6 Common Neck And Back Injuries From Rear-End Accidents
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rear-end accidents occur more often than other accidents. The NHTSA approximates that rear-end collisions account for more than 25% of all collisions. Unfortunately, many people who get into rear-end collisions end up with injuries. Often, the occupants in the front vehicle are unaware of the oncoming vehicle or pending crash; therefore, are unprepared for the impact. Because of the sudden and unexpected collision, a rear-end collision can result in very serious injuries.
In 2019 alone, the NHTSA reports that over 2 million rear-end collisions happened in America. Of these, 595,000 resulted in injuries. Often, the injuries that occur in rear-end accidents are neck and back injuries. The medical costs for such injuries can add up quickly after an accident. A serious neck or back injury can result in you being overwhelmed. Fortunately, if your accident was the result of another party’s negligence, you may be able to obtain compensation from them.
How Do Back and Neck Injuries Occur In Rear-End Collisions?
Individuals can sustain neck and back injuries even in low-impact rear-end collisions. Indeed, airbag deployment and seat belts can prevent a vehicle occupant’s body from moving too much in a rear-end collision. However, in a rear-end collision, even with a seatbelt on, an individual’s neck, head, and upper body may violently move forward and then slam backward; thus, resulting in neck or back injuries.
Below are some of the common back and neck injuries that occur in rear-end collisions.
Often, this is the type of injury that occurs in rear-end collisions. Whiplash occurs after the neck’s soft tissues suffer damage due to a person’s head and neck unexpectedly moving back and forth upon impact. Depending on the force of the crash, an individual may suffer a mild or severe whiplash. Both occupants of the front and rear vehicle in a rear-end collision can suffer whiplash.
Symptoms of whiplash can develop hours, or, sometimes, even days after an impact. Some of the common symptoms of this type of injury include;
- Neck pain or stiffness
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty concentrating or with memory
- Shoulder pain or tenderness
Often, individuals heal from whiplash after taking medication and getting enough rest. However, the healing process is not the same for everyone, with some people needing weeks and others months to make a full recovery. If you suffer severe whiplash, you could end up experiencing a reduced range of motion, headaches, and neck pain indefinitely.
Back strains occur when an individual injures the tendons or muscles in their back, usually after being hit from behind by another vehicle. A strain causes the tendons or muscles to tear, pull, and twist, resulting in movement issues and pain.
A back sprain in a rear-end collision occurs when a ligament is damaged from the crash’s impact. Often, back sprains result in;
- reduced range of motion
- muscle cramping
- severe pain
In a rear-end collision, spinal stenosis can occur as a result of fractures or dislocation. Spinal stenosis is a type of injury that occurs due to the narrowing of the bone protecting the spinal nerves and cord. The narrowing of this bone can put pressure on the nerves and lead to serious nerve damage. Common symptoms of spinal stenosis include;
- tingling in the limbs
- neck pain
More commonly referred to as herniated disc, slipped disc is a type of injury that occurs when the discs providing cushioning between the vertebrae shift out of place. Slipped discs can also result in numbness and severe pain.
A spinal fracture is most likely to occur if a rear-end collision occurs at high speed. Often, such a fracture occurs in a person’s mid or lower back. Usually, a spinal fracture occurs when an individual’s upper body and head get tossed around while the seat belt holds their lower body. When this happens, compression fractures or other breaks in the vertebrae occur. Some common spinal fracture symptoms include;
- bladder changes
- neck or back pain
Liability in Rear-End Collisions
In Florida, the rebuttable presumption is that the rear driver is at fault in a rear-end collision. However, even with such a presumption, and the fact that the rear driver is often at fault, it is a misconception that the rear driver is always to blame in a rear-end collision. Sometimes the rear driver is not even to blame, and sometimes both drivers are to blame. Simply put, liability in a rear-end collision is never based on the sheer fact that a defendant rear-ended a plaintiff.
Contact a Naples Neck and Back Injury Attorney
If you have suffered a neck or back injury in a rear-end collision, reach out to an attorney for legal help. A skilled Naples spinal injury attorney can help you hold an at-fault party accountable and receive the compensation you deserve. For legal help, contact our Naples law office today at 239-649-8050 to receive help from the legal team at The Law Offices of Marc L. Shapiro, P.A.