You may be stopped at an intersection waiting for the light to change, when suddenly another vehicle strikes yours from behind. While you feel a bit shaken up, you may think there is no physical damage.
A rear-end collision is the most common kind of crash, and many drivers sustain only minor injuries. However, severe injuries can occur, and they are not always apparent at the time of the accident.
Safety precautions matter
The severity of the injuries you might sustain in a rear-end collision depends to some extent on where you are sitting and how prepared you are for such an impact. If you and your passengers are wearing seat belts, and if the headrests are in the proper position, injuries could be minimized. However, the impact, which can be considerable even if the oncoming vehicle is only moving at three or four miles per hour, can give you a surprisingly hard jolt.
Back and neck injuries
During impact, your neck will snap back, then forward. This means that your neck stretches in an abnormal manner, resulting in hyperextension, commonly called whiplash. Outside of having a stiff neck for a while, you may not suffer further complications. However, an x-ray might be necessary to determine if there has been damage to the spinal column, such as a herniated cervical disc or pinched nerves.
Head, facial and limb injuries
If the impact of the collision causes your head to hit a hard surface, such as the steering wheel, you could suffer cuts, bruises and a concussion or other serious head injury. Although head injuries are common following a rear-end collision, many occupants can suffer injuries to the legs, ankles and feet, including sprains and broken bones. Some of these injuries require a lengthy recovery time and could keep you out of work while you heal.
Seeking an advocate
Injuries from a more forceful rear-end-collision can be surprisingly serious. A personal injury attorney will tell you that depending on the nature of your injuries, you may not be able to resume the type of work you were doing at the time of the accident. You might also have extensive medical bills. However, you are entitled to full and fair compensation for your injuries and an experienced advocate will work toward that goal on your behalf.