Rear End Accidents
Rear-end accidents are a very common type of vehicle crash in the United States – in fact, rear-end collisions occur in 28% of all traffic accidents.
There are a number of reasons why a car crashes into the one in front of it, resulting in a rear-end accident. Sometimes a rear-end crash is unavoidable if the front driver stops suddenly to avoid a hazard, such as a pedestrian or animal in the road. Road conditions may be slippery and require longer braking distances. But many rear-end accidents occur because of the negligence of the rear driver. For example, a distracted driver does not notice in time that the driver in front has stopped suddenly. The rear driver could be tailgating and not driving at a safe distance to account for sudden braking.
What are Common Injuries in a Rear-End Accident?
A rear-end collision may happen at a low speed. However, the impact of a rear-end crash can cause serious and debilitating injuries to the neck and back.
- Whiplash (cervical acceleration–deceleration) is a highly common injury in rear-end collisions. The impact of the vehicle crash suddenly forces the head forward, suddenly straining the nerves, muscles and bones in the neck. Whiplash can cause long-lasting symptoms such as headaches, pain in the neck and back, and “pins and needles” in the arms and legs.
- Strains are caused by hyperextension of muscles and tendons. A rear-end collision can twist, pull or tear the soft tissue in the back.A back strain is painful and limits freedom of movement.
A sprain is the result of injury to ligaments, and results in similar symptoms as a strain.
- The force of a rear-end collision can result in spinal fracture, which can increase the risk of injury to the spinal cord
- Spinal stenosis occurs when pressure on the spinal nerves is caused by the narrowing of the spaces in the spine.
- Trauma to the spine from a rear-end collision can result in a slipped/herniated disc. . Discs are the tissue in between the vertebrae. The exterior of the disc can tear, and the soft tissue at the center “slips” or falls out of place. A slipped disc can result in pain in the arm or leg, weakness in the muscles, and a numb or tingling feeling.
Why Contact a Lawyer After a Rear-End Accident?
Injuries from a rear-end accident can be long-lasting. Neck and back pain make returning to work especially difficult. Recovery could mean an extended period of rest and physical therapy. If the accident was another driver’s fault, the victim is entitled to claim damages.
A personal injury lawyer can help their client claim compensation for the following:
- Medical bills. Injuries from a rear-end accident may require a visit to the emergency room, x-rays,an MRI, follow-up doctor visits, prescription pain medication, and physical therapy. All of these treatments can be costly, and may not all be covered by insurance.
- Lost income. Since whiplash and other rear-end accident injuries can be painful and reduce mobility, it’s probable the accident victim will have to take time off of work or work at a reduced capacity.
- Property damage. Even a low-speed rear-end accident can wreak havoc on a vehicle. The car will likely need extensive repairs or even be totaled. Personal property inside the vehicle, such as luggage or sports equipment stored in the trunk may be damaged or destroyed as well.
- Pain and suffering. Whiplash and other injuries to the back and neck can result in long-lasting discomfort, and the experience of a rear-end accident can lead to emotional anguish, post-traumatic stress, and fear of driving.
What is the Statute of Limitations For a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
Contacting a lawyer immediately after a rear-end accident is also important due to the Illinois statute of limitations on filing a personal injury lawsuit. An accident victim has two years to file a claim for damages from the date of the accident. There is an exception if the victim’s injuries were not discovered until a period of time after the accident. In such a case, the claimant has two years from the date the injuries were discovered to file a claim.
If you are injured in a rear end collision, the team at Mueller, Lawson & Frobish can help you claim the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a consultation.