Have You Been Injured in a Rear-End Accident?
Car accidents happen all the time. In the United States, a car accident happens every 3 seconds on average. And someone suffers injuries in a car accident every 7 seconds. Further, tragically someone dies in a car accident every 15 minutes.
Our Chicago rear-end accident lawyers are very aware that this type of collision makes up about one-third of all crashes. Therefore￼, a rear-end accident occurs every 10 seconds on average.
Many rear-end accidents do not involve an injury. Some are harmless fender-benders which may leave only a small dent or not even a scratch on a vehicle. These types of minor accidents often occur in stop-and-go traffic, at a stoplight, or in parking lots.
Other rear end accidents, however, are more serious–particularly rear-end collisions that occur at high speeds. These types of accidents can cause serious and debilitating injuries.
Is Whiplash a Common Injury from a Rear-End Collision?
Rear-end collisions can lead to many kinds of injuries, including concussions, broken bones, and traumatic brain injuries. But the classic rear-end injury is whiplash.
When a person is hit from behind, the vehicle they are in accelerates forward rapidly. As the seat of the vehicle pushes forward, the occupant’s head often snaps back, as few drivers and passengers rest their heads against the headrest.
After the head initially snaps back, it can also snap forward again as the vehicle comes to rest. This unnatural “whipping” motion in the neck–in either direction–can result in the spinal injury known as whiplash.
While many stories have described victims of rear-end collisions faking or exaggerating a whiplash injury to collect insurance money, for anyone who has suffered from whiplash, the injury is far from superficial.
Contrary to popular belief, a person can sustain a serious whiplash injury even in a low speed impact where the vehicle damage seems minimal. How hard or fast the vehicle is hit is not always the only factor in determining the severity of a whiplash injury. Instead, the relevant issue is how extensive and violent the neck movement is with respect to the rest of the body.
What Are Symptoms of Whiplash from a Read-end Accident?
The symptoms of whiplash are not always immediately apparent to a car accident victim. Symptoms may appear immediately, or they may appear hours or even a full day later. These can include:
- Neck pain;
- Shoulder pain;
- Shooting pains down the arms, or across the neck and shoulders;
- Muscle spasms;
- Ringing in the ears;
- Shoulder pain;
- Trouble sleeping;
- Difficulty remembering or concentrating;
- Impaired vision;
- Weakness; or
- Loss of function in lower limbs.
Not every whiplash victim suffers all or even a majority of these symptoms. As a general rule, however, the more severe the whiplash, the sooner the symptoms will manifest themselves, and the more likely it is that the victim will suffer multiple symptoms.
Consequently, if you sustain injuries in a rear-ender you should seek immediate medical help. Further, whiplash may not show up in an x-ray, and may require a CT scan or an MRI.
How Can I Avoid Serious Injury from a Rear-End Collision?
While not all rear-end collisions can be prevented, there are steps that Chicago drivers can take to prevent many of the injuries that can occur as a result of rear-end collisions.
Using a Headrest to Prevent Injuries in a Rear-end Crash
For example, modern vehicles must conform to federal headrest and seat design standards that are specifically aimed at reducing the risk of neck or back injuries. Seats and headrests are not intended primarily for driver or passenger comfort, but to try to keep the head moving with the rest of the body in the event of an impact. Further, seats are designed to protect the spine from compression and the head from damage in the event of a rollover.
But in order to function correctly, drivers and passengers need to adjust their headrests so they can work properly when an accident happens.
Use a Seatbelt to Prevent Injuries in a Rear-end Crash
Drivers and passengers should always wear a seatbelt to help prevent injuries. Further, younger passengers should use car seats, booster seats, or other devices, such as seat belt clips, that are appropriate for their size and age.
Using Your Mirrors to Prevent Injuries in a Rear-end Crash
Drivers should always adjust their rear and side view mirrors correctly–and frequently check them–so that they are aware of what is going on behind and to the side of them when driving, and even when stopping or when parked. However, even the most careful drivers cannot usually avoid accidents or injuries when it comes to rear-end collisions. And nearly all rear-end collisions are caused by the driver who is in back.
What Causes Rear-End Accidents?
Here are some frequent causes of rear-end collisions in Chicago:
- An intoxicated driver who is unable to react in time to apply his brakes
- A tailgating driver
- A speeding driver who miscalculates his braking distance
- A driver who decides to “make the light” even when the driver in front has already applied his brakes
- A driver who is distracted by a cell-phone, a text message, food, or noisy children.
Let the Car Accident Attorneys at Abels & Annes Help You Recovery From Your Rear-End Collision
If you have been injured, or someone you love has been injured or killed in a rear-end collision, the personal injury attorneys at Abels & Annes are here to help.
Whatever injury or damage you may have suffered, our experienced team of attorneys has the experience and knowledge necessary to make sure you recover all the damages to which you may be entitled. We can help you sift through the confusing and endless stream of insurance paperwork, medical bills, and other issues that can overwhelm you, particularly when you are trying to focus on recovering from your injuries.
With a simple phone call, the Chicago rear-end accident attorneys at Abels & Annes will be happy to give you a free consultation. Further, we will answer your questions and provide you the information you need to to move forward towards obtaining a recovery.
If you are the victim of a rear-end collision, contact Abels & Annes at (312) 924-7575, or use our online form here.
There are no hidden costs, and you will not pay a fee unless money is recovered for you, either through a lawsuit or an out-of-court settlement.
Call Abels & Annes today and find out how we can help you to get your life back on track!