One of the most common types of car accidents are rear-end collisions. These crashes occur when a vehicle hits the one in front of it. Although many are minor fender-benders, some rear-end collisions can cause severe injuries and even death. Driver distraction, such as using a cell phone for texting, is all too often the cause of rear-end accidents. Poor driving including speeding, tailgating or reckless driving can also cause this type of accident, as can driving under the influence and fatigue. Other causes not always in the driver’s control include brake failure and poor weather or road conditions. If you are involved in a rear end accident on a Dallas highway that has caused you or a loved one serious injury it is important that you retain the legal services of an experienced car accident attorney.
What are the Common Causes of Rear End Accidents?
Driver distraction is by far the leading cause of this type of crash, as a driver does not notice the vehicle in front of her in time to slow down or stop to avoid a collision. Distractions can include texting, eating, adjusting the vehicle’s radio, climate control or other in-car technologies, rubbernecking at accidents, or interacting with passengers.
Aggressive driving can include tailgating, speeding, following too closely, cutting in front of another vehicle too closely, or stopping suddenly. Hazardous weather conditions such as snow, icy roadways, heavy rain, and standing water can all interfere with safe driving when a driver does not properly account for them. Drunk driving can obviously affect the ability to drive safely, including the ability to avoid rear-end collisions. Driving while fatigued can contribute to failures in judgment and inattention that can result in rear-end collisions.
What are Common Injuries from Rear End Accidents?
While some believe rear-end accidents are relatively minor occurrences, surprisingly severe injuries can result from this type of crash. Many people involved in rear-end accidents feel the effects of the crash for months or years afterward. The following are only some examples of injuries that can plague you after a rear-end crash:
Neck Injuries from a Rear-end Accident – The injury perhaps most commonly associated with rear-end accidents is whiplash. This can involve several types of injuries to the soft tissue in the neck, including straining of the tendons or ligaments. Soft tissue can also sustain sprains and tears. Rear-end accidents can cause a person’s head to move violently. This often results in injuries that cause pain, stiffness, and limited neck movement. Many neck injuries require physical therapy and time away from usual activities or work.
Back Injuries from a Rear-end Accident – The back consists of many easily injured parts, including muscles, joints, and soft tissue. Because almost every type of movement involves the back, both upper and lower back injuries can be debilitating. People with serious back injuries often must take a significant amount of time off work and have ongoing treatment to slowly recover. If physical therapy is not enough to resolve the pain and restrictions, back surgery may be needed.
Brain Injuries from a Rear-end Accident – Rear-end accident victims often hit their heads on different objects. Even if an airbag prevents head trauma from a steering wheel or windshield, people can hit their heads on the window or seat back. In addition, just a sharp jolt of the head can cause damage to the brain—even with no direct contact. Many rear-end accidents result in some degree of concussion or more serious TBIs, which can have lasting cognitive and physical effects.
Spinal Injuries from a Rear-end Accident – The spinal cord is a vital part of the body that helps to facilitate movement, sensory capabilities, and organ functioning. The spinal tissue is delicate and can easily be damaged if any discs are compressed or otherwise out of place. In many cases, spinal cord injuries can cause temporary or permanent paralysis and may require hospitalization to stabilize and monitor the patient. Many spinal cord injury victims will live with disabilities the rest of their lives.
What Do You Need to Do to Maximize Your Claim?
It may sound easy, but retaining the services of an experienced car accident attorney will help maximize your compensation. They will be able to provide legal recommendations to guide you through this process on how to build a case, obtain strong evidence and eyewitness testimonials, and get the right medical treatment.
Make sure that you get all the evidence you need to have to prove your case. You should take photos of the accident scene and your immediate injuries if you’re able to. It’s important to try to collect names and contact information for witnesses. If there’s a police report, you will want to get a copy as soon as possible. Your attorney can follow up on this information to collect detailed witness statements and prepare the case.
You should get medical treatment, even if you’re unsure about the extent of your injuries. If your doctor recommends a treatment plan, you should carefully follow it. This should include seeking any necessary physical therapy and treatment for things like flashbacks and post-traumatic stress. An experienced car accident attorney will know the proper medical treatment you will need to get and who should be providing that service.
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