Rear-end collisions are among the most common types of car accidents. They can happen when someone makes a sudden stop due to a hazard, when a driver is not paying attention and fails to see a stop sign or stoplight coming up ahead, or even when someone is careless in a garage or parking lot. Unless they happen at extremely high speeds, rear-end collisions are not typically fatal. They can still result in significant injury and lasting pain, however, even when they occur at low speeds. Read on to learn about common injuries resulting from rear-end collisions and reach out to a dedicated New York personal injury lawyer for help with a Bronx car accident claim.
Types of Neck and Back Injuries
A variety of neck and back injuries can result from rear-end crashes, depending on the speed at which the collision occurred. Common neck and back injuries include the following:
- Spinal Fractures. Rear-end crashes at higher speeds can lead to a crack or break of the spine. Drivers’ and passengers’ torsos and heads can be tossed around while their seat belts hold their lower halves, extending, compressing, twisting, and otherwise putting improper pressure and stress on their spines. The impact can also push vertebrae out of place, causing a condition in which the nerves and spinal canal are compressed, leading to chronic pain, numbness, and functional limitations.
- Herniated Disks. A herniated disk, also called a slipped disk or ruptured disk, occurs when some of the nucleus of a disk (the soft, jellylike center of the rubbery cushions that sit between individual spinal vertebrae) is pushed out through a tear. Herniated disks can lead to serious pain, numbness, and limb weakness.
- Spinal Cord Injury. Rear-end crashes can cause spinal cord injury, even at low speeds. Crashes can force the spine to compress or overextend or lead to a person experiencing a direct impact to the spine. Even small damage to nerves and spinal processes can cause temporary paralysis. More severe damage to the spine can cause partial or full paralysis of one or more limbs and even loss of organ function.
- Whiplash. See below.
One of the most common injuries sustained in rear-end collisions is whiplash. Whiplash occurs as a result of the head and torso being flung in different directions during a rear-end crash, snapping the head and neck around and damaging the soft tissue in the neck and upper back. Whiplash can lead to functional limitations in the neck, shoulders, and back, numbness, headache, weakness, and chronic pain that can last months or even years following an accident.
Whiplash injury can occur even in low-speed crashes due to the physics involved. In a rear-end collision, the head of the driver in the front vehicle will travel as much as 2.5 times faster than either vehicle due to the whipping motion. Even a “fender-bender” at 8-10 MPH in a parking lot can cause a whiplash injury. Regardless of whether there is relatively little damage to the vehicles, the damage to the driver and passengers in the forward vehicle can be severe.
Help With Your Bronx Car Crash Injury Claim
If a negligent driver in New York has hurt you or someone you care about, find out if you’re entitled to money damages for your injuries by contacting the effective and passionate New York car crash lawyers at the Bronx offices of the Kohn Law Firm for a free consultation at 718-409-1200.