In a rear end collision, a driver following another car fails to stop in time and crashes into the vehicle in front of it. In almost all cases, rear end collisions are found to be the fault of the driver who rear ends the leading vehicle. This is because traffic law mandates that all drivers leave a reasonable distance between themselves and the car in front of them because sudden or hard stops are often necessary in emergency traffic situations. While in certain scenarios, the leading driver may be partially at fault, for instance, if their brake lights are broken or if they suddenly reverse, in most cases the following driver will be found liable.
Rear end collisions are the most common type of car accident in the United States. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) completed a study which shows that, in 2014, almost 2 million car accidents were rear end collisions. These collisions resulted in 522,000 injuries and 1,966 deaths. The rest resulted in property damage only. This number shows that about 30% of car accidents are rear end collisions.
Common Injuries Sustained in Rear End Collisions
Although often rear end collisions cause only property damage, in around one fourth of cases, personal injury occurs. The most common injuries sustained in a rear end collision include:
- Whiplash, one of the most commonly cited injuries from a rear end collision, occurs when muscles and soft tissues are strained from the sudden backward/forward movement of the head and neck
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) / Concussion, the signs of which can take days or weeks to manifest
- Facial disfigurement from sudden contact between the face and the dashboard or headrests of the vehicle
- Nerve damage, stemming from pressure on nerves sustained in a crash
It is important to see a doctor after any kind of car accident in order to get a complete physical assessment. Although you may not feel pain immediately following the collision, your doctor may find something that you were not aware of, and they can tell you what signs to look out for in the next few days, such as signs of whiplash or a traumatic brain injury. In addition, documentation that you went to a doctor directly after an accident is important so that insurance companies cannot claim that your failure to see a physician proves that you were not injured in the accident.
Recovering from a Rear End Collision
Recovering from any accident can be a slow and stressful process. If you or your loved ones have sustained injuries, it is important for you to focus on healing rather than fighting with insurance companies to collect compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, and expenses. Let the experienced attorneys at Revo Smith Law in Albuquerque help you determine the possible coverage options provided by both your insurance and that of the at fault driver and will work to collect on your behalf. Call them today at (505) 293-8888 or contact them online.