You were stopped at a red light when it happened: The driver behind you didn't see you and failed to stop. Immediately, you were thrown forward by the force of the impact. You hit your head on the back of your seat and again on the airbag as it deployed. You have bruising from the impact against your glasses. You have lacerations and bruising. You're able to get out without severe injuries, but that doesn't minimize your experience.
What kinds of injuries can you expect in a crash like this?
1. Head injuries
Head injuries, particularly head and neck injuries, are common in rear-end accidents. Whiplash, which is when your head is flung forward and back or from side-to-side quickly, tears, strains and sprains your tendons and ligaments. If you hit your head on the steering wheel, dashboard or window, you may have a traumatic brain injury. Each of these conditions impacts you in a different way, but there are treatments to help.
2. Spinal cord injuries
Damage to the spinal cord is possible in rear-end collisions, especially if your vehicle is crushed by the impact. For example, if you're hit from behind but have a car in front of yours, you could suffer crushing injuries and impacts. A hard enough impact can cause damage to the spinal cord. In less severe accidents, herniated disks could be minor and relatively easy to repair through physical therapy. More serious collisions could lead to herniated discs that damage the spinal cord, causing permanent paralysis.
3. Chest injuries
One injury many people don't think about is an injury caused by a seat belt. When you're in a crash, the seat belt locks up, holding you tightly to the seat. While this helps you avoid more serious injuries, the belt itself could cause serious bruising or cuts on your body. If it sheers against the skin, you could have rug burn or areas where your skin is missing due to the friction. People who have heart conditions can suffer from heart attacks after a crash, and in certain impacts, the lungs could burst or collapse.
Car accident injuries vary in severity, but regardless of the kind of injury you face, it's important that you get the care you need. Your attorney can help you understand the settlement amount you should expect and if your case should go to trial.