Rear-End Collisions: Injuries and Recovery

Rear-end collisions are some of the most common types of car accidents. Rear end accidents happen in an instant–one second you’re sitting in your car minding your own business, and the next a careless driver has slammed into you. Many of us have been there before.

While it’s common to think of rear end crashes as “fender benders,” these types of accidents can also have serious consequences.

When high speeds are involved, rear end accident victims can suffer life-changing injuries.

A rear end collision can even create a type of domino effect–causing a multi-vehicle accident.

An experienced Houston rear-end car accident lawyer can help you recover from your rear end-collision injuries. If you were hurt, Attorney Brian White & Associates, P.C. offers a free initial consultation. Don’t hesitate to take that free help today.

What Should I Do if I Was Hurt in a Rear End Collision?

car accident

If your rear end-collision injuries were relatively minor, there are a few steps you can take to protect your rights down the road. Of course, the first thing you should do is see a doctor. Right away. Even if you don’t feel that you were seriously hurt, you should seek medical attention immediately. 

Why? Getting quick medical help is important for a few reasons. First, you might not feel your injuries right away. That’s common. It doesn’t mean that your injuries aren’t serious.

If you wait to get medical care, your injuries could be getting much worse–before you even realize they’re there. Once you do see a doctor, it could be too late to treat them effectively and you might suffer serious, even permanent, consequences.

You should also get medical attention right away to protect your right to insurance compensation. If you wait to see a doctor, the insurance company might claim that your rear end-collision injuries were caused by something that happened after the accident. You don’t want to give them that leverage.

You should also:

  • Take photos and videos of the accident scene. If you’re like most of us, you were probably carrying a smartphone. Use it to document the scene and any visible injuries.
  • Exchange contact information. Exchange information with both the other drivers and any eyewitnesses to the accident. Make sure you get the other driver’s insurance information.

These simple steps could make your life much easier in the future

Speak With an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

lawyer

You might think it’s easy to prove liability after a rear-end crash. It’s always the driver in the trailing car’s fault, right? While this is usually the case, it’s not always easy to get compensation. You might not even know whether you have a case. You might think that you got lucky and didn’t suffer any serious injuries or damage.

The fact is, you might not know the extent of the damage right away. It’s always a good idea to get the advice of someone who has experience handling these types of injury cases. Our Houston personal injury lawyers will:

  • Review your medical records to evaluate the extent of your injuries
  • Identify all costs associated with your injuries, both past and future
  • Work with experts to get a fair picture of what your injury claim is worth
  • Handle all communications with the insurance company so that you don’t have to worry about paperwork

Never underestimate your rights. You have legal rights just like everyone else. You shouldn’t have to suffer the consequences when someone else’s careless driving leads to an accident. 

Our experienced Houston personal injury lawyers at Attorney Brian White & Associates, P.C. offer a free consultation–so you don’t have to worry about racking up legal bills on top of your other expenses.

How Dangerous Are Rear End Collisions?

There are about 1.7 million rear end collisions on U.S. roads every year. In 2017, rear end crashes accounted for about 7.2% of all fatal auto accidents.

In most cases, there are two primary vehicles involved in a rear end collision: the leading car and a trailing car. The trailing car is usually moving faster than the lead car. In fact, the lead car could even be stopped at an intersection

The trailing car transfers some of that force to the lead car when it crashes into the rear end. The combined force of the two vehicles, once linked together, can be substantial. Sometimes the leading car is pushed into yet another vehicle. In other cases, the vehicle might be pushed into another lane and struck by a third vehicle. Pedestrians and bicyclists can even be caught in the crossfire.

Anyone involved in a rear end collision can suffer injuries. However, because of the way that force is transferred from the trailing car to the leading car, drivers and passengers in the leading car are much more likely to be seriously hurt.

Common Injuries Sustained in Rear End Collisions

In 2019, the Texas Department of Transportation found that about 15,843 Texans were seriously injured in car accidents. Even a relatively minor “fender bender” can cause serious injuries. 

Rear-end collision injuries are unique because of the way the car in the rear hits the other vehicle.

Passengers in the front vehicle are often thrown forward and then jolted backward again.

Some of the most common types of injuries you might sustain if you’re rear-ended include the following.

Whiplash

Car accident whiplash

Whiplash injuries are extremely common in rear end crashes. In this type of accident, passengers in the leading car are forcefully thrown back and forth. The force of the accident causes a sort of “S” shaped phenomenon where the person’s torso is initially shot forward before the neck and head. 

This can cause problems in the neck and spine. The discs in the victim’s back are compressed first–and that force is shot up the spine until it reaches the cervical spine (in the neck). This “whipping” motion is extremely unnatural–and can lead to significant complications, including:

  • Ongoing neck pain
  • Limited range of motion
  • Headaches
  • Pain in the upper back, shoulders and arms
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Dizziness 
  • Fatigue 
  • Blurred vision
  • Memory issues
  • Difficulty concentrating

When you think of whiplash injuries, you might imagine that it’s a rear end-collision injury that you’ll recover from quickly. Some victims do recover quickly. Others might need the customary foam collar. Unfortunately, some accident victims can suffer whiplash-related pain for months, years, and even permanently after the crash.

Spinal Cord Injuries

The force of a rear end collision can also cause significant spinal cord damage. Victims of rear end crashes often suffer herniated discs, ruptured discs, and injured vertebrae. In the most serious cases, accident victims can even suffer paralysis injuries.

Spinal cord injuries can require surgery and extensive physical therapy. They can also be extremely painful for the victim. You might find that your quality of life is severely impaired. And that doesn’t even account for the financial costs. It can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to treat a spinal cord injury. Over a lifetime? Your expenses could easily run into the millions.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

A traumatic brain injury can be caused by any type of trauma to the head. A concussion is an example of a common type of traumatic brain injury.

Some types of brain injuries are relatively minor and resolve on their own. Unfortunately, when the brain is whipped around within the skull, the damage can be significant. It’s impossible to really predict how serious a brain injury will be–every person is impacted differently.

Brain injuries don’t always show up right away. That’s another reason why it’s so important to get medical care immediately to increase your chances of a full recovery.

Burns, Lacerations, and Broken Bones

Putting bandage on a patient

A serious crash can cause the vehicles involved to ignite or explode. Even if no actual fire results, burns, lacerations, and broken bones are common types of airbag injuries if the accident was serious enough. Sometimes, the force of the airbags is enough to cause injuries–even while these safety features prevent more serious damage.

Even in a minor accident, shattered glass can cause lacerations, puncture wounds, and even eye damage. Remember, if you suffered injuries due to someone else’s careless driving, the negligent driver is responsible for all injuries the accident causes. That includes injuries that are likely to heal completely. 

Things to Remember if You’ve Been Injured in a Rear-End Collision

If you suffered rear end-collision injuries and are wondering how you can recover, here are some important things to remember. 

  • Rear end collisions can cause serious injuries. It’s always important to see a doctor for medical treatment as soon as possible after an accident. That way, you increase the chances of making a full physical and financial recovery. 
  • Establishing liability can be complex. Insurance companies don’t automatically pay fair compensation to accident victims. You have to fight to recover a compensation award that pays the full amount you deserve.
  • A skilled personal injury attorney with extensive experience handling car accident claims can be your greatest asset.

At Attorney Brian White & Associates, P.C., we’ve been fighting for Houston car accident victims for 45+ years, combined. We know how devastating a serious injury can be. We’re here to help you recover from all your rear end-collision injuries–financially, physically, and emotionally.