Should I Seek Medical Attention after a Rear End Collision?

A rear-end collision is one in which another driver strikes your car from behind and typically bears responsibility for causing the accident. This type of accident can range from a seemingly minor fender-bender to a crash at high impact. It is common for people involved in a rear-end collision to assume that they don’t have any injuries after the accident. That is because typical injuries from this type of accident, including whiplash and back injuries, do not always show up right away. Whether you feel immediate pain or not, it is very important to seek prompt medical attention if you are involved in a vehicle crash.

Why Prompt Medical Care is So Essential

When you visit a doctor, he or she will take X-rays and other diagnostic tests to determine if you sustained injuries in the rear-end collision. Your doctor can spot problems that might have gone undetected otherwise. This gives you the opportunity to begin treatment promptly, so you have a better chance of making a full recovery.

You will need proof of your injuries if you plan to pursue a personal injury lawsuit against the driver of the vehicle that struck you from behind. If you delay seeking treatment, his or her attorney will likely argue that whatever injuries you had could not have been that serious, because you didn’t go see a doctor right away.

Even if you do have obvious injuries and seek prompt medical attention for them, the attorney for the other party still might attempt to argue that something other than the rear-end collision caused them. Seeking medical treatment ASAP is one of the best ways to refute this type of argument.

It is also important to understand that Alabama uses the legal theory of “contributory negligence” in personal injury lawsuits. This means you need to prove that other party is fully responsible for causing your injuries. While it is usually assumed that the driver who collided into the other vehicle from behind is at fault in a rear-end collision, you still need to make the cause and effect as clear as possible when it comes to the injuries you sustained and the economic and non-economic damages you are due for those injuries.

Most Common Types of Injuries Caused by Rear-End Collisions

Even when you are struck at a low speed, a rear-end collision can cause significant and lasting damage to your body. Some of the most common injuries associated with this type of crash include:

  • Whiplash: The term “whiplash” describes injuries resulting when your neck, shoulders, and spine move suddenly and violently in an unnatural position beyond their typical range of motion. Whiplash can lead to a host of long-lasting symptoms, including neck and back pain, dizziness, fatigue, blurred vision, memory and concentration issues, and numbness and tingling throughout the body.
  • Injuries to the Face and Head: Striking the dashboard or seat in front of you in a rear-end collision can result in injuries such as broken facial bones, knocked-out teeth, or significant eye trauma. You could also suffer a concussion or traumatic brain injury due to the force of the crash. These head injuries can produce symptoms that linger for years such as headaches, cognitive difficulties, and mood disorders.
  • Injuries to the Back and Spinal Cord: It is common for victims of a rear-end collision to suffer a herniated disc in their back. This happens when the force of the crash compresses the disc and spine in the lower back. You could also suffer an injury to your upper back or spinal cord. Some spinal cord injuries are severe enough to leave the accident victim permanently disabled.
  • Injuries Caused by the Seatbelt: Although seatbelts are vital for saving lives in car accidents, sometimes they can cause injuries as well. This happens when the force of the crash thrusts your torso forward and you receive deep lacerations from the seatbelt.
  • Injuries to Arms, Hands, Fingers, and Wrists: It is a natural defense to place your arms out in front of you when you sense immediate danger. Unfortunately, this protective mechanism can also result in broken bones in arms, hands, fingers, and wrists. Sprains, bruising, and deep cuts are also common.

Why Whiplash May Be More Severe Than You Think

People often downplay the severity of whiplash, assuming that it occurs in every car crash. When they experience neck pain after an accident, they often assume it will pass on its own with time. However, whiplash can be physically traumatic, especially if it is ignored and untreated.

Trust the Law Firm with More Than 50 Years of Experience in Personal Injury Litigation

In Alabama, you have just two years from the date of your rear-end collision accident to file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party. We invite you to contact Haygood, Cleveland, Pierce & Thompson LLP, at 334-821-3892 to request a free legal consultation. Please prepare for the appointment by collecting as much information about the accident and your injuries as you can get a hold of. We will fully assess your case and let you know what legal avenues you have available for recovering compensation.

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