What are the Most Common Injuries in a Rear-End Collision in Chicago?

Car accidentIn 2014, rear-end collisions accounted for about 29% of traffic crashes in Illinois, far more than any other type of accident. By contrast, head-on collisions made up less than 1% of crashes, while collisions with parked vehicles and turning crashes combined accounted for about 26% of cases. Rear-end collisions are, by far, the most common types of accidents throughout Illinois, which makes it very important to understand what kinds of injuries often result from such crashes, and what to do if you have suffered an injury as a result of a collision.

The most common injury that results from a rear-end collision is commonly referred to as “whiplash.” Recently, however, more technical terms for such injuries are typically used, such as hyperextension or hyperflexion injuries, myofascial injury, or neck sprain. There are some negative associations with the word “whiplash,” especially when it comes to personal injury lawsuits, so more technical and accurate descriptors for this type of injury are preferable.

What happens in this type of injury is that the impact from the rear pushes the body of the driver and any passengers forward, while his or her head remains more or less in place. This causes tremendous strain on the neck, and the vertebrae within it, particularly to the soft tissue within the neck and around the spine. These types of neck sprains can be caused by either low-speed or high-speed rear-end collisions.

Neck sprains can often heal without much medical treatment, though prescriptions may be necessary to manage the pain, and physical therapy can help with a faster recovery. However, any neck injury can be very serious, so medical attention should be sought immediately after a rear-end collision to ensure that more traumatic damage has not occurred.

Back pain and injuries to the lower spine can also result from a rear-end collision, especially those at high speed. While these types of injuries typically do not result in paralysis, they can involve varying levels of long-term pain that make performing daily tasks difficult and potentially excruciating. Medical treatment is vital after a back injury to ensure there is no long-term damage, and to help recover from the pain.

If you or a loved one have been involved in a rear-end collision, be sure to contact emergency services and seek medical attention as soon as possible. Neck and back injuries can take hours or even several days to fully reveal themselves, so medical professionals can often assist even if you do not realize you have been injured. Call the Chicago car accident injury attorneys at Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC at (312) 644-0444 for advice and a consultation. We can help protect your rights after an accident and work to get you compensation for your pain and suffering.