What Is The Most Common Type Of Injury In A Rear-End Collision?

Updated October, 2020
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The most common injury in a rear-end collision is whiplash. Whiplash can cause neck pain and headaches. Some other common injuries are soft tissue injuries and fractures.

What happens to your body in a car accident?

When you're rear-ended two laws of physics act upon you. An object at motion wants to stay in motion and an object at rest wants to stay at rest. The car behind you is moving faster than you and transfers there momentum into your car. Since you were at rest (assuming you were at a red light) your body is suddenly moving forward very fast once the car behind you hits you. Since your torso and legs are attached to the part of the car that is moving, they're less likely to get hurt. Your head and hands however are not. Your head is the last thing to move and usually snaps back to where it wants to be causing whiplash. Your hands are on the steering wheel which your body is moving into. This pressure causes your joints to bend awkwardly and potentially break.

What types of injuries result from being rear-ended?

The injuries sustained from a rear-end car accident are dependent on many aspects of the accident. Speed, vehicle size, and whether or not a seatbelt is worn can impact the injuries sustained. While all accidents are different, some injuries are common in rear-end specific car accidents. Some of the most common are:

Whiplash

Occurs when your head is "whipped" forward and backwards rapidly. Headaches and neck pain are early signs of whiplash. Neck stiffness and swelling can occur if left untreated.

Soft Tissue Injuries

These occur when your body is jolted during the impact of the crash. Bruises or pain when moving a muscle are good indicators that soft tissue was damaged.

Fractures or breaks

These commonly occur in the wrists and hands because the driver most likely has their hands on the wheel when the impact occurs. Soreness or swelling around the palm or fingers is a good sign of a fracture or break.

5 steps to take after getting in a car accident

The most important thing to do after an accident is never admit fault. No matter how rattled or scared you are, don't admit fault. Admitting fault puts you on the hook for all the damages.

  1. Check for injuries you & other passengers. Take care of yourself and you passengers first.
  1. Contact the police. A police report is needed for insurance claims. Don't let someone talk you into not calling the police.
  1. Exchange information. Make sure you get their full name, insurance provider, policy number, and model of car.
  1. Take photos. Document the damage for evidence in court.
  1. Call your insurance provider. Give them all the information and the police report number.

How to file an insurance claim after you were rear-ended

Most insurance providers allow you to file a claim online and walk you through the process.

  1. Call the police if necessary. They'll give you a police report which helps your case.
  1. Document the damage. Pictures help support your claim and guarantee you get paid for what you deserve.
  1. File the claim. File with the person who is at-fault. Their insurance should pay for the damages. The only time you should file with your insurance is in a hit and run or if the other driver was uninsured.

Will my insurance premium go up if I was rear-ended?

Since you won't be at fault, unless you were doing something illegal when you were hit, your rates shouldn't go up. However sometimes you can be at-fault and your rates can go up. If you're looking to protect yourself from your rates increasing, look into accident forgiveness. Accident forgiveness saves your rate from being increased, even after your first at-fault accident.

When the time arises, is my insurance going to be enough?

When it comes to car insurance, there are several factors to consider beyond monthly cost. A policy that covers you when you need it, has a low deductible, and offers several discounts can be hard to find - which is why we've done the work for you.

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