Rear-end accidents often cause damage to the spine that can require years of medical attention – or worse. The National Transportation Safety Board reports that there are more than 1.5 million rear-end collisions each year in the U.S. Of those, more than 500,000 results in serious injuries and 1,700 deaths. Those numbers are on the rise due to increased driver distractions from the use of cell phones while driving and pervasive traffic congestion. While the possibility of fatal injury exists, it’s more likely that rear-end collisions will result in herniated discs, sprains and strains, and whiplash. These are the injuries that can require prolonged treatment and years of pain and suffering.
Herniated discs happen when an impact causes one of the discs which can then protrude into the canal between the spinal vertebrae. When this disc presses against a nerve, it can cause shooting pain that radiates to the arms and legs. An overextension of joints in a crash can cause sprains and strains that lead to swelling, bruising, stiffness, and soreness. Whiplash can occur when the head snaps back violently in a rear-end collision and can happen at even the lowest rate of speed upon impact. All of these injuries not only require immediate medical care, but they should also be discussed with an experienced auto accident and personal injury attorney right away.
You need medical attention right away because injuries sustained in a rear-end crash can cause scarring and tissue damage that might lead to a loss of range of motion, chronic neck and back pain, and multiple corrective surgeries if not diagnosed and treated soon after the accident. Likewise, you need a personal injury attorney soon after the crash who can help you navigate your rights under Florida Law.
Florida is a no-fault insurance state, which means that the person that hit you might not be fully covered with auto insurance policies that cover expenses related to liability or collision, and in some cases might not have insurance coverage at all. That means that rather than receiving compensation from the driver at fault, you would have to recoup your losses in medical expenses, lost wages and more from your own insurance company. There are some important exceptions, however. You may be able to pursue damages from a negligent driver. To do this, you must first make your case and be able to prove that the driver was truly at fault and responsible for the accident. The most common causes of driver negligence are following too closely, driving while distracted, or traveling at a high rate of speed. If these actions lead to a need for long-term care, permanent disability or the inability to work, you have a good case for a lawsuit against the at-fault driver to recoup your losses and help with your medical expenses.
Even if you’re in a low-speed rear-end accident, it’s important to seek medical attention and the advice of proven, trial-tested personal injury attorneys like those at Fernandez & Hernandez Attorneys At Law. You can reach them for advice 24/7 by calling (813) 229-5353. Hablamos español.