Rear-End Collision Claims in Tampa
Rear-end vehicle collisions often lead to substantial injuries, particularly in the case of severe property damage. Many of those injuries can result in a long road to recovery and a considerable challenge as you struggle to regain the strength and mobility you may have lost after your accident. In some cases, rear-end collision injuries can have long-lasting or even permanent implications. During a rear-end collision, the force involved in the accident comes from behind the vehicle. Often, it causes the victim’s head to snap back and forth violently. Drivers in a rear-end collision may strike the steering wheel, while passengers in the vehicle may hit the dashboard or the back of the other seat. Rear-end collisions may put a great deal of force on the back and neck of all passengers in the vehicle. Learn more about the legal process of seeking compensation after a rear-end accident from our Tampa car accident Lawyers.
Common Rear End Accident Injuries
Below are some of the most common types of injuries people file claims for, after a rear end car accident.
Traumatic Brain Injury
The head often snaps back and forth with immense force during a rear-end collision. Sometimes, that may cause the head to strike the steering wheel, the dashboard, or the car seat. The force of that trauma can lead to injury in the brain. Traumatic brain injury can permanently complicate many areas of the victim’s life. The symptoms of traumatic brain injury may vary based on the part of the brain impacted by the accident and the severity of the trauma. Even patients with “mild” traumatic brain injuries may experience severe symptoms that linger long after the initial incident.
Loss of Focus
Many patients with traumatic brain injury struggle to focus on a task or keep their concentration on a specific thing. That loss of focus makes it very difficult for patients to handle their work tasks, and it may make it more difficult for patients to engage fully with their preferred leisure activities.
Short-Term Memory Loss
When most people consider the memory loss from traumatic brain injury, they first call to mind the loss of long-term memories. While patients with TBI may certainly lose some of their long-term memories (particularly the memory of the accident itself), they may instead lose short-term memory, which can make it difficult for them to recall instructions or follow a specific procedure. Short-term memory loss can make it very difficult to carry on a conversation or engage with others.
Challenge With Emotional Regulation
In addition to affecting the mind, traumatic brain injury may erode the patient’s regulation of emotion. Patients with TBI may struggle with mood swings or react out of proportion to their current challenges. For example, a patient with traumatic brain injury may have difficulty dealing with even minor emotional stimuli, flying out of control after the slightest degrees of anger or sadness.
Back and Neck Injuries
The back and neck often face a great deal of force in a rear-end collision. Patients can suffer substantial injuries to the back and neck, many of which may continue to plague them long after the initial accident.
Spinal Cord Injuries
In rear-end collisions that involve a great deal of force, patients may suffer spinal cord injuries. Spinal cord injuries occur due to active damage to the spinal cord in an accident. Incomplete spinal cord injuries may lead to decreased overall mobility below the injury site and can impact organ function. On the other hand, complete spinal cord injuries often lead to full paralysis below the injury and may permanently affect organ function below the injury.
A herniated disc occurs when the disc, or the soft tissue in the spinal cord, gets pushed into the spinal canal. The herniated disc may press on the spinal cord, leading to considerable pain. Herniated discs may also lead to tingling or loss of function in the limbs, depending on the location of the herniation and where it hits. Sometimes, herniated discs can resolve with physical therapy. In some cases, patients may need surgery to maintain maximum mobility and decrease pain.
Many patients involved in rear-end collisions suffer whiplash. Whiplash may include soreness, pain, or lack of mobility around the neck. It may also cause tingling down the arms or hands, or weakness in those muscles. Most patients with whiplash note that it resolves fairly quickly after the accident, within a matter of weeks. However, some patients may develop chronic whiplash symptoms with ongoing pain and weakness.
Rear-end collisions can also lead to substantial strain in the neck and back muscles. That muscle strain can cause significant pain and tenderness or weakness in the affected area. Many patients with muscle injuries in the back or neck struggle with mobility challenges after the accident, or may have trouble taking care of basic tasks. Back and neck injuries often substantially impact the patient’s life. Sitting or standing for long periods often causes increasing pain, making it difficult to take care of tasks at a desk and take care of tasks that require moving around the area.
The force of a rear-end collision often results in people in the front vehicle slamming forward with considerable force. Airbag deployment, especially if it hits the passenger directly in the face, can result in severe facial injuries. However, colliding with the steering wheel or dashboard can cause equally serious injuries. Frequently, facial injuries cause immense psychological trauma and other difficulties associated with a long road to recovery. Some facial injuries will result in permanent scarring or changes in appearance that can prove disorienting to many victims.
