If you were hit from behind in a crash, it’s important that you know how rear-end collisions can cause serious back injuries. Sometimes people don’t feel pain after a rear-end crash. They may be injured and not even realize it. But symptoms don’t always show up right away. Back injuries that include severe pain can show up days or even months later.
Rear-end crashes are one of the most common types of car accidents. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), they account for 40% of car accidents. This adds up to millions of rear-end collisions in the country every year.
Back and neck injuries are the most common injuries from a rear-end collision. When a car is slammed into from the rear by another vehicle, it can be pushed suddenly forward. The bodies of people in the car that is hit will be forcefully jerked forward and backward. This intense jerking motion can impact the spine and cause serious back injuries.
Back Injuries from Rear-End Collisions Can Be Costly
Back injuries can be costly, not only physically but also financially. People who have a back injury after an accident may need expensive medical treatment. A serious back or spinal injury can make it impossible to work. It can be hard to pay the bills. When people experience back injuries after rear-end collisions, it’s often helpful to get legal advice from attorneys who focus on car accident and back injury cases. You might be able to get compensation if the accident that injured you was due to another’s negligence. It is often tailgating or other careless driving behaviors that cause rear-end crashes.
Types of Back Injuries from a Rear-End Collision
Here are some examples of back injuries from a rear-end collision:
Whiplash – Whiplash is one of the most common injuries from rear-end accidents. It causes pain and stiffness in the neck and upper back and other symptoms.
Herniated disc – A herniated disc is when a disc that separates vertebrae in the spine is pushed out of place. It can cause pain, numbness, and weakness.
Spinal stenosis – Spinal stenosis is the narrowing of the area that surrounds the spinal cord and nerves. It can cause pain, tingling, and muscle weakness.
Facet joint injuries – Facet joints connect vertebrae. If they tear or break in a crash, it can lead to inflammation and pain.
Soft tissue damage – Sprains and strains to ligaments and muscles caused in rear-end collisions can cause pain, swelling, and bruising.
Fractured vertebrae – Fractured vertebrae in the spine are among the most serious of back injuries. Fractured spines can result in a range of issues, including paralysis.
Can a Rear-End Collision Cause Lower Back Pain?
Rear-end collisions can cause lower back pain. The lower back, or “lumbar spine” in medical terms, has five vertebrae. Below the lumbar spine are two sacroiliac joints on the right and left sides of the lower back. These joints connect the lumbar spine to the pelvis. Like other vertebrae and discs in the spine, the lumbar region can be hurt in a rear-end collision. Also, one or both of the sacroiliac joints can be stretched or dislocated in a crash. Any of these injuries can lead to lower back pain.
What to Do After a Rear-End Collision
Don’t wait to see a doctor after a rear-end collision. It’s an important thing to do for your health and well-being when you’ve been rear-ended and have possible back injuries. It’s also to your benefit to get a doctor’s evaluation for your insurance or legal claim. Keep a file with all of your medical information. It should include doctor visits, the doctor’s prognosis about your injuries, doctor bills, and any information related to treatment for your back injuries. Also, consider keeping a journal where your daily entries help explain the many ways your injuries have affected your day-to-day life – whether your pain, limited range of motion, changes in your mood, inability to sleep, side effects from your medications, or anything else that you feel is relevant.
Additional Steps to Take after a Rear-End Crash to Protect Your Interests
It’s often assumed that the driver who rear-ends the other is to blame. But the driver who hit you might try to deny that they caused the accident. They might try to blame you by saying you stopped suddenly for no reason, or they may make another excuse. To help protect your interests when you weren’t at fault for a rear-end collision, do these things:
- Get contact, insurance, and driver’s license information for the other driver.
- Get contact information for eyewitnesses to the accident.
- Write down the name of the police department that comes out; the officer’s name, badge number, and phone number; and verify the exact incident/case number on the paperwork provided to you, which will later be used to get a copy of the police report.
- Take photographs of both vehicles and the accident area.
- Report the accident to your insurance company.
- Don’t make any statements to the other driver’s insurer.
- Write down everything you remember about how the accident happened while your memory is clear.
Consider getting the help of an experienced back and spinal injury attorney. An attorney will negotiate with the other driver’s insurance company to get you a fair settlement. They can also advise you about your right to bring a legal claim if the other driver is denying fault or the insurer doesn’t provide a fair offer.
Compensation You Might Get After a Rear-End Crash that Causes Serious Back Injuries
A study by the NHTSA concluded that 87% of rear-end collisions happened because drivers failed to attend to traffic ahead, according to a safety alert on the National Transportation Safety Board website. If an inattentive or otherwise negligent driver caused your serious back injury in a rear-end crash, you could potentially get compensation to pay for …
- Current and future medical bills related to the injury
- Any medical devices or equipment you might need
- Lost wages for time missed at work while you recuperate
- Lost earning capacity if your back injury doesn’t allow you to work or you must work fewer hours
- Pain and suffering for chronic pain and emotional trauma.
Get Help from a Knowledgeable Back Injury Attorney in Houston
A serious back and spinal injury can affect you for the rest of your life. When a negligent driver rear-ends you, you deserve compensation. After all, if the other driver hadn’t been following you too closely or had been paying attention to traffic ahead as they should have been, you wouldn’t have back injuries, and your life wouldn’t be upended.
Our experienced attorneys at Terry Bryant Accident & Injury Law in Houston have successfully handled many cases for car accident victims. We may be able to help you, too. Call our law firm at (713) 973-8888 to arrange a free consultation.