Woman with a neck injury after a rear-end collision.

7 Common Neck and Back Injuries from Rear-End Collisions

Rear-end car crashes are extremely common. Rear-end collisions occur when one vehicle crashes into the rear of another vehicle. This often occurs when the rear driver is following too closely and/or speeding. Although rear-end collisions can be avoided simply by using good judgment, they continue to occur.

Under Michigan law, the driver of the rear vehicle is “prima facie guilty of negligence.” This means that the driver of the rear vehicle is presumed to be at fault and presumed guilty of negligence. However, these presumption can be rebutted by evidence to the contrary.

Rear-end collisions can be extremely dangerous. Sometimes, such crashes result in death. More often, however, they result in a variety of neck and back injuries. Here are 7 common neck and back injuries from rear-end collisions. 

1. Whiplash

One of the most common injuries caused by rear-end collisions is whiplash. Symptoms include: neck pain and stiffness; loss of range of motion in the neck; headaches; tenderness in shoulders, upper back, or arms, and fatigue. It occurs as a result of rapid back-and-forth movement of your head during a collision. While most people recover quickly from whiplash, others may have long-term complications.

2. Back Strains

When you are in a vehicle that is hit by a vehicle behind you, you can injure the muscles or tendons in your back. With a strain, the muscles or tendons are torn, twisted or pulled. This can cause issues with movement as well as pain. 

3. Back Sprains

A back sprain occurs when there is damage to the ligaments and soft tissues from the impact. This can often result in severe pain, muscle cramping, and decreased range of motion.

4. Slipped or Herniated Disc

Everyone has discs in their backs that cushion the vertebrae in our backs. When we endure a rear-end collision, the discs may shift out of place or even rupture/tear. When this occurs and the disc bulges out, it can press on your nerves and cause severe pain or numbness.

5. Spinal Stenosis

Spinal stenosis occurs when the bone that protects the spinal cord and nerves becomes more narrow, which can put pressure on the nerves and cause severe nerve damage. This can occur as a result of dislocations or fractures as a result of rear-end collisions. Symptoms can include neck pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling in the limbs.

6. Spinal Fracture

Spinal fractures often occur when someone is rear-ended at a high speed. Most spinal fractures occur in the lower or mid back. Spinal fractures can pinch, compress or tear the spinal cord. While symptoms of a spinal fracture depends on the severity and location in the spine, symptoms may include: back or neck pain, muscle spasms, numbness and/or tingling, bowel/bladder changes, and paralysis.

7. Compression Fracture

Another painful injury that can occur in a rear-end collision is a compression fracture. These fractures commonly occur in the mid back. With a compression fracture, the bony block of your spine, the vertebral body, collapses. This can cause severe pain, deformity, and loss of height.

The Attorneys at Miller & Tischler, P.C. Can Help

If you or a loved one has been injured in a rear-end collision, you should not have to pay for someone else’s mistakes. Neck and back injuries can be quite severe, often leading to chronic pain and long-lasting issues. 

The Michigan personal injury attorneys at Miller & Tischler, P.C. can help you to fight for the compensation that you deserve. To learn more or to schedule a free consultation, contact us today!