Common injuries caused by rear-end collisions

Rear-end collisions are one of the most common crash types. They often occur when the car that is hit is stopped or traveling slowly. A rear-end collision may be a small fender bender or a high-impact crash. Despite the level of severity, they usually cause injuries.

Whiplash and spinal injuries

The most common injury sustained in rear-end collisions is whiplash. This injury is caused by a rapid whip-like motion of the neck and head that damages the muscles and tendons in the neck.

Whiplash can range from mild to severe, depending on the impact of a crash. Symptoms usually include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness
  • Loss of neck mobility
  • Pain and tenderness in the upper back, shoulders and arms
  • Tingling in arms that can extend to the fingers
  • Headaches
  • Jaw pain
  • Dizziness, disorientation or vertigo
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Mood changes

Whiplash doesn’t often produce immediate pain or symptoms. That’s why it’s important that you always see a doctor promptly after a rear-end collision. Don’t wait for the symptoms to appear.

Your condition may be treated with rest, ice or heat application, medication for pain and inflammation, and physical therapy. It can take several months to fully recover from whiplash.

At high-impact, more serious spinal injuries can occur due to damage to discs or vertebrae. More serious spinal injuries can cause loss of mobility, pain and tingling in the limbs, and sciatica.

Traumatic brain injuries

Traumatic brain injuries can occur in rear-end collisions when someone’s head slams into the seat headrest. This often results in concussions and mild traumatic brain injuries. Concussions can range from mild to severe and usually produce the following symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Confusion and disorientation
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fatigue
  • Mood changes
  • Loss of memory
  • Temporary loss of consciousness
  • Slurred speech
  • Delayed responses to questions
  • Sleep disturbances

Like whiplash, a concussion or traumatic brain injury may take several days to produce symptoms. Treatment may include pain medication, rest, and time off from work or certain activities.

Broken bones and soft tissue injuries

The shoulders, collarbones, ribs and limbs can be injured during a high-impact rear-end collision, resulting in:

  • Bone fractures
  • Bruises, lacerations and contusions
  • Torn tendons and ligaments
  • Damage to muscle tissue

Soft tissue injuries may heal on their own with pain medication and rest, but sometimes they require surgery and physical therapy. Broken bones almost always require surgery and wearing a cast in order to keep the bones in place until they heal.

Getting compensated for your injuries

If you’re worried about the cost of medical treatment or the time you may need to take off from work, don’t hesitate to speak to an experienced Seattle car accident attorney. In many cases, crash victims aren’t fully aware of their rights. The attorneys at Aaron Engle Law can discuss your legal options with you and devise a winning strategy to help maximize your compensation.

Contact us online to get started on your claim. Our firm offers free and confidential legal consultations.