Approximately one-third of all car crashes across the country are rear-end collisions. If you’ve been rear-ended by a negligent driver, the damage to your vehicle might be minor compared to the extreme damage caused by some other types of crashes. Your injuries, however, could be very serious, requiring medical attention immediately and legal help soon. In order to recover your health and seek fair compensation for your damages, you need both a doctor and a lawyer.
Causes of Rear-End Collisions
A driver who hits another car from behind is usually at fault in a rear-end collision. Common causes of such accidents include:
- Distracted driving. Using a cell phone, having a conversation with a passenger, adjusting the radio, eating, or tending to children in the car can prevent a driver from seeing a vehicle that has slowed down or stopped ahead.
- Tailgating. Driving too closely to the car ahead can result in a crash when that car slows down or stops suddenly.
- Drugs or alcohol. Impairment due to the use of substances could cause drowsiness and/or slow a driver’s reaction time when a vehicle ahead slows down or stops.
- Speeding. Driving too fast makes it hard for a driver to slow down when a car ahead stops suddenly.
- Weather. Rain, fog, wind, or icy roads can make it hard to stop a car. Every driver is required to consider road conditions and proceed safely.
- Changing lanes. Watching for cars to the left, to the right, or in the rear can take the driver’s attention off a car slowing down or stopping ahead.
If you’ve been rear-ended due to any of the reasons above or other forms of negligence, Minnesota law allows you to file a claim against the at-fault driver for your damages, including medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering.
Common Injuries in Rear-End Collisions
Rear-end collisions can cause a number of severe injuries requiring immediate treatment, surgery, or ongoing physical therapy. Some injuries might be permanent, preventing a return to work and requiring lifelong medical care. For example:
- Back and spinal cord injuries. Twisting or extension of the spine in a rear-end collision can cause herniated discs. A strong impact from the rear can sever or damage the spinal cord, causing partial or total paralysis, which can mean loss of ability to work and the need for permanent care.
- Broken bones. Seat belts can break ribs or pelvises in a rear-end collision. Hands or feet can also be fractured when a driver or passenger braces for impact.
- Head injuries. A victim’s head might strike the steering wheel, airbag, headrest, or window, resulting in a concussion, traumatic brain injury, vision changes, or loss of cognitive function.
- Facial injuries. Broken glass can lead to facial cuts and scarring, as well as eye injuries.
- Neck injuries. Whiplash, the most common injury in a rear-end collision, stretches nerves and tendons in the neck, causing damage to vertebrae, headaches, restricted neck movement, and other problems.
If you’ve been hurt in a rear-end collision, you might have sustained injuries that are not noticeable right away. A doctor’s exam and X-rays can reveal issues that you don’t even realize you have. For these reasons, the first thing to do after a rear-end crash is to seek medical attention and document your injuries. The next thing to do is consult an attorney to help you get fair compensation for your damages.
Have You Been Injured in a Rear-End Collision in Minnesota?
Our free referral service will find you the best local doctor to treat your specific injuries, as well as an experienced, local car accident lawyer to evaluate your claim and ensure that you get fair compensation if you were a victim of negligence. Contact us online or call 763-251-PAIN for a free consultation about your accident.