29% of all car accidents are rear-end collisions, so if you’re a driver of any vehicle, it’s safe to say you should know what to do in the event you are rear-ended or if you rear-end another driver. To clarify, rear-end collisions are the most common type of accident on the road. In today’s world, with more drivers than ever and many distractions behind the wheel (such as texting and driving or worse…Netflix and driving), rear-end collisions are increasing in number.
What to Do If You Are Rear-Ended
As with other accidents, the steps you follow when rear-ended are the same:
- Make sure everyone is okay. If anyone requires medical help, call 9-1-1 IMMEDIATELY.
- Document everything! Take pictures on your smartphone with a focus on the location of the vehicles & where they’ve impacted. Don’t have a smartphone? Keep a disposable camera in your glovebox.
- Collect information! This includes: the other driver’s insurance information & contact info as well as witness contact info.
- Contact a personal injury lawyer. The Parrish Law Firm is a great option as Jim Parrish has worked on the car insurance end and knows how to defend car accident victims against the tactics insurance companies use to underpay or outright refuse to pay victims a decent settlement.
Printable Car Accident Cheat Sheet to keep in your glove box.
2017: According to the NHTSA there were over 2 million recorded rear-end collisions in the United States.
Back & Neck Injuries Are Common with Rear-End Accidents
While all present day vehicles are designed with safety in mind, seatbelts and airbags are more-so designed to keep a driver alive rather than prevent any or all injuries. When you are rear-ended, your body is propelled forward and then back to your original position with significant force. This sudden forceful and violent movement of the body can cause muscle sprains, tears, misalignment of bones and joints as well as other significant damage to our fragile frames. While most injuries are temporary, some can be permanent, leading to a lifetime of pain and suffering. Because of this extreme motion, your back and neck are most susceptible to injury.
We want you to be as prepared as possible regarding outcomes of rear-end collisions, so we’ve laid out a few common injuries here:
- Whiplash: Whiplash is the most common form of injury when it comes to rear-end accidents. Your neck is basically propelled as far as it can go (sometimes even further) and then re-establishes its position after the crash. As you can imagine, this motion can and typically does cause either upper back bone damage and significant tissue damage that can take weeks or months to heal.
- Slipped Discs: The discs designed to protect your spinal column can become compromised by a rear-end collision. Essentially, the outer layer of your disc becomes herniated and tears, which causes your inner layer to protrude out, causing immense discomfort and pain. While some minor hernias do not require surgery, many continue to become bigger as more and more tissue bulges through the tear in your disc’s outer layer over time. Surgery is often necessary, though it is not always urgent.
- Spinal Injury: Finally, the very sensitive nerves in your spinal region known as the spinal cord can get damaged. This can lead to severe tingling, loss of motion, numbness or worse. You can also fracture a vertebrae in your back which almost always leads to mobility issues and immense pain.
Why You Should Always See a Doctor in the Coming Days
Many times, you may be involved in an accident and feel just fine. When you’re involved in a collision, your body releases adrenaline that can make it difficult for you to feel pain or injury. Often times we hear about people refusing to see a doctor or visit the hospital, only for them to feel extremely sore and be in significant pain days later — thus requiring a medical visit after all.
It is not just important, but is necessary to see a doctor after a rear-end collision. You could have medical issues that you’re not even aware of that require attention. This step is also important to make sure you are compensated by the insurance company paying your settlement or for your injuries.
If You Have Been Involved in a Rear-End Collision, do Not Make the Mistake of…
Trying to represent yourself in court. It is almost always better to contact an experienced car accident and injury attorney to ensure you are getting the settlement you deserve after a traumatic accident. The Parrish Law Firm provides a free, no-cost consultation for these such incidents. Contact us using the contact form.