Rear-end collisions might be the most common motor vehicle accidents in Washington. Quite simply, the front of one vehicle comes into contact with the rear of the vehicle ahead of it. The front vehicle might be completely stopped, or it could be in motion. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that about 30 percent of all motor vehicle collisions with another vehicle are rear-end collisions. As per the National Traffic Safety Bureau, there are at least 1.5 million rear-end accidents every year. About 500,000 people are injured in rear-end accidents per year, and about 1,700 people die from them. Rear-end accidents are far more common in urban areas such as Spokane and Spokane Valley than rural areas (eg: Airway Heights, Cheney, Spangle, Freeman, Clayton, Medical Lake, etc.)
Common causes of rear-end collision
Nearly all rear-end collisions are the result of driver error. Some of the most common causes include:
- Aggressive driving
- Following too closely
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
Common rear-end collision injuries
Any number of variables can influence the nature and extent of the injuries suffered in a rear-end crash. Some of the more common injuries that we see as Spokane personal injury lawyers are:
- Hyper-extension and hyper-flexion injuries – Often referred to as whiplash, the neck structure is injured as a result of the sudden and often violent movement of the neck and head from impact. The extent of these injuries varies from person to person. Some victims might only walk away with a strain or sprain and require only a month or six weeks of treatment. Others might suffer a cervical disc injury requiring surgery.
- Fractures – The fractures that are most common to rear-end impacts involve a driver’s hands, feet and spine. His or her hands and feet are unprotected by seat belts or air bags. Spinal fractures resulting from rear-end collisions are more common in the neck and middle back. A severe spinal fracture can damage the spinal cord and result in severe and permanent injury with paralysis.
- Traumatic brain injuries – Aside from falls, motor vehicle collisions are the second leading cause of traumatic brain injuries. Most are mild concussions that pass within a few days to a few weeks, but some traumatic brain injuries can be serious and permanent. The NHTSA reports serious traumatic brain injuries resulting from motor vehicle crashes have a higher fatality rate than falls at nearly 32 percent. Traumatic brain injuries occur more often than you would think in rear-end crashes. The brain need only be thrown from front to back or side to side and crash against the inside of the skull to suffer serious damage.
- Permanent disfigurement – Sometimes the victim of a rear-end collision will hit a steering wheel, dashboard, side window or side door frame and receive deep and severe lacerations requiring surgery. They might also get cut by personal property flying inside of the vehicle or broken glass.
The same as different victims of rear-end impacts suffer different injuries, they suffer different damages too. Compensation for an auto accident victim in Washington can include:
- Past and future medical bills
- Past and future lost earnings
- Any permanent disfigurement
- Any permanent disability
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of a normal life
- Funeral and burial costs in the event of a wrongful death
Defenses for rear-end accidents
There aren’t many legal defenses to a rear-end collision, and most of them aren’t very convincing either. That’s why insurance defense attorneys will attack the injured victim’s credibility and prior medical history. If the victim made allegedly conflicting statements about their accident or injuries, those will be used against him or her. It’s not at all unusual to see defenses turn on allegations of a pre-existing injury to the same part of the body or a degenerative disease.
Contact a Spokane Car Accident Lawyer Today
In order to receive full and fair compensation for injuries suffered in a rear-end motor vehicle crash, you’ll want to retain a personal injury lawyer with considerable experience in motor vehicle accidents and rear-end collisions. We’ve litigated countless car crash injury cases in Washington. If you or somebody close to you has suffered injuries as a result of a rear-end collision anywhere in Washington, contact us right away for a free consultation and case evaluation. If we’re retained, no legal fees are even due until such time as we obtain a settlement or verdict for you. Don’t hesitate to contact us about any kind of motor vehicle accident anywhere in Washington or Northern Idaho.