The 5 Most Common Rear End Accident Injuries
The worst thing about car accidents is that you can get into one without doing anything wrong.
Say you’re stopped at an intersection behind another car, patiently waiting for the light to turn green. You look into your rearview and see a car approaching fast. In fact, it’s approaching way too fast.
You know the other driver can’t stop in time and there’s nowhere for you to go.
You did nothing wrong, but you still got hit. Your car is damaged and whatever plans you had for the day are shot. On top of which, there’s a decent chance you’ve got some kind of rear end accident injuries.
If you escaped the accident without injury, you got very lucky. If not, here are some of the most common rear end accident injuries you may face.
One of the more common rear end accident injuries is whiplash.
Whiplash happens when the head is jerked back and forth with a lot of force. The exact kind of motion that a rear end collision creates for those in the car that gets hit. It’s the same kind of injury you see in contact sports, such as hockey.
Depending on the severity of the accident, you experience some or all of the possible whiplash symptoms. Those symptoms include:
- reduced range of motion in your neck
- blurry vision
- bouts of dizziness
- neck pain
- shoulder or arm pain
- stiff neck
Left untreated, whiplash can leave you vulnerable to long-term, chronic pain. Treatments for mild whiplash include basic stretches and over-the-counter pain killers. More serious whiplash often calls for physical therapy and muscle relaxants.
It can be easy to blow off a stiff neck or headaches following an accident. You expect to hurt a little after another vehicle hits yours. If you think you have whiplash, be proactive and speak with a physician.
It could save you years of pain.
Traumatic Brain Injury
One of the more severe rear end accident injuries is traumatic brain injury or TBI.
A traumatic brain injury is often a result of a blow to the head, like banging your head against the steering wheel. Part of what makes TBI so problematic is that the injury happens where you can’t see it, inside your own skull.
You can see the blood when your arm gets cut or the bruise on your chest from the seatbelt. Your body hides it if your brain is bleeding and bruising. That’s why it’s essential to pay attention to behaviors after a rear end accident.
Those changes in behavior are the symptoms of a TBI. Some things to watch out for include:
- memory lapses
- inability to stay focused
- slurring of speech
- headaches that get progressively worse
Mild TBI usually resolves itself with some rest and time. More severe TBI often requires a lot of medical care. You may need anything from medications to surgery to limit the long-term damage.
Bones get broken in rear end crashes in a lot of ways.
Sometimes, the crash is violent enough that your seatbelt ends up cracking ribs. If you have loose objects in the car, the crash can throw one or more of those objects into you. If your hands aren’t firmly on the wheel, the impact could whip your arm or hand into something solid. The odds of this happening vary for a lot of reasons.
The odds of someone’s bones breaking vary for a lot of reasons.
Someone with a good diet who gets regular exercise will have healthy bones that are less likely to crack or break. Children tend to have much more flexible bones, which means their bones are less likely to break. That becomes a double edged sword because it also means you’ve got to be very conscious of soft tissue damage.
Bones become more fragile as you age, so the elderly are much more likely to suffer broken bones from an accident. Bone fractures come in several varieties, it’s best to get any suspicious pain checked out.
Rear End Accident Injuries – Spine Injuries
Of all the potential accident injuries, spine injuries are some of the scariest.
A broken bone will mend. Bruises will fade. A spine injury can change the way you live your life forever.
There are several kinds of spine damage that can happen in an accident, including:
- compression fractures
- Spondylolisthesis which is when a vertebra moves out of alignment
- herniated discs
- spinal cord injury
The first three create a substantial amount of pain and may require surgery to correct them. Spinal cord injuries are on a different level.
Depending on the severity of the damage, symptoms include:
- reduced strength
- reduced muscle control or spasms
- reduced sensation
- poor balance
- loss of bladder or bowel control
- in extreme circumstances, paralysis
Treat any back pain after an auto accident as a very serious matter. If it persists, seek medical attention.
Despite the use of safety glass and tempered glass in car windows, lacerations are very common rear end accident injuries.
Part of the reason for that is because so many things can cause scars or lacerations. Any loose object with an edge or a sharp corner can cut the surface layer of skin. A heavy object, such as a briefcase, may hit at an angle and essentially grind the skin off.
Surface lacerations are often painful, but generally treatable with bandages, stitches, and antibiotics.
Some lacerations go deep enough to damage arteries, veins, tendons or ligaments. These injuries generally require surgery to repair them.
Rear end accident injuries are unfortunate and common.
They can be as mild as a small cut or as serious as paralysis. If you’ve been injured in an accident, head on, rear-end, t-boned, rollover or however, the most important thing is to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Prompt treatment can often reduce or prevent some of the worst long-term problems.
Whether you’ve been in a collision on the highway or just in your neighborhood, you also want to seek treatment as soon as possible so you have an accurate record of your injuries. While it might not be a concern in the immediate aftermath, you could be facing serious medical bills over time. Accurate medical records make it harder for insurance companies to get out of paying those bills.
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