Thousands of individuals are injured in motor vehicle crashes each day. Many of these injuries are minor, but some are more serious and even catastrophic. Rear-end collisions are among the most common types of vehicle crashes, accounting for approximately one-third of all auto accidents.
A rear-end crash can happen just about anywhere, and there are a number of reasons why they occur. Some common causes include:
- Speeding/reckless driving
- Driving too close/tailgating
- Distracted driving/inattentiveness
- Drowsy/fatigued driving
- Faulty vehicle parts/mechanical failure
- Heavy traffic
- Adverse driving conditions
A rear-end collision may seem like a minor “fender-bender”, but there are far more injuries that occur from these types of accidents than most people believe. According to a 2015 Washington Post report, there are approximately 1.7 million rear-end crashes on the nation’s roadways each year. These crashes result in around 500,000 injuries, 1,700 of which are fatal.
I Don’t Feel Injured, Should I Still Seek Medical Attention after a Rear-End Collision?
While you may not “feel” hurt after a rear-end crash, you may still have injuries. Here are a couple reasons why:
Adrenaline and Endorphins
At some point, you have probably watched a football or hockey game in which a player was hurt during the game, kept on playing, and did not notice the injury until after the game was over. Maybe this has even happened to you personally. The reason an athlete does not always notice or feel pain from an injury right away is because of the combination of adrenaline and endorphins, two chemicals that are fired off and can sometimes block pain during the excitement of the game.
This same phenomenon can occur with a rear-end collision. If you have ever been involved in a car accident in the past, you have likely experienced this type of adrenaline and endorphin rush. An accident is an unsettling experience that can cause your heart to race and your mind to process everything at heightened speeds, which sometimes blocks pain. The end result is that, just because you may feel okay right after the crash, this does not mean you will not feel hurt later on.
Delayed Onset of Certain Injuries
There are certain injuries that are not immediately apparent right after a car crash and could take several hours or longer for the symptoms to show up. Some delayed onset injuries can be severe and even life-threatening. Examples include:
- Internal Injuries
- Back and Neck Injuries
- Spinal Cord Injuries
- Whiplash and Other Soft Tissue Injuries
- Concussions and Other Types of Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
Seeking Medical Attention after a Rear-End Crash Helps Protect You Physically and Legally
Whenever you are involved in a rear-end wreck or any type of motor vehicle accident, your health and safety are the top priorities. So, even if you feel “okay”, it is always strongly recommended that you get checked out by a medical professional right away. Failing to do so could make any injuries you have far worse. Seeking medical attention immediately after a car accident also makes it easier to get your medical bills covered by insurance, and it helps with any legal claim you may want to pursue in the future.
For example, imagine if you walked away from a fender-bender, exchanged insurance information with the driver who rear-ended you, and did not see a doctor. The next morning, you start to feel some nagging neck and back pain, but you assume these injuries are minor and will go away soon. After a week or two, the pain persists or even gets worse. You go to the doctor and find out you have a whiplash injury, and the bills to get treated start to add up. At this point, you contact the insurance adjuster, but the adjuster disputes the idea that this injury is related to the accident, because it took so long for you to get medical care.
If you’d had a thorough medical examination right after the accident, you would have an established connection between your injury and the collision. This makes it far easier to have your medical expenses paid and recover any other compensatory damages you may be entitled to.
Speak with a Skilled South Carolina Rear-End Collision Lawyer
Even if you do not feel hurt right away, rear-end wrecks can cause lasting injuries. If you or a loved one was involved in a rear-end crash, seek medical attention right away, then get in contact with the experienced personal injury attorneys at Peake & Fowler. We have successfully represented clients injured in auto accidents in South Carolina since 2000, and we have the knowledge, skills, resources, and commitment to provide the strong personalized representation you need and deserve.
Call us today at 803-998-2412 for a free consultation or send us a message through our web contact form.