Chances are, you’ve seen or been involved in a rear-end collision. Like any auto accident, they can happen in a flash. While they may seem minor on the surface, being the hit from behind in your car can lead to injuries requiring months, or even years of treatment.
Most of these collisions occur at slow speeds under 10 mph. This may seem pretty minor on the surface but injuries from sudden jerking motion of the head, known as whiplash, can in fact cause long-term issues.
This is the principal reason why rear-end collisions are referred to as “whiplash accidents.”
Of course, a rear-end collision can also cause other injuries to the spine, face, brain or even knees.
On average, over 2.5 million of the 6 million auto accidents that occur annually in the U.S. are rear-end collisions according to figures from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. If we break those figures down further, we find that a rear-end collision occurs, on average, once every 8-seconds in the U.S.
Why are rear-end auto accidents so common?
First of all, with few exceptions, the following driver is responsible for a rear-end collision under Colorado law.
Rear-end auto accidents occur for a variety of reasons, most of which can be attributed to distracted driving. Changing radio stations, looking at a GPS or talking on the phone are some sources of distraction that lead to rear-end auto accidents. If the car in front has to stop abruptly and the following driver’s full attention isn’t on the road in front of them, a rear-end auto accident can occur.
The dynamic of these types of accidents often leads to the at-fault driver’s insurance company offering a paltry settlement. Often times, they assume that since the damage to your vehicle is minor (…if the accident occurred at a low speed), then your injuries must be minor too. Many insurance companies will dispute the severity of your injuries in an attempt to pay less.
That’s why keeping detailed records of all medical treatment, expenses and lost time from work, as well as taking pictures and obtaining contact information from witnesses is an absolute must.
Additionally, the expertise of an attorney specializing in rear-end collisions is almost a necessity to ensuring you obtain the compensation you need to treat your injuries and make up for any lost wages.
If you’ve been adversely affected by a rear-end auto accident, obtain medical attention first and foremost. From there, be sure you keep careful records and consider contacting a Colorado rear-end auto accident attorney to discuss your case.