Rear-end collisions—where one vehicle’s front end hits the back end of the vehicle in front of it—are one of the most common types of car accidents. Because these crashes often occur when one vehicle is slowing or stopped, people do not always realize how serious the injuries can be. However, even a minor accident can cause a person to suffer long-term injuries.
Common Injuries Victims of Rear-End Accidents Suffer
The severity of a person’s injuries could be impacted by a number of factors, like how fast the negligent driver was driving or whether the victims had advance notice of the impact to brace themselves. Common injuries a person could suffer in this type of accident include:
When the neck, spine, and shoulders snap forward and back suddenly from the impact of the collision, a person can suffer hyperextension and hyperflexion, also known as whiplash. While some people will experience a reduction in the stiffness in their necks and shoulders over a relatively short period of time, many people may still feel pain and discomfort over a year after the accident.
Even if the impact is at a slow speed, discs in the lower back can be compressed, resulting in pain and limitations in the person’s ability to walk, work, and lift objects. A person could need physical therapy, steroid injections, or surgery if he suffers from a herniated disc or other back problems.
Face and head injuries.
Because rear-end accidents occur at slower speeds, the victim’s airbag may not deploy, resulting in cuts, lacerations, fractures to the cheek or jawbone, or a detached retina when the person crashes into the steering wheel or windshield. Even worse, the person could suffer a life-altering head injury.
Wrist, finger, hand, and arm injuries.
The victim’s hand, wrist, fingers, or arm could hit the steering wheel, sun visor, or other hard surface or become wedged between the airbag and steering wheel or dashboard.
When a person’s seatbelt is doing its job of keeping a person from hitting the steering wheel or dashboard, the seatbelt can lacerate or bruise the person’s skin, hip, torso, or chest.
Whiplash.Whiplash is one of the most common injuries resulting from a rear-end collision due to the violent jerking of the head back and forth caused by the impact. Neck pain, headaches, dizziness, and limited range of motion are some of the symptoms of this medical condition. In serious cases, a person can experience symptoms for months or longer after the accident.
Broken bones.You or a loved one could suffer broken bones in a rear-end collision even if the vehicle behind you is travelling at a slow speed.
Traumatic brain injury.If you suffer a traumatic brain injury in a rear-end collision in Henderson, you could experience drastic changes to your vision, hearing, or mobility. In addition, your reasoning abilities, memory, and concentration could be impaired, making it impossible for you to work or take care of your day-to-day needs.
Spinal injuries.If your spinal cord is injured in a rear-end collision, you could suffer permanent partial or complete paralysis. Other injuries that could have long-term consequences in your life include herniated disks and compression fractures.
Facial scarring and disfigurement.You may suffer serious lacerations, burns, broken facial bones, or other injuries to your face if the airbag deploys. You may be forced to live with permanent scarring and disfigurement, which could result in you suffering long-term emotional trauma as well as the pain of your injuries.
Common Causes of Rear-End CollisionsAll drivers have a duty to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front of them so that they can slow down or stop quickly if necessary. When motorists breach this duty, they can be found negligent if a crash occurs. Common negligent driving practices that cause these collisions include:
TailgatingTailgating is a type of aggressive driving. When an impatient driver refuses to allow a safe following distance between him and the vehicle in front of him, a rear-end collision is likely if the driver in front must slam on his brakes or reduce his speed quickly.
SpeedingWhen a person is speeding, it will take his vehicle longer to stop or slow down. Victims who are rear-ended can suffer catastrophic injuries or death due to the greater force of the impact, especially if the accident occurs on a highway or when a driver is trying to beat a red light.
Distracted drivingIf a motorist is talking on a cellphone, texting, or reading a GPS, his eyes and mind are not on the road. When the driver in front slows down or stops suddenly, he may not realize this until it is too late.
IntoxicationDriving when drunk can impair key driving skills necessary to avoid a rear-end collision, such as reaction time, ability to determine distances, and judgment.
WeatherIf an individual fails to slow down when snow, fog, rain, or ice make driving more dangerous, he could slam into the rear of another vehicle.
Lack of maintenanceIn some cases, maintenance problems, such as faulty brakes or worn tires, can prevent a driver from being able to stop in time, causing a rear-end collision.
Who Is Considered at Fault in a Rear-End Collision?In many of these accidents, the driver in the rear will be presumed to be the at-fault party. While this may eliminate disputes with the lead driver’s insurance company over his liability, this does not mean that the adjuster will not try to deny or reduce a victim’s claim.
Have You Been Involved In A Henderson Or Las Vegas Car Accident?
If you've been injured in a car accident you need to speak with an experienced car accident lawyer as soon as possible. Contact us online or call our Henderson office directly at 702.405.6000 to schedule a free initial consultation.