It usually happens at an intersection. You slow down and come to a stop at the stop sign or traffic signal, then BAM. You are hit from behind. While there are many types of car accidents, rear-end accidents are perhaps one of the most common to occur. When a car is jolted forward by a rear impact, the passengers can sustain a range of serious injuries. While more severe injuries are associated with higher-speed impacts, serious injuries can also be sustained in rear-end accidents that occur at lower speeds as well.
Being injured in a rear-end collision can be disorienting. One minute you are driving and the next minute your car is forced forward and you may be confused and in pain. You are then faced with phone calls from insurance companies and doctor appointments to have your injuries evaluated and treated. You may need to miss work and feel the financial strain of lost wages and medical expenses piling up.
If you have been in a rear-end accident, know that you don’t have to go through this alone. The experienced team of personal injury attorneys at Pringle & Herigstad is here to protect and pursue your legal right to full and fair compensation after being injured in an accident.
What to Do After a Rear-End Accident
If you have been rear-ended by another car, take a deep breath and try to calm and reorient yourself. It can really throw you through a loop at first. Staying centered will be incredibly helpful in what comes next. You should be sure to call 911. This will not only mean that emergency medical assistance will be dispatched to assist anyone who may have been injured in the accident, such as yourself. It also means that an official accident report will be generated by law enforcement officials that show up at the scene. The details contained in the accident report can be critical evidence of any personal injury claim you end up pursuing.
Get the contact and insurance information for the other parties involved in the accident. Try to limit your conversation with them. Avoid apologizing, which some of us may do as a kind of automatic response to an unfortunate event even when the unfortunate event was not our fault. Even the most seemingly innocent, offhand comments could come back later to undermine your claim.
Document the scene as much as you safely can. This means you should take pictures of the accident, your injuries, the property damage, and the accident location from various angles. It can also be very helpful to get witness names and information. Oftentimes, witnesses can be essential to corroborating what happened in the accident.
This next step is critical. It is perhaps the most important step you can take after an accident. Seek medical evaluation and treatment. Do this even if you do not feel that hurt or you only feel slightly sore. Accident injury symptoms can take time to fully present. The sooner you get medical care, however, the more likely you are to successfully recover from your injuries. Additionally, seeking immediate medical attention as well as complying with follow-up treatments is vital to a personal injury claim. Your medical records will be the evidence that you were, in fact, injured in the accident.
Reach out to the experienced personal injury team at Pringle & Herigstad. Time is of the essence following an accident. The other driver’s insurance company will begin immediate work trying to undermine your claim. Let us help and we will not waste a minute in working tirelessly for you.
Common Rear-End Accident Injuries
Being involved in a rear-end accident can have some serious consequences on your body. Rear-end accident victims sustain a range of serious injuries that can have debilitating effects. Some of the most common rear-end accident injuries include:
- Neck and back injuries: Even at a lower speed, the spine and its surrounding muscles and tissue can bear the brunt of the impact. Whiplash is perhaps one of the most commonly sustained rear-end accident injuries. When the car is shoved forward, the vehicle occupants’ head is forced forward and then snaps back, injuring the neck area. You may also suffer spinal compression and strained muscles as well as damage to your tendons. These injuries can be incredibly painful and end up lasting a lifetime.
- Head trauma and traumatic brain injuries: The force of a rear-end impact can push a vehicle occupant’s head forward so that it slams into the steering column, dashboard, or some other surface of the car. There may also be other objects in the car that fly upon impact and crash into a vehicle occupant’s head. The brain can also sustain an injury in such accidents without the head ever making an impact on a surface. When the head is forced forward and snaps backward, the brain can move within the skull and slam into its interior walls, causing bruising and swelling. Head trauma and traumatic brain injuries can be particularly scary and need immediate treatment and follow-up evaluation.
- Rib fractures and bruising: This particular type of injury is usually the result of car safety features trying to prevent even more serious injuries from occurring. For instance, the airbags deploying and seatbelts restraining a vehicle occupant can save their life, but the force of impacting with a deploying airbag or a locked seatbelt can end up bruising or breaking ribs. Airbags have also been known to break noses and cause burns. While these injuries can be painful in their own right, it is nothing compared to the serious or even fatal injuries that may have been caused without the car’s safety features.
- Arm and wrist injuries: The driver, in particular, is vulnerable to arm and wrist injuries in the event of a rear-end accident. This is because the driver’s hands are likely to be on the steering wheel when the vehicle collides with the car. The force of impact can lead to broken bones and sprained wrists, among other painful injuries.
North Dakota Car Accident Attorneys
Have you been injured in a rear-end accident caused by another person’s negligent driving? You can count on the dedicated personal injury team at Pringle & Herigstad to rigorously pursue your legal right to be compensated for the harm you have suffered. Contact us today.