The damage from a rear-end hit may range from a dent or ding to your bumper to disabling injuries. The risk of harm or even death goes up exponentially if you aren’t wearing your seatbelt when the accident happens. Rear-end collisions present the risk of neck and back injuries even when vehicle occupants are seat-belt restrained.
What Causes Neck and Back Injuries in Rear-End Collisions?
As the name implies, a rear-end crash happens when another vehicle strikes you from behind. When this occurs, the vehicle that hit your vehicle effectively transfers energy to your car. This is why in a rear-end collision, your car is usually pushed forward.
The bigger or heavier the vehicle is that strikes the rear of the other car, the more energy that will be transferred. Additionally, the faster the vehicle travels, the more energy that it transfers. And so you may suffer more severe injuries if you are rear-ended by an 18-wheeler than if you are hit by a small sedan.
The energy transferred in a rear-end wreck impacts not only your vehicle but also you and the other passenger inside the car. You may experience a sudden thrust that pushes you into your seat. The seat may strike your back and can force your head and neck to snap backward, often called whiplash.
If you react by slamming on your brakes, this can result in rapid deceleration. When this happens, your body, head, and neck are thrown forward. This can also happen if you are pushed forward and immediately strike another car in front of you.
All of these movements will put a lot of stress and strain on your spine and neck. The greater the force involved, the more violent the movements of your body and neck will be. And the more violent the movements of your body and neck, the greater the risk of injury to those body parts.
What Are Some Signs of Back and Neck Injuries After Rear-End Collisions?
In a violent crash, it may be immediately obvious that you have suffered neck and back injuries.
Severe back and neck injuries can put you out of commission temporarily or permanently. In such a case, you may not be able to move one or both of your arms or legs. You may not have any sensation in areas of your body. For these injuries, immediate medical treatment at a hospital is required.
But the more likely scenario is that your first indication of a neck or back may surface hours or days after the rear-end hit. You may feel stiff or sore in your back or neck. You should not ignore these symptoms, either.
If you notice the following symptoms, seek medical attention:
- Increasing pain
- Decreasing mobility
- Loss of sensation
Getting quick medical care can prevent further damage to your spine and neck.
How To Get Compensation for Back and Neck Injuries Caused By Rear-End Collisions
If your rear-end collision was the result of another driver’s carelessness or recklessness, you might be able to recover compensation from that driver’s auto liability insurance policy. You may also be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against them if you sustained serious injuries.