About five rear end collisions occur every second in the United States, and several types of injuries have been suffered by those involved in them. An injury can even result from vehicles traveling at speeds slower than 15 mph.
The individual driving the rear car is usually considered to be at fault due to not allowing enough space between the vehicles or not paying close enough attention to the road. In many cases, an attorney is consulted to ensure that an appropriate amount of compensation is received.
Although whiplash is a familiar injury that results from rear end collisions, it is by no means the only common one.
- Back Injuries
Many involved in accidents experience back pain that results from a compression of the spine and herniated discs.
- Hand and Arm Injuries
Every part of the arms and hands can become injured when they are violently jerked into the steering wheel or other part of the car. Sometimes, they can become caught between a deployed airbag and the dashboard, door or steering wheel.
- Head Injuries
In slow speed collisions, face injuries can result from it smashing into the steering wheel. Conversely, the face can be burned when an airbag deploys in a car that was traveling at a high speed.
- Torso Injuries
When seat belts do their job to shield the body from hitting the steering wheel or other part of the car, the torso can get bruised or lacerated. Of course, if the seat belt is not used for its intended purpose, much greater injuries to the torso can result.
This occurs when a collision from behind causes the neck of the driver or any passengers to go back and violently snap forward. Sprained or torn neck or shoulder ligaments, muscles or tendons often result from whiplash. About 20 percent of people involved in these types of accidents suffer from this, and the majority of those will continue to experience neck pain for an extended time.
The damage that results from whiplash occurs in an incredibly small amount of time.
About 0.1 seconds following the impact, the torso starts moving forward while the head remains steady. However, within 0.05 seconds of that moment, the lower neck is pulled forward, and the head moves backwards at a fast pace. About 0.15 seconds later, the entire neck is whipped forward, bringing the head with it in a snap-like motion.
Immediately prior to or quickly following a consultation with a lawyer, those injured in these types of accidents work with physicians to treat the injuries that have occurred and help prevent them from worsening. Unfortunately, some suffering from whiplash do so for more than six months. In these cases, the disease has progressed to whiplash syndrome, and nerve damage is likely causing neuropathic pain.
If you have been the victim of a rear end collision, make sure to contact an attorney to ensure that you are fairly compensated for any injuries that you may have suffered. It is important to speak to a doctor and get in touch with a lawyer as soon as possible even if initial pain is not severe as injuries resulting from these incidents oftentimes do not make themselves apparent until some time has passed.
Author BIO: Steven M. Sweat is an award winning personal injury attorney based in Los Angeles California. He is the principal of Steven M. Sweat, APC and a regular contributor to this blog and other publications related to auto accident claims.