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Rear-End Collision Injuries and How You Can Recover

On Behalf of | Jun 7, 2023 | Car Accidents

According to the Illinois Department of Transportation, rear-end crashes are the most common type of car accident in Naperville. In 2021, Naperville had 695 collisions in which the front of one vehicle collided with the rear of another vehicle. The city had a total of 1,876 crashes that year. Rear-end crashes accounted for 37% of all crashes.

Rear-end crashes have a lower risk of causing fatal injuries than other types of collisions. But these crashes can still cause serious head, neck, and back injuries due to the whipping forces your body experiences.

What Are Some Common Rear-End Collision Outcomes and Injuries?

Rear-end crashes cause injuries primarily through a whipping motion. When your car gets hit from behind, your head whips back into your headrest. As you slam on your brakes, your head whips forward.

This back-and-forth whipping motion causes your neck to hyperextend, compress, then hyperextend again. The cycle of hyperextension and compression damages the structures in your neck and back. You can also injure your head and face if you strike your skull as your head whips around.

Here are some common rear-end collision injuries and how you can recover:

Chest Bruises

Rear-end crashes cause chest bruises when your body hits your seat belt. The impact bursts blood vessels under the skin of your chest. In a severe crash, you may even tear the cartilage in your chest or break a rib.

Bruises cause pain, swelling, and black or blue discoloration. Fortunately, bruises usually heal within a few days with rest and home care.

Neck Strain or Sprain

Neck strains and sprains are the most common whiplash injuries. A neck strain happens when the whipping of your head hyperextends your neck and causes the tendons and muscles in your neck to tear. Symptoms of a neck strain include:

  • Neck pain
  • Muscle spasms and swelling
  • A weak and stiff neck

Ligaments hold the vertebrae of your spine together. A neck sprain occurs when hyperextension damages or tears the neck ligaments. Symptoms of a sprained neck include:

  • Spine pain and inflammation
  • Limited range of neck motion
  • Neck bruises
  • Popping sensation during your accident

Neck strains and sprains will heal with rest and anti-inflammatory drugs. If you suffer a severe strain, a doctor might recommend a neck brace. But neck strains and sprains will rarely require surgery.

Bulging or Herniated Disc

When your spine compresses during a rear-end crash, the pressure can deform the discs between the vertebrae. The disc’s interior gel can push out through the disc producing a herniation. Or the disc can collapse into a flat shape. In either case, the change in the shape of your spine can pull on the soft tissues, producing neck pain.

The deformed disc can also press on nearby nerves, producing nerve inflammation. This injury can cause pain that radiates into your shoulders, arms, and hands. You may also experience weakness, numbness, and loss of dexterity in your upper limbs.

A damaged disc will not heal. And doctors cannot repair discs with surgery. Instead, they inject anti-inflammatory drugs into your neck to reduce nerve inflammation. Or they can remove your damaged disc. They will then either replace your disc with an artificial disc or fuse the vertebrae.

What Kind of Damages Can I Recover After a Rear-End Crash?

If someone else was responsible for your rear-end collision, you may be entitled to compensation. Illinois law allows you to recover two types of damages: economic damages and non-economic damages.

Economic damages cover your financial losses, including:

Non-economic damages cover non-monetary losses like:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Scarring
  • Loss of consortium

A personal injury lawyer can help you understand your options for recovering compensation.

Contact A Naperville Car Accident Lawyers For Help Navigating an Injury Claim

Rear-end car accidents can cause various injuries, from minor bruises to permanent spine damage. Contact the Law Offices of Mathys & Schneid for a free consultation to learn about your right to pursue injury compensation after a rear-end collision.