after a rear-end accident. 

The symptoms of whiplash and other injuries may not appear for several hours or days following a rear-end collision. A doctor can analyze your symptoms, diagnose your injuries, and prescribe a treatment plan that gives you the best chance of a full recovery. Delays in medical care after a crash can decrease your chance of a full recovery and hurt your chance of recovering compensation for a car accident claim. 

Delays in Medical Care After a Rear-End Accident

Failing to seek medical care after a rear-end accident can make it more difficult to recover fair compensation for your injuries. The insurance company may accuse you of fabricating your injury or exaggerating your symptoms if you did not see a doctor immediately after the accident. 

This argument is unfair and often unfounded. Avoid fighting this battle by seeing a doctor as soon as possible after a rear-end collision. 

You should report all symptoms, even minor aches and pains, to the doctor to note the symptoms in your medical records. If your symptoms worsen or you are diagnosed with a specific injury, your medical records can provide evidence you were experiencing pain and other symptoms after the wreck.

It is also wise to seek legal advice from an experienced car accident lawyer. An attorney explains your legal rights and evaluates your claim. The attorney also provides guidance on how to protect your right to recover compensation for damages. They can also discuss how much your personal injury claim is worth.

You deserve to be compensated for your injuries and damages. Do not wait too long to contact a lawyer. Your time to file a car accident claim is limited by Missouri’s statute of limitations. Waiting too long to talk with a lawyer could result in giving up some of your legal rights.