When most people picture a rear-end collision, they imagine a fender bender. These accidents can potentially cause some minor dents, but nothing more serious than that, or so people think. However, the truth is, rear-end collisions are among the most dangerous kinds of accidents.Getting rear-ended while stopped can result in a multi-car collision and cause severe injuries.
What Makes a Rear-End Collision Dangerous?
Generally, people assume that rear-end collisions are easy to walk away from. Unlike other auto accidents, such as T-bones, the point of impact is as far from the driver as possible. However, as one of the most common accident types nationwide, rear-end collisions can cause extreme devastation at high speeds. Many of the rear-end collisions in CO are caused by distracted drivers.Adverse weather conditions also play a role in a significant number of collisions across the state.
A common side effect of a rear-end collision is the car in front is shoved forward and strike another vehicle, causing another rear-end collision. If the force of the first impact was hard enough, then a chain reaction could occur, leading to multiple drivers and passengers being injured. Or, if the front car was stopped at an intersection, the rear-end collision could send the car rolling into heavy traffic. This could cause a catastrophic T-bone collision from cross-traffic.
Outside of those two possibilities, rear-end collisions also often don’t activate the airbag unless you hit the steering column with a lot of force, which is a key safety feature of a car. Airbags often only pop open when the front of the car collides with something. This cushions the body from the hard surface of the dashboard or the steering wheel, both of which could do some serious damage. However, if the impact is in the rear of the car, then the airbags may not deploy or protect you.
Settlements for rear-end collisions while stopped can range widely, often determined by several key factors:
- Severity of your injuries.
- Medical expenses incurred.
- Vehicle damage assessment.
- Insurance policies involved.
- Legal representation.
- Circumstances of the accident.
- Jurisdiction-specific laws and regulations.
- Negotiation skills and tactics employed during settlement discussions.
Keep in mind that the final settlement amount will be influenced by these variables, so consult with a legal professional for personalized guidance.
Who Is at Fault in a Rear-End Collision?
Determining fault in a rear-end collision is not as straightforward as you might think. The car in the rear is not always primarily at fault. Sometimes a vehicle in front can start the chain reaction by engaging in reckless behavior, such as brake checking the car behind them. In other situations, the car behind you might’ve been pushed into you by another vehicle. Insurance company adjusters will still do a full investigation for a claim involving getting rear-ended while stopped. Settlement talks won’t likely start until liability is decided.
What Happens to Your Body When Your Car Is Rear-Ended?
Even if you don’t end up being pushed into another car or into traffic, the rear-end collision can cause serious injuries, especially if the airbags fail to deploy properly. High-speed – and thus high force – rear-end collisions can send significant energy through your body. The human body is only meant to take so much force. If too much pressure or energy is applied to the body, serious injuries could occur.
Common rear-end collision accident injuries include the following:
Brain injuries: With the sudden jolt from the impact, the body can be hurtled forward. This may result in you slamming your head into the dashboard or into the steering wheel, which can cause skull fractures and concussions.
Spinal cord injuries: The spine is more fragile than most people realize. With the level of force exerted in a rear-end collision, the bones of the spinal could fracture or break, causing intense pain. Disc bulges are also common and can press on spinal nerves, resulting in numbness and loss of bladder control. If the spinal cord suffers damage in the accident, you could be paralyzed.
Crush injuries: When your limbs or torso are crushed, it can result in shattered bone, ripped muscles and ligaments, and deep tissue bruising. If the impact of the rear-end collision was extreme enough, it could crumple the back of your car all the way up to your seat. This may cause you to become crushed between your seat and the dash, resulting in serious crush injuries.
Soft tissue damage: The soft tissues of the body are made up of muscles, nerves, blood vessels, and tendons. If these tissues are torn or bruised, then it can limit your mobility and weaken the organs that the soft tissues support. A torn blood vessel could even result in your suffering internal bleeding. Of course, these tissues are not difficult to damage, so even a minor rear-end collision could result in serious soft tissue damage.
Broken bones: While the bones are meant to withstand high levels of force, they can still be broken, particularly in car accidents. When these bones break, it can leave you unable to walk or use your arms for an extended period of time. Even worse, if your ribs are fractured, a break could result in organ damage, such as a punctured lung.
Potential Compensation in a Rear-End Collision
Compensation for claims involving getting rear-ended while stopped will vary case by case. In general, you might be eligible to receive money for damages such as:
- Medical expenses, including future expected costs;
- Lost wages, including compensation for future missed time and loss of earning capacity;
- Property damage; and
- Pain and suffering, including mental anguish, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life.
When you hire a Denver car accident attorney at Tenge Law Firm, LLC, we will discuss your damages and explain what compensation you might be entitled to receive. We can also help you build a solid case to fight for the best settlement possible. Proving liability is only part of a successful car accident claim. You must also show that your damages are reasonable and related.
Recovering From Your Injuries
After suffering from such catastrophic injuries, it can seem impossible to move forward. You have hospital bills piling up, you don’t have any wages coming in because you need to take time off from work, and your injuries themselves are causing you incredible pain. That is why you need to find a skilled Denver car accident attorney who can do the legal heavy lifting for you.
We at Tenge Law Firm, LLC have years of experience working with injured clients who need help getting the compensation they deserve. If you or someone you love was injured in a rear-end collision, call our firm at (970) 212-4777 and schedule a free consultation to discuss your case. We have offices in Denver, Boulder, and Fort Collins.