If another car hits you from behind and you’ve done nothing wrong, you could have a strong personal injury case. But, what if you don’t feel injured right after the crash? Not so fast. It would be a mistake to assume that everything is fine when experience shows that an accident like this can result in serious consequences.
Rear End Collisions are Incredibly Common
According to statistics from the Insurance Institute of America, rear-end collisions are the most common type of collision on this country’s roads. In 2015 alone, there were 2.1 million rear-end collisions in the U.S., which accounted for 33.4 percent of all accidents. This type of collision also accounted for nearly one-third (32.4%) of all injury crashes.
Rear-End Collisions are Exciting
Car crashes aren’t “exciting” in the sense that they’re fun, but instead they are traumatic and emotional events for most people. In many cases, a person who is injured unexpectedly or involved in a traumatic crash won’t have any idea that they’ve been hurt thanks to the chemicals coursing through their bodies.
This isn’t to say that you were on drugs, but rather that your body’s natural endorphins and adrenaline were supercharged by the accident. This can prevent you from feeling any pain or soreness until those chemicals subside.
Soft Tissue Injuries After a Car Crash
One of the most common dangers after a rear-end collision is injuries to the body’s soft tissue, which includes muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Even a low-speed rear-end collision can generate enough force to result in whiplash, which is the most common type of soft tissue injury from a car crash.
Whiplash refers to injury to the muscles in the neck after the head is forcefully and suddenly thrown forward and then back again. Any soft tissue injury can result in reduced mobility, swelling, and pain. Unfortunately, these don’t always show up immediately, with some taking days or even weeks to become noticeable.
Concussions Following a Rear-End Collision
Even though your brain is protected by a layer of fluid and your skull, it can still be injured after a jarring accident. Similar to what happens with whiplash, when the head is jolted, the brain can strike the inside of the skull and become injured.
This is referred to as a concussion, and it might not be immediately evident. Some of the common symptoms of a concussion include:
- Blurry vision
- Clouded thinking
- Difficulty with memory
- Trouble sleeping
- Lack of energy
If you exhibit any of these signs after a rear-end collision, it’s possible that you’ve sustained a concussion and you should seek medical attention as quickly as possible.
Why You Should See a Doctor Immediately
Following a rear-end collision, you should see a doctor right away even if you don’t have significant discomfort and pain. A medical professional is in the best position to order the proper tests and determine whether you’ve sustained any serious injuries. They can also monitor your progress and let you know about other warning signs for a worsening condition.
When a rear-end collision happens, the person in front benefits from the presumption that the driver in the back was to blame. But even if you were the driver in front, you still have to prove that you suffered injuries resulting from the accident. If you do file a personal injury claim, having this medical documentation will be a vital part of your case. You’ll be able to show that you sought medical care within a reasonable period after the accident.
Avoid Compromising Your Auto Accident Case
If you’ve been involved in a rear-end collision, there is a long list of things you can do to protect your rights and ability to collect compensation from the responsible parties. This begins with seeking prompt medical care for your injuries.
While you are required to report any accidents to your own insurance company, it’s never a good idea to give anyone a recorded statement or sign a release until you discuss your case with an experienced personal injury attorney. Many insurance companies and their attorneys might try to get you to settle for much less than your case is worth.
If you’ve been in an accident contact a car accident attorney today!