Many people experience rear-end collisions; they happen every day. In fact, someone may have involved you in such an accident recently, with surprising results.
You may have sustained whiplash, which is common for a driver whose vehicle takes a hit from behind. However, a doctor may find that you have soft tissue injuries, which can be much more serious than you anticipated.
Why rear-end collisions happen
Rear-end collisions can occur due to a variety of factors: poor weather conditions, following too closely, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, speeding, a traffic infraction, a vehicle equipment malfunction or simple driver inattention. Whatever the cause, these crashes account for 40 percent of all vehicle accidents across the country.
Some rear-end collisions occur at slow speeds of under five miles per hour. Especially in those cases, injuries to feet, ankles, legs and knees are common because the jolt may cause these body parts to connect with the car dashboard or floor, causing injuries such as sprains and dislocations.
No matter how hard a hit your car takes, whether at a low or high speed, you may simply walk away from the crash. The impact, however, may cause your neck to snap back and forth. This hyperextension could result in herniated discs, pinched nerves or serious back injuries, which could lead to disability or long-term lack of mobility. A severe jolt from behind could even cause your brain to crash against the inside of your skull. Consequently, brain damage is a very real concern.
Getting a medical assessment
You would be wise to see a doctor following a rear-end collision, even if you think you suffered nothing more than a few scrapes and bruises. While this is the common-sense approach to proper health care, there is more to it. A prompt medical report ties your injuries to the car accident, which will be important when you and your attorney begin the work of seeking just compensation. While many injuries from rear-end collisions are fairly mild in nature, many others are serious enough to lead to life-altering consequences.