Let us say you stop at a light and someone who, thankfully, is driving at a low speed, rear-ends you. Nevertheless, you feel the impact from your head to your toes.
You may be able to walk away from the accident. You may want to do no more than making the obligatory exchange of insurance information with the driver, then head for home, but think again: Your next step should be to seek a medical evaluation.
A common accident
Did you know that rear-end crashes are one of the most common types of traffic accident? The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety states that this kind of collision accounts for roughly 13 percent of all the accidents reported. The driver who collides with the back of your vehicle might simply be distracted or following too closely. Whatever the cause, you will probably feel shaky after the collision as you get out of the car and start walking around. Keep in mind that there may be more going on than a jolt to your nervous system.
Low-impact collisions can cause serious injuries that are not immediately apparent. The injury most often associated with a rear-ender is whiplash, where the impact causes the neck to snap back and forth, causing hypertension. Other problems include:
- Back injuries, such as a sprain or a herniated disc, which could lead to lack of mobility
- Head injuries, including concussion, caused by the brain smashing against the inside of the skull upon impact
- Facial cuts and bruises due to contact with the steering wheel or windshield
- Injuries to legs, knees, feet and ankles showing up as sprains, dislocation or broken bones when these body parts connect with dashboard, floor or pedals
The important link
In most cases, the driver who hits a vehicle from behind is at fault for the accident, and as the victim, you are due full and fair compensation. Still, it is up to you to seek immediate medical assistance, first for your well-being, and second, because a medical report will be valuable in linking your injuries to the rear-end collision.