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Common Rear-End Accident Injuries

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Rear-end accidents are quite common – according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), they account for about 30 percent of all crashes. Each year, there are an estimated 2.5 million rear-end accidents across the country.

These types of car accidents can also leave people with serious injuries that have a significant impact on their lives. They often need medical treatment and expenses can add up quickly. This can lead to financial stress, as victims aren’t sure how they will pay these expenses – especially if they are forced to miss time from work due to their injury.

What are common injuries seen in rear-end accidents?

The type and severity of injuries suffered in a rear-end crash depend on many factors, such as speed and whether both vehicles were in motion. Common injuries include:


In a rear-end crash, the head and neck are jerked forward and backward at tremendous force – much like the cracking of a whip. This stretches the muscles, ligaments, and tendons in the neck beyond their normal range of motion, resulting in injury. Symptoms of whiplash include pain, headaches, and dizziness. Whiplash is also associated with other types of injuries, including traumatic brain injuries.

Neck injuries

There are also other types of neck injuries that can occur in a rear-end accident. These include facet joint injuries, in which there is damage to cartilage where two bones meet in the spinal column. There can be a fracture in one of the bones (vertebrae) of the cervical spine. A pinched nerve can occur between two bones. Some rear-end accident victims suffer cervical spondylolisthesis, in which one of the vertebrae in the neck slides forward over the bone below it.

Back injuries

Herniated discs are a common back injury seen in rear-end accidents. The soft, rubbery disc located between each bone in the spinal column serves as cushioning. These discs can be damaged in an accident, causing the gel-like interior to bulge out and press on nerves, resulting in pain. Accidents can also cause other types of back injuries, such as sprains and strains and facet joint injuries. There is also the possibility of damage to the spinal cord, which can result in paralysis.

Concussion/Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

The impact of a high-speed rear-end collision can cause a person’s head to be shaken at great force. The brain slams against the inside of the skull, which can result in bleeding or bruising. Driver and passengers can also suffer an injury if they hit their head against an object, such as the steering wheel.

A concussion is a “mild” form of TBI, but any brain injury is a serious concern. Victims can suffer headaches, confusion, or problems with memory or speech. There can be long-term symptoms with more serious cases of TBI, including cognitive issues, and problems with motor function, vision, or hearing. Concussions can also cause cumulative brain damage if you have several over the course of your life.

Arm and Wrist Injuries

At the moment of impact, drivers generally have their hands on the steering wheel. Some may even see a vehicle speeding toward them in the rearview mirror and brace their arms to prepare for the crash. When the impact occurs, they usually stiffen their arms, wrists, hands, and shoulders. This can result in stress fractures, broken wrists, wrist sprains, dislocated shoulders or joints, and damage to tendons.

Broken Bones

This injury can happen if airbags are deployed during the crash. The airbag inflates very quickly and with great force and can lead to broken bones in the ribcage if it hits a person in the chest. A seatbelt pulling tight during the accident can also result in rib fractures. In a high-speed collision, a driver or passenger can also suffer broken bones by striking part of the inside of the car.

Facial Injuries

During a rear-end crash, there can be a lot of debris flying inside the interior of the car, such as broken glass or loose change. A person’s face can also strike the steering wheel or dashboard. The result can be cuts, scrapes, or bruises on the face. In some cases, there may be broken bones, or teeth that were knocked out. These injuries can be painful and disfiguring. If the eyes are injured, you may suffer temporary or permanent vision loss.

Recovering financial compensation after a rear-end accident

If you were hurt in a rear-end crash caused by a negligent driver, you deserve financial compensation for your injuries. But the process of recovering compensation is complicated. The other driver may have been speeding, texting, tailgating, or fell asleep at the wheel. However, negligent drivers often deny responsibility.

Insurance companies may challenge your claim for compensation. They may dispute the seriousness of the injuries you suffered in a rear-end accident. Or they may suggest that your injuries were pre-existing. Another common tactic used to try to limit compensation is making a lowball settlement offer that falls far short of covering the actual damages suffered.

That’s why it’s important to get legal advice as soon as possible if you’ve been injured in a rear-end accident. The Marye Law Firm is ready to help.

What a lawyer can do for you

An experienced attorney can build a strong case for financial compensation by investigating your rear-end accident. A legal team can gather evidence, carefully review accident reports and medical records, and interview witnesses. If needed, an accident reconstruction expert can be consulted for insight into how the crash happened.

As your lawyer, we can handle all communications with the insurance company on your behalf so you can focus on recovering from your injuries. This includes negotiating a financial settlement that meets your needs. If a settlement can’t be reached, we can help you file a lawsuit to seek compensation for your damages in court.

The amount of compensation you can recover will depend on several different factors, including the type and severity of your injuries and insurance policy limits. But in general, you can seek compensation for all current and future medical expenses related to your injuries, lost wages if your injuries prevented you from working, and other damages such as pain and suffering.

It’s common to have doubts about whether you need a lawyer after an accident. You may not even be sure if you have a case. That’s why our car accident lawyers offer a free consultation. A lawyer can review the details of your rear-end crash and discuss your legal options for recovering compensation. You can also get answers to your questions.

If you were injured in a Dallas rear-end accident, contact the Marye Law Firm to schedule a free case evaluation.

Click here to download a printable PDF of this article, "Common Rear-End Accident Injuries."

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