If you get involved in a car accident where one vehicle gets hit from behind, then you have been in a rear-end collision. Because rear-end collisions often require both vehicles to be going in the same direction, they are typically low-speed accidents – even if both vehicles involved are going fast, their speed relative to each other is often very little.
Because of this, rear-end collisions are rarely fatal. However, that does not mean that they do not often result in serious injuries. In fact, rear-end collisions typically blind-side whoever is in the car that gets hit from behind, preventing them from preparing for the collision and leaving them with serious muscle and tendon injuries, like whiplash. These injuries, though latent and often difficult to prove, can be severe and debilitating.
If you have been hurt in a rear-end collision in Philadelphia, having the personal injury attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian on your side throughout the process can make a huge difference in the outcome of your case.
Causes of Rear-End Accidents
Most rear-end collisions are caused when one car is following another too closely, and the car in front hits the brakes. When this happens in urban environments or at stop signs or stop lights, it often results in a minor fender-bender. However, when they happen on the highway or at a significant speed, rear-end collisions can be much more dangerous.
These rear-end collisions are far more common in adverse driving conditions. When the roads are wet or slick with rain, snow, or ice, stopping distances increase. However, many drivers do not adequately compensate for the poor conditions. Therefore, if they ever have to stop quickly, they often find themselves unable to avoid a serious rear-end collision.
Another common cause of a rear-end collision is distracted driving. When the driver of the car in behind is not paying attention – whether because they are talking on the phone, texting, changing music, or talking to others in the car – they are less likely to notice that the vehicle in front of them is slowing down. By the time they realize they need to hit the brakes, it is often too late to avoid a rear-end crash.
Other causes of rear-end collisions include driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, tailgating, or defective brakes. Inebriated drivers have a reaction time that is significantly slower than other drivers, making them less likely to react in time to road conditions that require them to hit the brakes. Finally, defective or bad brakes can make it impossible to stop, but through no fault of the driver of the car that causes the collision.
Common Injuries in Rear-End Collisions
Rear-end collisions often result in a unique set of injuries. In the immediate aftermath of a rear-end collision, victims do not even know that they have been seriously hurt. They are often able to walk away from the collision, and can even help others who have been impacted by the crash. Typically more concerned with the damage to their vehicle than themselves, they feel little to no pain, and so tend to think they were lucky to have gotten away without being hurt.
Unfortunately, the kinds of injuries that are common in rear-end collisions often remain latent for hours or even days after the accident. Because rear-end collisions come without warning to the occupants of the vehicle that gets rear-ended, they often cause strain muscles, tendons, and ligaments in the neck, spine, head, and back. These injuries rarely have symptoms that are immediately apparent. Instead, they only show themselves after the heat of the moment has passed and everything has calmed down, once again. The trauma that these muscles, tendons, and ligaments have gone through often makes them unable to settle into their original position.
Because it is so difficult to determine if you have suffered one of these injuries, it is important to know what to look for so you can seek immediate medical attention. Telltale signs of whiplash or other serious injury include tingling, headaches, stiffness, or difficulty moving soon after a rear-end collision. Additionally, pay attention to the signs of a concussion, like blurred vision or light-headedness. If you experience any of these symptoms, make sure that you get the medical attention that you need.
Philadelphia Rear-End Collision Attorneys
Insurance companies are notorious for not believing your injuries are legitimate after a rear-end collision. This makes it crucial to have the car accident and personal injury attorneys at the Philadelphia law office of Gilman & Bedigian on your side throughout the process. Contact them online or at (800) 529-6162 for the legal representation you need to get the compensation you deserve.