One of the most common types of car crashes in the United States is rear-end collisions, in which one car hits the back end of another car. In addition to being common, these incidents are some of the most common types of crashes cited in personal injury cases and result in millions of dollars of damages each year. Car accident injuries sustained in a rear-end collision can range from mild pain to injuries requiring minimally invasive spinal surgery. Also termed “fender benders,” a rear-end collision can be a big deal for thousands of people each year and has some unique consequences. Below are some of the most common injuries sustained in a rear-end collision.
The most commonly cited injury after a rear-end collision is whiplash, in which the soft tissues surround the neck and head tear due to the sudden movement brought on by the impact. This can be even worse in a rear-end crash is that the driver often does not know the collision is coming and does not have the chance to brace for impact, allowing the head and neck to move more violently.
Whiplash usually results in soreness that lasts for a week or more, and in serious cases can require neck braces, physical therapy, and surgery.
Even an accident at a low speed can lead to severe back injuries. The blunt impact can result in compression of the spine or discs in the lower spinal column. When this force is brought to the spine, it can cause intense pressure on the vertebrae that will lead to back pain in varying degrees.
Spinal Cord Paralysis
If a spine injury is severe enough, the victim could be left completely or partially paralyzed. Depending on the areas affected and the severity of the injuries, the degree of paralysis can vary. The risk is highest when spinal discs or specific parts of the brain are injured.
Head and Brain Injuries
All injuries to the head should be taken seriously, even if the impact seemed mild. In a crash, the head will often strike various parts of the car like the windshield or dashboard. This can result in a concussion or lack of consciousness, or external injuries like bruises, swelling, and lacerations. If your face strikes part of the car, there is also a risk of facial disfigurement that goes beyond cosmetic concerns. Broken noses, cheekbones, and jaws can pose medical problems and require surgery and further intervention.
Blunt force trauma to the head can also result in Traumatic Brain Injuries or TBIs. Warning signs of these injuries may not appear immediately and it may be days or weeks before it becomes apparent that damage to the brain was sustained.
Wrist and Arm Injuries
When a driver has a warning that prepares them for impact, they are likely to put their arms out to brace themselves. But even in a rear-end collision where there may not be a warning, most drivers have their hands on the steering wheel. When the impact hits, the arm and wrist are often injured due to this positioning. Broken and sprained wrists are very common due to the fragile nature of the wrist, and dislocated shoulders can also happen often.
Seat Belt Injuries
Seat belts are an important safety mechanism that should always be worn. However, they do include some risk, particularly in rear-end collisions. Upon impact, a seat belt automatically tightens to protect you, but it can also apply pressure to the abdomen. This may result in lacerations and bruising on the chest, neck, or abdomen. In some cases, these can lead to internal bleeding or more severe issues, known as Seat Belt Syndrome.
If you have been in a rear-end collision, it is important to have specialists evaluate you for any potential injuries. At AICA Orthopedics, our team of specialists will work to identify any sustained injuries as a result of your accident. Our team of chiropractors, orthopedic doctors, physical therapists, and surgeons are trained to diagnose and treat injuries like the ones above and provide effective treatment. Contact AICA Orthopedics today to meet with our multidisciplinary specialists and begin your road to recovery.