Rear End Accidents are not Always “Fender Benders”

March 29, 2019 | Attorney, Matthew Dolman
Rear End Accidents are not Always “Fender Benders”

The Danger Posed by Rear End Car Accidents

Because rear-end accidents are common, many people mistakenly assume that they are not serious. This is not true. Rear end accidents leave certain parts of the body especially vulnerable to injury. The neck, head, and shoulders can all be seriously harmed in a rear end collision. These injuries can affect a victim's life for years to come. The most severe rear-end collisions can result in paralysis or even death. Regardless of the severity of your rear end collision, it is important to consult with a Clearwater personal injury attorney about your legal rights. With legal advice, injury victims can effectively protect their right to be compensated for injuries and financial losses caused by a rear-end collision.

What Kind of Injuries Can Occur in a Rear-End Collision?

One of the most common types of injuries after a rear-end collision is whiplash. Whiplash refers to a sprain or strain of the soft tissues of the neck. Soft tissues include muscles, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, and other non-bony structures. According to Spine Universe, whiplash occurs when a sudden motion (such as a collision) changes the normal curve of the upper back and neck. The neck is particularly vulnerable to this type of injury because of its ability to move in many different directions. Symptoms of whiplash can include: tightness or spasms of the muscles the neck or upper back; pain with movement of the neck; headache and dizziness (which are also symptoms of a concussion); difficulty swallowing and chewing and hoarseness; abnormal sensations such as burning or tingling; shoulder pain; and upper back pain. These symptoms can occur immediately after an injury. They can also appear days, weeks, or even months after a car accident occurs. Because of this, it is important to seek medical attention immediately after an accident – even if you are not yet experiencing symptoms.

Whiplash Car Accident Injuries

Most whiplash cases are treated conservatively. Patients are often encouraged to remain as active as possible in order to reduce muscle stiffness. If a neck brace is recommended, this will generally be used for only a short period of time. Patients may be advised to use ice and/or heat in order to reduce pain, muscle spasms, and inflammation. Medications can also be used to control these symptoms. When whiplash symptoms linger for an extended period, physical therapy may also be recommended. This process can help increase circulation, restore the patient's range of motion, and promote healing to reduce whiplash symptoms. For more serious cases of whiplash, there are further surgical interventions and more aggressive treatments available. The good news is that the majority of whiplash sufferers are able to recover from their symptoms after treatment.

Of course, whiplash is not the only injury which can be caused by a rear-end collision. Rear end accidents can cause far more serious injuries – some of which are irreversible. Whiplash can cause minor injuries to the head, neck, or upper back. But more serious injuries to these areas can result in paralysis. This is because the head and neck support the body's central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord).

Car Accident Head and Brain Injuries

Injuries to the brain or spinal cord can put a patient in grave danger. While a minor concussion might heal on its own, more serious trauma to the brain can result in permanent cognitive deficits. Similarly, a minor bruising of the spinal cord might be able to heal without medical intervention, more severe injuries can require surgical intervention. Extensive trauma to the spinal cord may even result in paralysis. Paralysis can be temporary or permanent, but both can result in devastating losses to a victim's daily life. A negligent driver who causes such injuries has a legal obligation to compensate victims for all the losses they sustain as a result of paralysis. This can include lost wages, decreases in future earning ability, loss of enjoyment of life and daily activities, modifications to a home or vehicle which are necessitated by paralysis, medical bills, projected future medical expenses, occupational and physical therapies, pain management, and many other costs which are incurred as a direct result of the defendant's negligence.

Real Life Stories of Serious Rear End Collisions in Florida

Real Florida residents are seriously injured and killed in rear-end collisions. Florida Today reports on the death of a driver who crashed her Santa Fe into the back of a transit bus. A toddler in the back seat was uninjured, and all passengers on the bus remained unharmed. The driver of the Santa Fe was able to walk and speak immediately after the accident. But she developed breathing problems shortly thereafter and was transported to Wuesthoff Hospital, where she died.

Such accidents occur across the United States. In Charlotte, two victims were killed when their vehicle was rear-ended by another driver. According to WBTV, the rear position driver has been charged with two counts of death by motor vehicle and one count of driving while impaired. And in Riverton, Utah, a high school senior was tragically killed when the truck he was driving collided with the rear end of a school bus that was stopped in front of his vehicle. Fox 13 Salt Lake City reports that the bus driver and another student inside the bus were both uninjured.

These are just a few of the many recent examples of tragic fatal rear-end car accidents. They illustrate that even a seemingly simple rear-end collision can result in permanent, life-changing, or even fatal injuries.

Experienced Car Accidents Attorneys to Aggressively Defend Your Personal Injury Claim

Car accident victims have legal rights under Florida law. They are legally entitled to be compensated for all losses resulting from their injuries, including long-term medical care and rehabilitation, decreased future earning potential, and all other costs which are attributable to the negligent medical diagnosis or treatment. The Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA has decades of experience in protecting the rights of car accident victims in and around the Clearwater area. Call (727) 451-6900 or contact us online today to schedule your free consultation with an experienced, aggressive car accident attorney.

Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA 800 North Belcher Road Clearwater, FL 33765 (727) 451-6900


Matthew Dolman

Personal Injury Lawyer

This article was written and reviewed by Matthew Dolman. Matt has been a practicing civil trial, personal injury, products liability, and mass tort lawyer since 2004. He has successfully fought for more than 11,000 injured clients and acted as lead counsel in more than 1,000 lawsuits. Always on the cutting edge of personal injury law, Matt is actively engaged in complex legal matters, including Suboxone, AFFF, and Ozempic lawsuits.  Matt is a lifetime member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum for resolving individual cases in excess of $1 million and $2 million, respectively. He has also been selected by his colleagues as a Florida Superlawyer and as a member of Florida’s Legal Elite on multiple occasions. Further, Matt has been quoted in the media numerous times and is a sought-after speaker on a variety of legal issues and topics.

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