The most common type of car accident is the rear-end collision; an accident where one vehicle crashes into the vehicle in front of it. Accounting for more than 30% of all car accidents in the U.S., this type of crash can be caused by weather, tailgating, driver inattention or distraction, and sudden stopping. In most cases, the driver of the car that rear-ends the other car is considered at fault.
Rear-end collisions do not usually cause fatalities but there are typically injuries to both people and property in this type of accident. Rear-end collisions are considered to be one of the worst accidents causing personal injury because impact from a rear-end collision is most likely to injure the neck, considered the most vulnerable area of the spine. The rest of the spine is usually protected by the car’s seat, and though headrests can help reduce neck injuries they do not always prevent them. Neck injuries from rear-end accidents cost the nation more than $29 billion per year, including medical expenses and litigation.
Often as a result of a rear-end collision the driver and passengers may suffer whiplash or cervical strain, or in more severe accidents with greater property damage, spinal disc herniation, also known as a disc bulge or slipped disk. Whiplash is a catchall term used to describe injuries to the neck but “true whiplash is a wave motion traveling down a tapered whip and creating a sonic boom, and does not describe neck motion at all.” (Medscape.com) Spinal disc herniation is not common in car accidents in general, but a rear-end collision can cause disc herniation, especially if the disc suffers from age-related degeneration.
In addition to physical injury, occupants of cars in rear-end collisions can suffer psychologic stress which in turn can cause pain by increasing muscle tension, sympathetic nerve activity and muscle ischemia, which create a painful vicious cycle. “The longer the pain lasts after an injury, the more the psychologic factors predominate and the more psychologic modalities should be used in treatment.” (Medscape.com)
For both personal and property injury, the speed of the vehicle at fault increases the level of injury. In addition, the sex, height, weight, age and musculature of those in the car will also determine the level of severity of the injury. The type of vehicle and specifically the type of bumper, restraint system, headrest, and seat also influence the likelihood of injury.
If you or a loved one has been in a rear-end collision, Walton Law Firm can help. We have represented hundreds of rear-end accident victims and can assist you in reaching a settlement with the other party’s insurance company to settle your claim, or if required, we can represent you in a lawsuit against the negligent driver. As the injured party, you are entitled to financial compensation for your medical expenses, car damage, lost wages, pain, suffering, inconvenience, and the overall impact the accident has had on your life.
We have successfully represented individuals and families who have been victims of all types of car accidents for 20 years. We would be happy to provide a free consultation with a lawyer to discuss your accident, and will provide you an honest appraisal of your case, and the probable value of your settlement or verdict. Or, if you prefer, you can submit a confidential question online. You can reach us at (866) 607-1325 or locally in North San Diego County at (760) 571-5500.