Let us assume you have stopped at a light and someone who is not paying attention hits your car from behind. The low-speed, rear-end collision does not cause much damage to your vehicle, but how does it affect your body?
The car that hits you may only be traveling at the rate of five miles per hour, perhaps even less, but that is enough to cause an injury. It may be as minor as a sprained wrist or serious enough to cause permanent disability.
Common low-impact injuries
When a rear-end collision occurs, your car will absorb part of the inertia involved, and your body will absorb the rest. Your head will jerk back and forth, and the impact could cause you to twist in the seat. The force of the blow could cause a strain to your muscles or tendons, or you could get away with a couple of cuts and perhaps a contusion or two. However, this kind of accident can cause serious injury to the neck or back of the driver of the struck vehicle. In fact, General Motors performed a study showing that whiplash is present in more than half of all the injuries related to motor vehicle crashes.
Not realizing you have an injury
Any kind of car accident, even a rear-ender, will leave you feeling dazed and shaky. When you are under this kind of stress, it is easy to believe that any injury you may have suffered is minor, especially if you can get out of the car, walk around and hold a conversation with the other driver. However, pain or discomfort may not show up for days. You could be facing some serious health issues—some people with neck injuries still report feeling pain three years after the accident. Depending on your age, recovering from your injury may take much longer than you anticipated.
Seeking medical help
An attorney experienced in helping victims of rear-end collisions would encourage you to seek immediate medical evaluation following the accident, even if you feel fine. A doctor’s report will tie any injury you may have sustained to the rear-ender, and the medical report will be essential to proving your case when the time comes to seek financial compensation for your injury.