Rear-end collision injuries are typically as unfortunate as they are preventable. These injuries can range from minor scrapes and bruises to catastrophic injuries with devastating consequences. Sometimes the injuries don’t present until days or weeks after the accident. If you or someone you loved has been injured in a rear-end collision in Louisiana, it’s important to get the help you need from an experienced Baton Rouge personal injury lawyer.
At Joubert Law Firm, we can help support you through every step of this overwhelming process. Our Baton Rouge personal injury attorneys can investigate your wreck and hold the liable party responsible for your injuries. Read on below to learn more about the most common rear-end collision injuries.
What Does Rear-Ended Mean?
Rear-end collisions involve the front of one vehicle hitting the back of another vehicle. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rear-end collisions account for more than 25% of all accidents on the road, making it by far the most common type of motor vehicle accident. Nearly half a million people are injured in rear-end crashes every year. These accidents can occur at stop signs, stop lights, and intersections.
What is the Main Cause of Rear-End Crashes?
Rear-end accidents often have the same causes as other car accidents. In most cases, the front vehicle can’t do anything to delay or prevent impact. They’re often blocked by other vehicles, traffic lights, or stop signs.
- Distracted driving is the most common cause of accidents in the United States. Drivers who take their attention away from the road to apply makeup, check a text, or eat are endangering the lives of others on the road.
- Alcohol impairment slows down reaction time and causes drivers to misjudge distances. Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs can cause drivers to apply the brakes too late or merge too slowly.
- Hazardous driving conditions can contribute to rear-end accidents. Slick or icy roads can cause a driver to skid and hit another vehicle.
- Poor vehicle maintenance can cause accidents, as well. Drivers can take all the precautions necessary, but balding tires or bad brakes can undo all that hard work in an instant.
- Reckless driving like speeding, brake checking, and tailgating can result in a rear-end collision. This risky behavior can lead to devastating injuries for everyone involved.
No matter whose negligence caused your accident, the Baton Rouge car accident attorneys at Joubert Law Firm can help. We can perform a full investigation to determine the cause of the accident and identify the liable party.
What Happens to Your Body in a Rear-End Collision?
A car accident can take a toll on your body. Even a minor crash can cause major injuries. In addition to being the most common type of car accident, rear-end crashes are also the type of accident most likely to cause an injury. During a rear-end accident, your body is likely to suffer damage, even at low speeds.
For example, many whiplash injuries happen when a car is traveling between five and ten miles per hour. When your vehicle is rear-ended, the momentum has to go somewhere. Your body and vehicle absorb the momentum of the impact. Your seatbelt can only do so much to restrain you and keep you in your seat, but this still leaves your neck and head open to injury. Rear-end collisions may not trigger the airbag sensors in your car, resulting in even more injuries.
Common Types of Rear-Ended Collision Injuries
Rear-end collisions can cause severe injuries and often leave lasting effects. Among the most common are whiplash injuries, broken bones, head injuries, and spinal injuries. Car accident injuries should always be evaluated by a medical professional as soon as possible.
Head and Neck Injuries
Head and neck injuries are some of the most severe injuries someone can suffer from. This is because traumatic brain injuries can permanently impact the life of a victim. Even seemingly ‘minor’ concussions can have a long-lasting impact. A traumatic brain injury (TBI) can cause personality changes, cognitive issues, and can even result in death.
Rear-end collisions can also cause a whiplash injury. The forceful jolting of your neck during impact can strain the muscles and soft tissues in your neck.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries can result in paralysis, nerve damage, and chronic pain. The spinal cord is a delicate bundle of nerves protected by the spine. Damage to this area can cause immense pain and lead to extensive medical care.
A rear-end collision can also cause other back injuries like a herniated disc. A disc is a rubbery cushion between each of your vertebrae. Severe trauma or compression can cause swelling in this disc, affecting the way it sits between the vertebrae. For some people, this doesn’t cause any pain. For others, the pain can radiate through the arms and legs and cause muscle weakness and severe pain and discomfort.
Arm and Wrist Injuries
Arm and wrist injuries are common in drivers who experience a rear-end collision. In some cases, a driver may see a car barrelling towards them in the rearview and not have time to do anything more than brace their hands on the steering wheel. Stiffening the body during a rear-end crash can actually result in more injuries. These injuries include broken or sprained wrists, stress fractures, and dislocated shoulders or elbows.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Bruises, sprained muscles, and lacerations are also common injuries after a car accident. Shattered glass and twisted metal are almost a given at the scene of a serious accident. These all pose hazards to unprotected skin.
Crush/Accidental Amputation Injuries
As you can imagine, the human body is much more fragile than a metal vehicle. In severe accidents, the impact can crush the vehicle and the people inside it. This can sometimes result in traumatic amputations at the scene of the accident. Crush injuries can also be so severe that doctors have no choice but to surgically amputate the affected limb following the accident. These are life-altering injuries that require extensive medical care.
Vehicles run on flammable liquids like gasoline and oil. If the vehicle catches on fire with passengers still inside, they can suffer from serious burn injuries. Passengers ejected from the vehicle are also subject to road rash, a type of friction burn. Burn injuries often result in permanent scars and disfigurement.
After any type of car accident, you should see your doctor for a complete medical evaluation. Initially, you may feel fine, but shock and adrenaline can mask pain and injuries. In some cases, some injuries like whiplash or traumatic brain injuries can develop over the course of hours and days following the accident.
Can a Car Be Totaled from a Rear-End Collision?
In addition to the damage to your person, damage to your vehicle can be extensive. If the damage is more expensive than the value of your car, your vehicle will be considered a total loss. After a rear-end accident, your vehicle may look like a mangled mess, but even if your car looks fine after a rear-end collision, the damage may be invisible. It may only look like superficial damage, but important components under and within your car can be corrupted. This damage can put your safety further at risk, so it’s important to have your vehicle inspected after an accident like this.
Long-Term Effects of a Rear-End Collision
Serious injuries like the ones listed above often have long-term effects. Many of the above injuries require extensive medical treatment, including potentially lengthy hospital stays and surgery. The consequences of a car accident extend far past physical injuries. Hospital bills, time away from work, and the loss of a vehicle can create a mountain of debt for you and your family.
Rear-end collisions can also cause mental anguish and emotional pain. The time immediately following an accident can be full of anxiety and overwhelming amounts of stress, and the recovery period itself often brings its fair share of emotional duress.
Do You Need a Lawyer After a Rear-End Car Accident?
Rear-end accident victims have the right to recover compensation for their injuries. The at-fault party can and should be held responsible for any financial losses. If the claim goes through the responsible party’s insurance company, they’ll probably try to contact you about a settlement offer. The best course of action is to refer them immediately to your attorney. This is because insurance companies are for-profit businesses. The insurance company will try everything possible to prevent a payout. If they offer you a settlement, it likely won’t cover the true extent of your expenses. This is why it’s so important to work with a car accident injury attorney who’s looking out for your best interests.
At Joubert Law Firm, you can rest assured that we will fight for maximum compensation in your case. Our attorneys can work with you to prove the extent of damage from the accident and help you get everything you deserve.
Fighting For Compensation for Your Rear-End Collision Injuries
Recovering from an injury requires a lot of rest and relaxation, but pursuing a personal injury lawsuit alone can be the complete opposite of rest and relaxation. Fortunately, the Baton Rouge accident attorneys at Joubert Law Firm have all the experience and knowledge necessary to negotiate with insurance companies and litigate your case in court if it comes down to it.
Schedule a free consultation with the Baton Rouge attorneys at Joubert Law today by calling (225) 761-3822.