Injuries and damage are common in any type of car accident, but there are certain effects more common in rear-end accidents. The injuries that result from being rear-ended (when the front bumper of a vehicle crashes into the back of another vehicle) range from minor to extreme. In any case, they can burden the victim with ongoing medical costs and vehicle damage costs.
Let’s look at some of the most common physical and emotional effects associated with rear-end accidents.
7 Most Common Physical Injuries from a Rear-End Car Accident
Rear-end accidents can lead to a variety of injuries, but here are the most common ones:
Whiplash can refer to several neck or upper back injuries, but they’re all caused by the head and neck being suddenly whipped forward during sudden movements, like in a car accident.
Whiplash is the most common injury in a rear-end car accident. The impact of another vehicle hitting the back of your car, even at slow speeds, can cause your neck to extend beyond its regular range of motion. This sprains, or even tears, soft tissues in the neck, causing injuries that may last more than a year.
Whiplash injuries are often more severe when the driver has no chance to brace for the impact of the collision, which is commonly the cause of a sudden rear-end accident. The head and neck muscles don’t have time to brace for the accident, thus leading to more severe injury.
2. Spine and Back Injuries
Just like with whiplash, spine and back injuries are often worse when the victim doesn’t have time to brace themselves before a collision—like in a rear-end car accident.
Spinal injuries are some of the most serious car accident-related injuries, as they can be long-term and affect a person’s entire life. The force of impact from a rear-end collision can compress the spine and put pressure on the vertebrae, causing soreness, intense lower back pain, and worse injuries that affect the quality of life.
3. Head and Brain Injuries
Even if the involved vehicles aren’t going very fast, a rear-end collision can lead to brain or head injuries. If the airbag deploys, it can lead to bruises, broken bones, or burns to the face or scalp. If the head is impaled or struck, concussions, swelling, lacerations, or brain trauma can occur.
This is why even if the car accident doesn’t seem bad, head or brain injuries should be taken very seriously. Treatment needs for traumatic brain injury might take days or even weeks for the full effects to show, which is why working with a head injury lawyer is crucial if the victim got struck in the head.
4. Broken Ribcage (or Other Broken Bones)
The force of a deploying airbag following a rear-end crash can lead to broken bones in the ribcage or other areas. Other causes of broken bones can include cracked ribs from the seatbelt, loose objects in the vehicle, or the victim’s limbs hitting something solid in the car.
5. Wrist and Arm Injuries
Most of the time, right before a rear-end accident occurs, the driver has their hands on the steering wheel. This is especially likely if the driver was the other car about to hit them from behind and braced their hands for the impact, leading to serious wrist, arm, hand, or shoulder injuries.
6. Facial Disfigurement
One of the more serious effects of a rear-end car accident can include facial scarring or disfigurement from impact with objects in the car. These injuries can include broken jaw, nose, or cheekbones and require long-term treatment and extreme surgeries to help the victim recover.
If an accident is severe enough to cause extreme brain or spinal injuries, the victim can be left partially or fully paralyzed. These injuries may be irreversible or require years or treatment or physical therapy to pursue recovery.
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Who Pays For the Effects Of a Car Accident?
The Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA) § 51-12-33 states that in most cases, if you are not the one who caused the accident, then you have a legal right to recover financial damages. In other words, the person who is at fault is the one who pays for the effects of the accident.
This doesn’t just apply to hospital bills and medication; it typically includes all costs directly caused by the accident. That could consist of missed work time, vehicle damages, long-term recovery or physical therapy, and other types of damages caused by the accident. In general, any loss that you experienced related to the accident can get included in your claim for damages.
How Do Damages from Injuries Get Calculated?
Most injuries will result in economic damages such as physical therapy, surgery, prescriptions, and other forms of medical treatment. All of these can cost lots of money which the average Georgia household can’t cover. For example, resetting a broken bone can cost several thousands of dollars, even with health insurance. Imagine how much it would cost to get major surgery or to treat paralysis long-term.
Economic damages are relatively straightforward to calculate. First, your lawyer will ask for your medical records and all your relevant hospital bills, receipts, etc. From there, they get factored into your settlement alongside the rest of the damages involved with your rear-end accident claim.
What About Personal and Emotional Effects Of a Rear-End Accident?
Along with the physical effects of being rear-ended in a car accident, the full aftermath can be difficult in many ways. You’re likely dealing with mounting medical bills, missed work time, and maybe even emotional distress resulting from the collision. OCGA § 51-12-6 does allow you to recover money for these damages under any circumstances.
Immediately following a rear-end accident is crucial for pursuing the financial recovery you need to get back on your feet. Although nothing can reverse what happened, receiving the money you deserve for your pain and suffering can help bring some peace of mind during a painful and stressful time. It’s essential to seek the proper legal counsel so you can adequately pursue damages for the effects of the rear-end accident.
Will the Insurance Companies Help Me After a Rear-End Accident?
Even though these injuries are common after rear-end accidents, expect the insurance company to downplay them. They’ll most likely try to offer you a settlement way below what you deserve. Don’t ever accept their offers or give them any information. Instead, you should reach out to a lawyer to help you get started on building a solid case for your claim.
Need Legal Help For a Rear-End Accident?
John Foy & Associates has been working with rear-end accident victims for more than 20 years. Let our Atlanta rear-end car accident lawyers give you a FREE consultation to discuss your situation and how we can help. Give us a call at 404-400-4000 or fill out the form to your right for your free consultation.