Types of Neck and Back Injuries from Rear-End Car Accidents
A rear-end crash generally results when a motor vehicle collides with the car in front of it. These accidents tend to frequently happen because of tailgating, panic stops, driver inattention, and reduced traction due to wet weather or pavement that has been worn out. Yet, regardless of how these accidents occur, the bottom line is generally the same — the consequences are devastating.
In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), every year, rear-end crashes result in over 1,597,000 property damage accidents, 2,000 fatalities, and cause over 600,000 injuries, with most of the injuries resulting in severe back and neck trauma.
Common Neck and Back Injuries Resulting from a Rear-End Car Crash
Although rear-end crashes can cause various catastrophic injuries, affecting virtually any part of the body. In general, these crashes tend to cause injuries to a person’s back and neck most often. Take, for instance, some of the more common neck and back injuries that usually result from a rear-end accident:
One of the most common neck injuries resulting from a rear-end crash is whiplash. This injury often develops because of a rapid and forceful back-and-forth movement that causes the neck to snap. Symptoms of this injury typically include:
- A loss of range of motion in the neck
- Stiffness and pain in the neck
- Tenderness in the upper back, arms, and shoulders
Although most individuals who suffer whiplash recover over time, others may have long-term complications from this injury.
Back Sprains and Strains
A back strain is an injury that affects a person’s tendons or muscles, while a back sprain is an injury that causes stretching or tearing of the ligaments in the back. With a back strain, the muscles and tendons that support the spine are pulled, torn, or twisted. In comparison, with a back sprain, an individual suffers a blow to the body or a sudden twist that forces a joint out of its normal position. As a result, the person’s ligaments are stretched beyond their normal range of movement, and an injury develops.
A herniated or slipped disc occurs when the soft center of a spinal disc pushes through a crack in the more rigid exterior casing. When this happens, the herniated disc will often cause discomfort and pain. If the disc compresses one of the spinal nerves, an individual may also experience pain and numbness along the affected nerve.
The most common symptoms of a herniated disk include:
- Numbness and pain, typically on one side of the body
- Pain that gets worse with specific movements
- Pain that extends to your legs and arms
- Pain from walking short distances
- Pain that worsens from sitting or standing
- An aching, tingling, or burning sensation in the affected area
- Unexplained weakness in the muscles
It is also essential to add that this pain can vary from one individual to the other. That is why you should see your doctor as soon as you experience any tingling sensation or numbness that can affect your ability to control your muscles.
A Spinal Fracture
These fractures often occur when an individual is rear-ended by a vehicle that is traveling at high speeds. Generally, these spinal fractures develop in the mid to lower back and result from a torn, compressed, or pinched spinal cord.
Depending on the severity of the injury, many victims may experience problems walking, extensive pain, and not be able to move their arms or legs. Although many of these fractures can heal with conservative treatments, severe fractures often require surgery to realign the bones.
A Spinal Stenosis
Spinal stenosis is a narrowing of the spinal canal, which can put pressure on the nerves that travel through the spine. This condition often occurs in the lower back and the neck due to fractures or dislocations because of a rear-end crash. The symptoms often associated with this injury include numbness, muscle weakness, impaired bowel and bladder control, and significant pain.
A Compression Fracture
A compression fracture is a type of break in your vertebrae or the bones that make up your spine. Although these fractures commonly occur in the mid-back because of Osteoporosis, they can also result from rear-end accidents. Symptoms of this fracture include severe pain, loss of height, and even deformities.
See a Doctor Immediately After Your Rear-End Accident
Even if you do not believe your neck or back injuries are that severe, you should still see your doctor as soon as possible after your accident. This is because many serious injuries can take some time to manifest, yet the longer you wait to get medical help, the more fatal and debilitating these injuries can become. Fortunately, when you get looked over by your doctor shortly after your accident, they can properly diagnose any condition you have and make sure you get the medical assistance you require.
In addition, this prompt treatment can be critical for your legal claim. Following a car crash, insurance companies will look for any reason to deny your case. Consequently, if you do not get looked over by a doctor after your collision, these insurers will argue that your injuries are not that serious or a result of a subsequent event. Thankfully, when your doctor examines you, they can jot down information regarding your injuries and the accident that caused them in your medical report. Ultimately, providing you with evidence of a direct link between the rear-end car crash and the harm you sustained.
Keep Your Reports
Additionally, you should keep all your reports and records from the rear-end crash. This includes your medical reports, the police report, and any bills related to your collision. Additionally, if you need any ongoing care or long-term treatments, make sure you keep this documentation as well. These documents and statements can help your car accident lawyer pursue the maximum compensation you need for the losses and damages you endured.
Let an Experienced Car Accident Attorney Fight for the Damages You Deserve
If you have been harmed in a rear-end car accident because of another person’s wrongful or intentional actions, you deserve justice. However, obtaining this compensation is not always straightforward. Generally, to bring a successful injury claim, you need to provide sound legal arguments and solid evidence proving what happened and who was at fault for the crash. Yet, following a rear-end collision, this is likely the last thing on your mind.
Fortunately, you do not have to worry about taking on this complex legal battle alone. When you retain an experienced car accident attorney, these lawyers can take on this case for you and fight for the financial recovery you are entitled to. To accomplish this goal, these attorneys will:
- Go over your rear-end crash in detail, determine if you have a viable claim, and figure out what legal options you can pursue.
- Investigate your crash, and gather the evidence required to show liability and damages.
- Fight for the maximum compensation you deserve either through settlement negotiations or trial.
That is why do not wait any longer to secure the legal help you need after a rear-end collision disrupted your life or the life of a loved one. Instead, contact Charbonnet Law Firm, LLC today for a free case evaluation, or call our office at (504) 294-5094 for further information.