These are the most common injuries arising from rear-end automobile collisions:
- traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other head injuries
- broken bones and ribs
- facial disfigurement
- spinal cord injuries
Rear-end auto collisions are far too common in Florida, and the injuries that happen in these accidents cost the victims millions every year in medical and rehabilitation expenses.
CAN LOW-SPEED REAR-END COLLISIONS CAUSE SERIOUS INJURIES?
Rear-end collisions are usually considered minor accidents, but even low-speed collisions can cause quite serious injuries.
For example, in collisions where vehicles are traveling at five miles per hour, about one in ten drivers and passengers will sustain whiplash.
In a traffic crash where you “didn’t see it coming” – like many rear-end collisions – injuries can be more serious because your ligaments typically will be damaged more than your muscles.
In collisions with vehicles traveling below fifteen miles per hour, front seat passengers face a greater risk of serious injury than drivers because drivers may brace themselves to some degree with the steering wheel.
And of course, not every injury arising from a low-speed accident is a serious injury, but the risks and the statistics are real, and the message is clear – low-speed auto crashes can sometimes cause quite serious injuries.
WHAT ARE THE MOST SERIOUS INJURIES IN REAR-END COLLISIONS?
Accident researchers tell us that the most severe rear-end accident injuries happen when drivers and passengers have no time to react to an imminent collision.
Spinal cord injuries can incapacitate someone for weeks, months, or longer. TBI symptoms may include blackouts, seizures, loss of memory, and disorientation.
Even in a low-speed collision, a driver’s or a passenger’s head may be tossed backward and forward, and the brain will literally “bounce” against the skull. Traumatic brain injury is likely to be the result.
When a spinal cord injury or traumatic brain injury isn’t detected or identified immediately, and when injury symptoms only emerge later, the condition by then may be critical.
If you suffer a traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, or any serious injury caused by a negligent driver in a rear-end collision in Florida, a Tampa personal injury attorney can help you pursue the justice you need and the compensation you deserve.
WHY IS IMMEDIATE MEDICAL ATTENTION IMPERATIVE?
Some of the injuries sustained in a rear-end crash might not be detectable immediately, so you must seek medical attention at once after any rear-end collision, even a low-speed collision.
Florida’s fourteen-day rule – explained in more detail below – compels you to seek a medical examination within fourteen days of an accident – or your insurance company may not have to pay your injury claim.
Get medical help first. Then get legal help. If you’ve been injured by a negligent driver in Florida – in any kind of traffic accident – you need to act at once.
CAN YOU AVOID SERIOUS INJURIES IN REAR-END COLLISIONS?
Accident researchers also tell us that headrests are the smartest way to protect yourself from head, neck, and spinal cord injuries in rear-end crashes.
However – and this is critical – if a headrest is positioned too low, the back of the driver’s or passenger’s neck might roll over the headrest, causing strain and hyperextension.
When a driver or passenger is injured in a low-speed traffic accident that appears to be minor, auto insurance companies sometimes deny injury claims by alleging that a low-impact, low-speed collision couldn’t possibly cause such a serious injury.
In too many injury cases, however, that is precisely what happens.
WHAT ASSUMPTIONS ARE TYPICALLY MADE ABOUT REAR-END CRASHES?
We typically presume that faster-moving vehicles create more powerful impacts with more severe injuries.
That’s often true, however, the exceptions to that rule are considerable. Even in a low-speed rear-end crash with no real damage to the vehicle, accident victims can suffer severe injuries.
Every Florida motorist should understand the assumptions that are typically made in traffic injury cases that arise from rear-end accidents.
For example, in a rear-end collision in this state, when a driver in a moving vehicle crashes or rolls into a vehicle that is legally parked or that is legally stopped at a traffic signal or stop sign, the driver in the moving vehicle is nearly always deemed the at-fault driver.
The ability to stop safely is a basic driving principle. If a motorist cannot safely stop a vehicle, that motorist will almost inevitably be found negligent.
IF YOU’RE INJURED BY A NEGLIGENT DRIVER, WHERE CAN YOU FIND HELP?
If you are injured by a negligent driver in the Tampa Bay area or anywhere in Florida, don’t admit or confess any fault, don’t sign any insurance documents, and don’t even speak to an insurance adjuster before you’ve consulted a personal injury attorney.
Especially in low-speed, rear-end accidents, an insurance company will typically offer the crash victim a compensation amount that’s far less than the real value of the accident claim.
Don’t be tempted to settle for less than your claim is worth. In fact, the smartest move is putting your case in the hands of an experienced negotiator – your attorney – and then concentrating on recovering your health.
HOW WILL A PERSONAL INJURY LAWYER WORK ON YOUR BEHALF?
A dedicated personal injury lawyer will begin immediately to investigate the accident, examining every detail and fact to determine liability.
Your lawyer will then develop an aggressive legal strategy to obtain every dollar of compensation that you are entitled to as an auto accident victim.
In the state of Florida, even if you don’t “feel” like you’ve been injured – and particularly in a low-speed, rear-end collision – you still must be examined by a doctor at once.
WHAT IS THE FOURTEEN-DAY RULE IN FLORIDA?
If you are injured and you don’t seek medical treatment within fourteen days in the state of Florida, your auto insurance company may not reimburse you.
The fourteen-day rule supposedly lowers the costs of automobile insurance in Florida, but it’s a genuine obstacle for injury victims who don’t seek immediate treatment.
If someone has sustained a hard-to-detect injury or an injury that remains latent for more than two weeks, the fourteen-day rule could be catastrophic.
IF YOU’RE INJURED IN TRAFFIC, WHAT ARE YOUR TOP TWO PRIORITIES?
Always seek medical attention first after any traffic accident. Then obtain the legal help that you are very much going to need.
Your health and your future are important priorities. If you are in a traffic collision, and you believe that a negligent driver has or may have injured you, you must make the right choices.
Get medical attention at once – at least within the fourteen-day window – and then speak with a good personal injury lawyer. If you’ve been injured by negligence in Florida, compensation is your right.