In Michigan, rear-end crashes account for the 2,141 of 4,926 crashes in 2018. Michigan law dictates that the driver of the trailing vehicle is considered prima facie guilty of negligence. Despite the law about driving only within the speed that will allow a vehicle to stop within a considerable and clear distance ahead, rear-end collision incidents continue to rise. Aside from the high fatality rate, victims of this kind of vehicle accident can suffer in a wide array of injuries, with back and neck injuries being the most prevalent.
A Look Into Rear-End Collisions
Rear-end collisions happen when one vehicle follows too closely behind another. The impact occurs when the front-end of the trailing vehicle crashes into the rear of the leading vehicle. The trailing vehicle did not have much time to slow down or stop when the vehicle ahead of it stops or slows down, usually because the trailing vehicle is moving faster or is following too closely or both.
Rear-end collisions are preventable with good judgment, basic common sense, and of course, by abiding with the traffic laws of the state. Additionally, car safety features like airbags and seatbelts can help minimize the extent of injuries by reducing passenger movement during a collision.
How the Back and Neck Injury Happens in Rear-End Collisions
The impact of the collision forces the person’s head, neck, upper back, and shoulders to jerk forward and backward abruptly. It causes damage and injury to the joints, muscles, ligaments, and nerves. Swelling, stiffness, bruising, and soreness follows, causing intense pain to the victim. In the worst-case scenario, the collision may result in brain and spine injuries, paralysis, and fractures, among others. Collisions may also be so terrible as to result in the death of the victim.
Back and neck injuries are the most common form of personal injury following a rear-end crash. Even a minor collision involving low speed can wreak havoc to your body, especially your neck and back.
9 Back and Neck Injuries One May Suffer From Rear-End Collisions
Rear-end collisions can bring about various injuries, ranging from mild to severe, depending on the speed at which the accident occurs. Here are some of the neck and back injuries one may suffer from in the event of a rear-end crash:
It is a common injury related to rear-end collision. The soft tissue in the neck, and also sometimes the upper back, gets damaged due to the impact. Also called neck strain, whiplash can be mild, moderate, or severe, depending on the extent of the tissue damage.
- Slipped or Herniated Disc
Discs cushion our backbone or vertebrae. During a rear-end collision, the discs may rapture, break, or shift out of place. When this happens, the disc may bulge and press on the nerves. It can cause numbness or excruciating pain.
- Spinal Column Fracture
This injury is common to high-speed, rear-end collisions. The seatbelt holds a driver or a passenger’s lower back, and the upper back moves forcefully during a rear-end collision. Because the spinal column is prone to extension, flexion, and rotation fractures, this sudden motion can easily result in spinal column fracture.
- Spondylolisthesis or Compression Fracture
When a vertebra is pushed out of place during the impact, it slips forward onto the underlying bone. It causes the spinal canal or the nerves (or both) to compress. It is a painful injury, and it can sometimes make it difficult for a person to walk.
- Spinal Stenosis
It is condition wherein the bone channel that houses the spinal cord and nerves gets narrow. The narrowing of this space puts pressure on the nerves, which can eventually result in nerve damage.
- Back Sprains
The ligaments and soft tissues get damaged during the impact, causing pain, numbness, and weakness.
- Back Strains
It happens when the tissue gets stretched out during the impact. It can result in pain and mobility issues.
During a rear-end collision, the impact can cause the brain to shake and hit the inside of the skull. The tissue compression and bruising of the brain can cause physical and mental damage that can be permanent.
- Post-Traumatic Headache
Dizziness, inability to concentrate, insomnia, mood swings, and personality changes are common symptoms that come along with post-traumatic headaches following a rear-end crash. It can be debilitating enough to affect one’s daily activities.
How These Injuries May Affect You
It’s easy to overlook how the neck and spine are essential for most physical activities. Damage or injury to neck and back can have a massive impact on one’s day to day living. Depending on the extent of damage, neck and back injuries can:
- Render a person unable to stand or walk properly;
- Prevent a person from doing normal daily activities, such as showering and getting dressed, without causing significant discomfort;
- Decrease productivity at work, which can have a negative consequence;
- Cause financial hardship due to medical costs, rehabilitation, and the like.
Legal Help for Back and Neck Injuries Due to Rear-end Collisions
Personal injury due to rear-end collisions should not be taken lightly just because you are not showing any significant symptoms. The result of the crash may take several days before showing up. A medical examination is essential following the accident.
To help protect your rights to personal injury claim due to rear-end collisions and other car crashes, you need a lawyer who can help obtain your rightful compensation. Call The Clark Law Office today for a free consultation with our expert lansing automobile injury lawyers.