Common Rear-End Car Accident Injuries

Rear End Accident Injuries

Following too closely is one of the worst problems on the road.

Rather than allow a cushion of 3-4 seconds, drivers tailgate and end up colliding with the vehicle in front of them.

Rear end collisions are also common in parking lots, where cars are closely packed together.

If you’ve suffered rear-end accident injuries, then you might be entitled to compensation. You should meet with an experienced attorney as soon as possible to review your case.

However, you first need to receive prompt medical treatment to address the following common injuries.


Whiplash is one of the most common rear-end collision injuries. It is a term used to describe injuries to the ligaments and muscles in the neck and upper shoulders.

These ligaments and muscles can become stretched or torn in a rear end collision, even at low speeds.

The term “whiplash” itself refers to the sudden forward and back motion that resembles the tip of a whip. The head is forcefully extended far beyond its range of motion before rebounding backward.

This motion stretches and tears soft tissue leading to a host of symptoms:

  • Intense headache
  • Neck stiffness
  • Sleepdisturbances
  • Difficultyconcentrating
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness in thearm or hand

Whiplash can range from relatively mild to very serious. Milder forms of whiplash could take a couple of months to recover from, whereas more serious whiplash might take six months or longer.

Patients will need to focus on pain relief and introducing a range of motion to their neck muscles. Ironically, one of the worst things a patient can do is immobilize the neck with a foam neck brace.


Concussions are common rear-ended collision injuries. A concussion is caused by any sudden shaking of the head and sometimes accompanies whiplash.

It’s a misconception that a person needs to suffer a direct blow to the head to get a concussion. Even shaking the skull is sometimes enough.

With a concussion, the way the brain sends and
receives signals becomes disrupted and results in many impairments, such as:

  • Loss of balance or coordination
  • Slurred speech
  • Blurred vision
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Headaches that do not improve
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Mood swings
  • Impairment of short-term memory

Concussions can resolve in a couple of months with rest and pain management. It is vital that you do not suffer a second concussion soon after the first, which would be much harder to recover from.

However, doctors often recommend that patients try to return to their daily lives as soon as possible, which can help with recovery.

More serious traumatic brain injuries could require occupational, behavioral, and physical therapy and might also require surgery.

With severe traumatic brain injuries, a patient might never be able to regain all of their functioning.


After a rear-end collision, a motorist might brace him or herself for impact. When they strike the steering wheel or the dashboard, they can break bones in their arms, hands, shins, and feet.

Some people also break bones in their ribs or their faces.

The invention of airbags should limit the number of fractures we see, but some airbags don’t deploy properly, or they deploy too forcefully, which also can also cause damage.

Fractures need to be set and given time to heal. If the fracture is complicated or severe, then a patient might need a plate, pin, or screw inserted into the body to hold the pieces of bone together while the break mends.

A fracture in the leg might make it impossible to walk, so a person will need crutches or a wheelchair.

Many people develop complications with a broken bone. For example, a broken rib could make it hard to take deep breaths, which can result in pneumonia, especially in older people.

Other breaks result in damage to surrounding nerves or soft tissue, which can require surgery.

Vertebrae Problems

The vertebrae are bones that protect the spinal cord from injury. However, any traumatic accident can damage either the bones or the rubbery pads between them.

As a result, motorists can suffer severe pain. Of all the rear end car accident injuries a person can suffer, vertebrae problems are some of the hardest to recover from.

Problems include:

  • Spinal fractures, especially in your middle and lower back
  • Spondylolisthesis, which occurs when vertebrae shift out of position
  • Herniated disk, where the soft jelly-like center extrudes through the exterior and presses against nerves or the spinal cord itself

These types of back problems can result in
chronic pain and sometimes even paralysis. Doctors often need to perform surgery to treat the underlying medical condition, and recovery can be slow.

Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

If you’ve suffered a rear-end collision, you should know that legal compensation is available to help cover medical costs.
This compensation might come in the form of a settlement or a jury verdict. Please contact PhillyLaw, LLC, today to schedule a free case evaluation at give us a call or send us an email.


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