Injuries from Rear End Crashes

According to the data from the National Highway Traffic Administration (N H T S A), there are more than 3 million rear end crashes in the United States each year, less than half of which are reported to the police. A West Palm Beach rear end attorney knows that about 35% of the police reported rear end crashes involve bodily injuries. It is not unusual for injuries from rear end crashes, especially soft-tissue neck injuries, to go unnoticed until several hours or days after the crash.

Statistics and History

In the 1950s padded head restraints were attached to the top of the automobile seatbacks as a countermeasure to whiplash type injuries. Studies indicate that the use of fixed head restraints reduces whiplash injury by 13%. Whiplash type injuries are common to rear end crashes. The term whiplash was first used by Dr. Harold E Crow in 1928 to describe the sun jolting of the head and neck in automobile crashes. Doctors De Gravelles and Kelly in 1969, described the whiplash mechanism as a hyperextension of the neck due to the head and neck lagging behind the body is suddenly pushed forward by the seat followed by a hyper flexion as the body surpasses the speed of the decelerating car and the head snaps forward. This type of injury is characterized by a variety of symptoms, such as pain and stiffness in the neck, but often cannot be shown by external or radiological evidence.

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If you have been involved in a rear end collision, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. As previously stated, symptoms may not arise for several days and sometimes more than a week. Also, pursuant to the changes in the personal injury protection law, it is important to seek medical help, if you are injured, within 14 days. The law offices of West Palm Beach rear end attorney, Stephen J. Press, are experienced in handling rear end collision cases and will aggressively protect your rights.

It is interesting that elderly drivers, both male and female, report neck injuries at a much lower rate than young drivers. Also, women are more likely than men to suffer neck injuries from rear impacts. It is not clear why they would be in age or gender difference in rear end crash neck injuries.

Types of Injuries

Rear end crashes can also cause very severe injuries such as fractures to the neck, cervical disc injury and nerve damage. Even without these types of injuries, numerous clinical studies have documented muscle weakness and paresthesis of the neck, shoulders, upper back and arms in whiplash patients. These injuries can be of a permanent nature. Approximately 50% of whiplash patients reported neck pain, 15 years after the rear end crash. Clinical studies also suggest that whiplash trauma can accelerate disc degeneration.

Whiplash injuries continue to be the subject of considerable medical interest, investigation and debate. Insurance companies often attempt to downplay such injuries and will in some cases take advantage of injured victims who do not have attorneys. Auto insurers use a variety of techniques to control their losses. One strategy is that all injury claims resulting from collisions where damage is $1000 or less are adjusted (settled) for minimal compensation. The fact is that property damage is not a reliable predictor of injury risk is low velocity crashes. Furthermore, property damage is not reliable in predicting acute injury or symptom duration.

Contact a West Palm Beach Rear End Attorney

If you have been involved in an automobile crash, it is important to seek immediate medical help, as well as consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. Contact a West Palm Beach personal injury attorney, at the law offices of Stephen J. Press, for a free evaluation of your case. Please call us at 561-833-2772 or contact us online.