The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) reports that rear-end collisions cause roughly 950,000 injuries and 2,000 deaths every year. Almost half of the two-vehicle crashes between 2012 and 2014 were because of rear-ending crashes.
Although many rear-end crashes are often at lower speeds, you may be surprised how many accidents occur at higher speeds simply because another driver was not paying attention to what was going on in front of them.
Injuries in rear-end accidents can be severe no matter what kind of speed is involved. When the body is completely stopped and then suddenly jolts forward because of another vehicle pushing it, that can result in life-long injuries and chronic pain.
Some of the most common injuries after a rear-end crash are set out below:
Whiplash is extremely common after a rear-end crash. Whiplash is tissue damage that occurs from the sudden and violent stretching and contracting of the neck and upper back muscles, tendons, and ligaments. When you are hit from behind, the head will often jerk forward and then immediately pull itself back.
While whiplash will generally get better on its own within a few weeks, it can also result in chronic neck and back pain, as well as other long-last complications.
- Back and Neck Injuries
Your spine is a complex system of cartilage, bone, and nerves. Whenever anything disrupts that web of systems, it can be excruciating. The force of impact in a rear-end accident can cause discs in the back to compress, result in bulging discs and herniation. Soreness, back pain, and trouble with movement are often the result.
Many back injuries will resolve with anti-inflammation medication, physical therapy, chiropractic or massage treatment, or other relatively conservative treatments. In some cases, however, you may need surgery to correct disc and nerve problems, which often result in long-term problems.
- Head and Brain Injuries
When your head jerks violently back and forth, there is always the chance of a brain injury. That type of injury could be caused by your head striking the steering wheel or dashboard. However, it could also simply be the result of the brain slamming into the skull, without hitting anything external at all.
Head and brain injuries can be extremely severe, and you should take them very seriously. Keep in mind that not every serious head injury will result in a loss of consciousness. Instead, if you suspect a head injury because of pain, confusion, bleeding, or other issues, then seek out medical treatment as soon as possible. Catching head injuries early can help prevent long-term damage and even death.
Getting Help After a Rear-End Collision
The person who was hit in a rear-end crash is rarely at fault. As a result, someone else may be legally responsible for your damages and injuries. Our firm can help. Contact Tulsa, Oklahoma personal injury lawyer Charles Bryan Alred, P.C. for more information or to set up an appointment.