Rear-end collisions have a high risk of broken bones for passengers in the vehicle.
Broken Bones in the Hands and Arms
Drivers have a high risk of suffering broken bones in the hands and arms in a rear-end collision. Drivers (especially those who see the accident coming) may attempt to brace on the steering wheel. Even drivers who do not see the accident coming may react by grasping the steering wheel tightly. Unfortunately, that may translate to considerable direct force hitting the hands or arms. Broken bones in the hands and arms can make self-care particularly difficult for some time during the victim’s recovery, especially in the case of multiple broken bones or broken bones in both limbs. Often, patients with broken bones in their hands and arms will struggle to return to their usual work tasks after an injury.
The force of a seatbelt catching the victim of a serious accident can cause immense damage to the torso, including broken ribs. Patients with broken ribs often receive relatively little treatment and must simply wait for those injuries to heal. In the meantime, broken ribs can cause considerable pain that may interfere with several activities, including work tasks.
Lower Body Injuries
While upper-body injuries may occur more frequently in a rear-end collision, a rear-end collision with extreme force may significantly injure the lower body, including broken legs, feet, and ankles. Those injuries can interfere substantially with a patient’s overall mobility and capability. Lower body injuries can make it difficult for patients to care for themselves or get around normally, which may interfere with their ability to work.
What To Do After Rear-End Collision Injuries in Tampa
If you suffer injuries in a rear-end collision, you may need to take several steps to help protect yourself and your right to file an injury claim after the accident. You should always report the accident to the Tampa police department and, assuming that you do not need immediate medical attention, wait for the police to arrive. Then, make sure you follow these critical steps.
1. Seek immediate medical care.
Rear-end collision injuries may include injuries like whiplash and brain injury, which may not show up immediately after the accident. You may notice comparatively mild symptoms or, in some cases, no symptoms at all when you get out of the car following your accident. However, as time passes, you may notice more severe injuries. In some cases, even severe injuries, like broken bones, may end up obscured by the adrenaline that often floods out after a car accident. You may not realize immediately that you have sustained those severe injuries, which could cause you to avoid treatment. Unfortunately, failure to seek medical treatment could result in increased injury or the need for additional medical intervention, which could interfere with your overall recovery and lead to more serious deficits later.
2. Document your care and your bills.
If you need to file an injury claim after a Tampa car accident that resulted in injuries, you may need to show proof of the injuries you sustained and the bills you faced because of those injuries. Most injury claims will include compensation for the medical bills you faced after the accident. If you have kept a record of all of your medical bills, it may prove much easier to bring those records together and show precisely how much compensation you need for those costs following your accident. Keeping records of your care can measure how much your injuries have affected every area of your life. Those records may show what limitations you had immediately after your accident, how those limitations have changed over time, and what long-term ramifications you will likely have from your Tampa car accident.
3. Follow the instructions issued by your medical care providers.
The doctors and medical professionals overseeing your care want to see you recover as much as possible from your accident and your injuries. They will issue instructions intended to help you make a full recovery, including instructions that may minimize the risk of further injuries. Follow all instructions issued by your care provider, particularly as you begin to recover. Following your care providers’ instructions may mean several things, depending on the extent of your injuries and the care you require to make a full recovery.
Look into and pursue any recommended medical procedures or therapies.
Do not put off that treatment if your care provider recommends a specific procedure or feels that you will need a specific type of care to recover from your accident. Some procedures, including surgeries, can be inconvenient since they may cause you to spend more time out of commission short term. Failure to have those procedures, however, could lead to longer-term disadvantages. Make arrangements to have those procedures completed as soon as possible.
Practice any exercises recommended in therapy.
Physical and occupational therapists may give you specific exercises you need to perform at home to maximize your recovery. Make those exercises a regular part of your routine. Those exercises can help you regain a great deal of your overall strength and mobility and maximize your independence, which may prove incredibly beneficial after your accident.
Avoid any activities that your care provider recommends avoiding.
Some activities can put you at risk of further injury or more substantial danger. Try to avoid those activities as much as possible, and do not push to engage in them anyway. Recommendations may range from avoiding weight on an injured limb to avoiding head trauma after a brain injury. Did you suffer serious injuries in a Tampa car accident? Working with an attorney can help you learn more about your next steps, including your right to compensation. Contact a Tampa car accident lawyer as soon after your accident as possible to help protect your rights.