It is one of the least expected collisions you can experience in your vehicle.
You may be sitting at a light, waiting for traffic on your way to work. You might be changing the radio and not even see the vehicle fast approaching you from behind until it rear-ends you and causes a wreck.
The driver of the car behind you may be unaware he is moving forward until he hits your car. He may be distracted or intoxicated, or on drugs or alcohol. He may be hit himself which forces his car into yours.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports 29% of traffic accidents involve a rear-end collision, either at a low or high speed.
While automakers have improved cars to withstand front and side-impact collisions, rear-end accidents leave drivers and passengers vulnerable.
Even if you do not think you are
seriously injured because the collision was a minor one and there is no or
little damage to the car, the law firm of Reeves and Mestayer strongly urges
you to seek medical attention immediately, because even a lower speed impact has
the potential to injure you. Most common are injuries to your back and neck.
Soft Tissue Injuries
The reason you should seek immediate medical attention is because the back and neck are the areas that will be most affected in a rear-end collision.
These are the areas prime for soft tissue problems and those problems can occur even as the result of a low-speed impact. Often, you do not see the approaching car and do not brace yourself for the collision.
A soft tissue injury can cause serious and chronic pain in the shoulder, back and headache. There can be brain contusions, a concussion, and even internal bleeding.
A higher speed rear-end collision can even cause whiplash, fractures, brain trauma, and paralysis. There may be swelling and inflammation that results and fluid in the muscles. Your spine can be knocked out of place. Muscles and ligaments lock up and scar tissue builds up.
Other symptoms of injury can include:
* Balance issues
* Ringing in the ears
Understand you are in shock after an accident, and you may not be feeling any pain. You are not thinking or reacting clearly. You may want to put this behind you, because you don’t have time for an accident.
Doing nothing is not in your best interest for several reasons.
A soft tissue injury may not show up for a day or two, and when you start to feel pain it may not be as clearly linked to the collision as the cause of your pain. At least that is what the other side will argue.
To be sure, please visit the emergency room or your family physician after a wreck. Realistically, you may have up to 72 hours to make that visit, but why take a chance on your health and possibly compromise any legal case you might have?
Who is to Blame for a Rear-End Collision?
Generally, we find it is the driver of the vehicle in the rear who is to blame for the collision.
Do not engage in any conversation with the other driver, even to say “I’m sorry” since that later can be used against you. Simply exchange information – license, identity, VIN number, make and model of car. Find any witnesses and get their contact information as well.
Do not give any statement to an insurance adjuster who may contact you after the collision. That can and will be used against you. It will not “speed up the claims process” as an insurance rep will suggest.
Your decisions during this difficult time could affect the rest of your life.
To bring an ambulance and the police to the scene, call 9-1-1. The police will make a report. Then we strongly suggest you go to the closest emergency room and call us at our Biloxi office.
Our experienced personal injury lawyers will begin the conversation around the specifics of the accident. After we determine the at-fault party, we will determine how best to have you compensated for your medical bills, your pain and suffering, and any lost wages.
Some of the documents we will require to make your case will be the medical documentation you accumulate following the rear-end collision. We must show the extent of your injury and the records will be vital to filing a claim with the insurance company.
If those records do not exist, it will appear as though you were not really injured, and it makes it that much more difficult for us to prove your case.
Contact an Experienced Biloxi Auto Accident Law Firm Right Away
Reeves and Mestayer has decades of experience dealing with the insurance claims process. We understand settlement negotiations and how to prepare for trial to make sure you receive maximum compensation from the at-fault party for the injuries you suffered in your rear-end collision.
Let us represent you so you can focus on getting better. Call our Biloxi office at 1-855-558-2977 so we can help you during this difficult time.