Rear-end accidents are some of the most common vehicle accidents in Maryland. While they generally represent a small percentage of fatal car accidents, even low speed rear-end accidents can lead to serious neck and back injuries. Neck and back injuries can be difficult for doctors to diagnose. They may rely on the patient's description of the pain to evaluate the injuries. Unfortunately, this can lead many insurance companies to dispute the driver's claim of a serious injury, leaving them fighting for compensation.
Causes of Rear-End Accidents
Rear-end accidents usually involve one vehicle crashing into the rear of another vehicle. Most of the time, the driver in the rear is considered to be at fault for the accident. However, in some cases, the driver in the front may be at fault, for example, if the driver backed up in traffic hitting the car in the rear. In other cases, both drivers may share responsibility for causing an accident.
Most rear-end accidents involve a driver who may be tailgating or following too closely to the car in front. If the driver in the front applies the brakes, the driver in the rear may not react in time to avoid crashing into the rear of the car in front. In other cases, the driver at the rear may be distracted with their phone, impaired or intoxicated, or just not paying attention to the traffic ahead. This may also result in a rear-end collision.
There are some rear-end collisions that are caused, at least in part, by a vehicle malfunction or the driver failing to keep the car in proper repair. If a driver knows that their brakes should be repaired, and then end up hitting a car in front of them because their brakes failed to stop the car in time, they may be liable by failing to properly maintain their vehicle safely. However, in other cases, the driver may have done nothing to cause the injury.
In cases of automobile malfunction or a parts defect, the driver may not be able to control their vehicle. There have been cases of unintended acceleration where the vehicle accelerates out of the driver's control. This could result in a rear-end accident, with the other driver blaming the accident on the driver instead of the malfunctioning vehicle. Design defects with floor mats and malfunctioning seat recline mechanisms have also been blamed for causing rear-end collisions.
Rear-End Accident Injuries
One of the most complicated aspects of dealing with a rear-end accident involves neck and back injuries. In a rear-end collision involving two vehicles, the driver in the front may suffer whiplash injuries. This is a neck injury involving a rapid back and forth movement of the neck. This can cause serious neck and spinal trauma, even if the individual is not immediately aware of the injury.
A driver involved in a rear-end accident may be shaken up, but feel no immediate pain. After looking at the car, and exchanging insurance information, the driver may even drive off to work or home. However, a couple of days later the individual may start to feel neck stiffness, neck or back pain, dizziness, blurred vision, headaches, or numbness or tingling in the extremities. These may be a sign of a more serious neck, back, or spinal injury, that could have permanent repercussions.
After any car accident, you may want to consider going for a medical evaluation. Your doctor may be able to begin immediate treatment to reduce the extent or severity of your injuries. Even if you don't immediately go to the hospital, you should seek medical attention as soon as you feel like you may have been injured in the accident.
Neck and back pain can be very deceptive. There may be signs of swelling, inflammation, or weakness; however, in many cases a complaint of severe pain may be the only way a doctor can diagnose whiplash. Your doctor may be able to prescribe pain medication, or provide stretching and strength exercises. However, in some cases, a rear-end collision could leave the injured individual with long-term pain.
The insurance company is generally supposed to compensate you for your injuries. However, in the case of neck or back pain, the insurance company may try and claim that your injuries are not so severe, or that they are not permanent. They have the right to seek an “independent” medical examination, with a doctor that they chose. The so-called independent doctor may come to a conclusion that your injuries are less serious, and your injury claim may be reduced or denied. If the insurance company wants to deny your claim, there is no point in trying to convince them on your own. Your Maryland personal injury attorney will fight for you so that you are compensated for your injuries.
Maryland Rear-End Accident Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one has been injured in a rear-end accident, the law firm of Gilman & Bedigian may be able to help. It takes time to recover from a rear-end neck or back injury, and you should not have to deal with the stress of fighting with the insurance company. This is why you should talk to a lawyer about taking on your case so you can focus on recovery. Our attorneys have years of experience dealing with automobile accident cases throughout Maryland. We will fight for your rights to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today for a free consultation.