Rear-End Collision Injuries

By David Hammond

When a car is struck from behind by another vehicle, this is referred to as a “rear-end collision.” It often occurs at places such as intersections where one car comes to a stop or slows down to stop and the driver of the vehicle behind it is not paying attention or is going too fast to properly slow down. As a result, impact occurs. Rear-end collisions are incredibly common and can run a wide range of severity depending on factors such as speed. Unfortunately, vehicle occupants can sustain serious injuries even in what may seem to be a minor “fender bender.” Let’s take a look at some of the injuries that are commonly sustained in rear-end collisions.

Rear-End Collision Injuries 

Injuries to the cervical and lumbar spine are incredibly common in rear-end collisions. This, of course, refers to the neck and the back areas of the spinal column. The force of impact can lead to soft tissue injuries and put particular pressure on the vertebral discs. The discs act as cushions between the vertebrae so that the bones of the spine do not rub together, which can cause extremely painful friction as the bones rub together without the padding of the disc. In particular, herniated discs can arise as a result of the force of impact from a rear-end collision. Not only can this be incredibly painful, but the injury victim may also have numbness and weakness as a result. In severe cases, damage to the cervical or lumbar spine may result in paralysis.

One of the most common soft-tissue injuries that result from a rear-end collision is whiplash. Whiplash occurs when the head and neck are forced forward suddenly and then snap back, like a whip. Whiplash can be painful and lead to extreme soreness in the neck, shoulders, and upper back areas. A person suffering from whiplash may also experience tingling, numbness, or weakness in these areas. Dizziness and headaches are also common side effects of whiplash. 

As the force of impact from a rear-end collision can send a person’s head jolting forward, facial injuries are also common in these types of crashes. Vehicle occupants may sustain facial bruising or lacerations from their heads impacting with the steering column, dashboard, or other vehicle surfaces. In even more serious cases, vehicle occupants may be at risk of sustaining traumatic brain injuries. When the head is jolted forward, the inertia can cause the brain to hit the inside of the skull causing damage to it. Traumatic brain injuries can have devastating impacts on a person and require immediate medical attention. The symptoms of the injury may not fully present themselves right away, but immediate medical care and evaluation can help properly address it.

Bone fractures are another common rear-end collision injury. While seat belts save lives, the restriction of the seat belt upon impact can lead to rib fractures. Airbag deployment can also lead to fractures. Additionally, fractures and soft tissue injuries can be sustained in the hands, wrists, and arms as a person braces for impact.

Personal Injury Attorneys

If you have been injured in a rear-end collision caused by someone else’s negligent driving, you have the legal right to pursue compensation against them for the harm you have suffered. The team at CDH Law is here to fight for you. Contact us today.

About the Author
David is a former military prosecutor and defense lawyer with over a decade of experience fighting for service members and their families. He served nine years and two combat tours as an active duty US Army officer, then joined the Reserves and settled down in Syracuse to be near family. Now representing people across Central New York charged with serious felonies, misdemeanors, DWIs, and traffic offenses, he puts the same level of commitment into his civilian law practice. If you have any questions regarding this article, you can contact David here.