What to Do If You Are Hurt in a Rear-End Accident
Rear-end wrecks are one of the most common types of crashes seen on New Orleans streets and highways, but that doesn’t mean the injuries you may sustain won’t be severe. Neck and back pain in particular can keep you from returning to work after this type of accident. If you’ve been hurt in a rear-end collision caused by another driver’s negligence, an attorney can help ensure your legal rights are protected while pursuing financial recovery.
How Rear-End Crashes Take Place in Louisiana
The possibility of a serious collision increases anytime a driver isn’t paying full attention to their surroundings and obeying all traffic laws. Rear-end crashes in particular, are often caused by inattentive motorists, but there are a variety of other potential reasons fender benders occur in traffic. Common causes of any given rear-end crash in the New Orleans area include:
- Aggressive driving. It’s easy for rear-end crashes to happen when someone is cutting people off, speeding around cars, and engaging in acts of road rage. Unfortunately, the victim is often someone not involved in the situation at all.
- Distracted driving. Cell phone usage, eating, fiddling with knobs, and trying to talk to or hand things to passengers in the back seat all take a driver’s focus off the road where it belongs.
- Faulty equipment. If a vehicle’s breaks don’t engage fully, it’s easy to collide with someone ahead while trying to stop.
- Speeding. If a driver can’t stop in time at a light or when merging onto a highway, a rear-end accident is highly likely.
- Tailgating. Louisiana law specifically requires every driver to maintain a prudent distance between themselves and the vehicle in front, and that distance should be wider the faster you are going.
- Tired driving. Unfortunately, this simple act of negligence is often more dangerous than drunk driving. Tired driving is especially concerning in cases when long-haul truck drivers aren’t following proper logbook rules.
Rear-End Accident Injuries and What to Do Next
Any rear-end crash can easily become a multi-vehicle accident if the force of the collision propels your car into another driver. There is sadly high potential for catastrophic and life-altering injuries if you are pushed into a building, the back of a semi-truck, or so on. Besides the expected bumps and bruises, victims of rear-end collisions caused by negligence may suffer from:
- Back injuries. Soft tissue damage can lead to long-term, chronic pain that will need to be managed through medication and physical therapy.
- Bone fractures. Broken bones are likely if a body part collides with the dashboard, steering column, windshield, or even the pavement outside your vehicle.
- Nerve damage. Pinched, compressed, or damaged nerves can create an annoying tingling or painful burning sensation in specific areas of the body. In more severe cases, issues like complex regional pain syndrome are possible due to nerve damage, which can become a life-long condition.
- Spinal cord trauma. This type of severe injury may lead to a reduction in mobility or even full paralysis in specific parts of the body.
- Traumatic brain injury. Rear-end crashes are notorious for causing “minor” brain injuries like whiplash. Depending on the circumstances of the collision, you could suffer more serious brain injuries that can result in a wide range of physical, emotional, and cognitive impairments.
Properly documenting your injuries and the circumstances of the rear-end accident is crucial to achieving a financial recovery after your wounds heal. Following any rear-end crash, you should always contact law enforcement, note down contact details for witnesses, and photograph the scene of the accident.
From there, the next step is to see a doctor and get a thorough check-up. Soft tissue damage and traumatic brain injuries from rear-end crashes aren’t always obvious at the time of the collision. You may need to show up for additional appointments, and it is critical to follow your doctor’s orders to the letter so the negligent party can’t argue you aren’t as hurt as you claim.
Get the Help You Need From a Qualified Rear-End Accident Lawyer
The single most important step after attending to your medical condition is to contact an experienced New Orleans car accident attorney. Were you harmed in a rear-end collision caused by a negligent driver? The trial-ready team at Scott Vicknair wants to hear about your case to find out if we are the right fit to defend your rights in court. Call to schedule a consultation at 504-500-1111 or get in touch with us online here.