Whiplash is the most common injury from rear-end collisions. In Louisiana, RS 32:81 states that drivers should maintain a “reasonable and prudent” separation. The degree of separation permits adequate stopping distance based on travel speed. If a driver follows too closely or doesn’t stop in time, their momentum can seriously injure the neck of the driver in front of them in a collision.
Information from the Insurance Information Institute reports that approximately seven percent of fatal crashes in 2019 were rear-ended collisions. Overall, these kinds of collisions can be exceedingly dangerous.
Whiplash from a Rear-End Collision
Vehicle occupants can experience severe trauma, including whiplash, when a collision occurs. When a vehicle impact occurs, it can snap the head forcibly forward and backward. Whiplash can cause head and neck pain, spinal pain, and in some cases, temporary paralysis.
The impact forces the head and neck to snap in one direction, causing flexion (backward motion) and extension (forward movement) injury to muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Even at low speeds, whiplash can create severe injuries.
Pain from whiplash may not be evident for hours, days, or weeks after an accident. It is essential to be checked by a doctor after any car accident, even if you don’t feel hurt. Some of the symptoms of whiplash include:
- Neck pain
- Stiff neck and back
- Loss of range of motion
In severe cases of whiplash, you may experience blurred vision, memory lapses, concentration difficulty, and numbness in your upper limbs. Whiplash may be challenging to detect, so it is vital to see a doctor after an accident.
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Spinal Cord Injuries
In addition to whiplash, back and spinal cord injuries are common with rear-end collisions. Some of the back injuries that can occur in a rear-end accident include:
- Herniated (slipped) discs
- Sprains and strains
- Nerve damage
- Muscle damage
- Partial or complete paralysis
- Spinal fractures
Back and spinal cord injuries can be extremely painful and slow to heal. They can create a lifetime of chronic pain issues and recurring problems that interfere with your ability to live a normal life.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
Traumatic brain injury can result from an impact on the head or rapid head movement. The brain is encased in the skull and surrounded by fluid. When the head is snapped violently during a car accident, the brain can impact the skull’s interior, creating a closed TBI.
Some symptoms of a TBI include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Blurred or impaired vision
- Memory loss
- Nausea and vomiting
TBIs can be closed, with no broken bones in the skull, or open when the crown is penetrated. Airbag deployment can result in head injuries due to the force of inflation. You should always seek an examination by medical personnel after an accident.
The effects of a TBI may not be immediate. Due to this type of injury, symptoms may appear hours, days, or weeks after an accident. A dull, throbbing headache may be your first sign of trouble. Sometimes the pain can be stabbing and sudden.
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Muscle Strains and Sprains
Muscle strains are common in rear-end collisions. The force of your body being bounced around during an accident can cause muscles to hyper-extend or reflexively contract, which can add to the injury.
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Broken bones are a risk in any car accident. Where the victim sits in the vehicle can determine the injuries and severity. In a rear-end collision, it is common to see broken legs, arms, and ribs. In some cases, broken bones may be severe enough to require amputation of a limb.
Broken arms from gripping the steering wheel at the time of impact are common fracture injuries. Generally, stiffening to brace for impact can make a person more susceptible to injured bones and muscle. Sometimes safety devices can also cause broken bones.
Seat Belts and Airbags Save Lives
Seat belts and airbags are life-saving devices built into every car. While they prevent you from suffering life-threatening injuries, they can also cause injuries in rear-end collisions.
When properly buckled in, you may suffer injuries, but it will keep you inside the vehicle. Some of the injuries specific to seatbelts and airbags include
- Pressure cuts from the belt
- Chest, neck, and torso injuries from the seat belt restraining motion
- Head injuries from airbag impact
- Hip injuries
Even though these safety devices may include hazards, you are safer with them.
You Deserve Compensation for Your Rear-End Collision Injuries
If you were injured in a rear-end collision, you might have injuries that can affect your life now and in the future. Some of the most common rear-end collision injuries require significant medical care. As a victim of negligent driving behavior, you shouldn’t have to suffer financially because of this accident. Contacting Laborde Earles Injury Lawyers can be a beneficial step in moving forward after your injury.
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