Rear-end car accidents are common in Phoenix. From the perspective of the collision victim, rear-end accidents are nearly always impossible to avoid. Even if a driver who is stopped in traffic sees an approaching vehicle in the rearview mirror, the driver has no effective option to move out of that vehicle’s way. While Phoenix car accident lawyers must consider comparative fault when settling collision cases, the fault in rear-end collisions usually rests entirely with the driver who struck the rear of the accident victim’s car.
Of the 43,000 Phoenix car crashes in 2016, about 19,350 were rear-end accidents. More than 5,000 of those collisions caused personal injuries to occupants of the cars that were struck from the rear. The most common injury in a rear-end accident is a whiplash.
The insurance industry has spent decades making “whiplash” a dirty word. Insurance adjusters often claim that whiplash injuries are not real. Rear-end accident lawyers in Phoenix devote much of their time to exposing the myths associated with rear-end collisions.
Low-Speed Rear-End Accidents in Phoenix
Insurance adjusters claim that rear-end collisions at low speeds do not produce injuries. If the accident victim’s car sustained little or no damage in the collision, insurance adjusters argue that the vehicle occupants could not have been injured.
The Pew Law Center attorneys representing accident victims who were rear-ended in Phoenix know how to counter the arguments made by insurance adjusters. Biomechanical engineers have conducted studies in recent years to establish the speed at which a rear-end collision is capable of causing a personal injury.
One recent study established that vehicle occupants can sustain a whiplash injury when they are in a car that is suddenly pushed forward at a speed of only 2.5 miles per hour. Depending on its size, a vehicle traveling at just 4 to 5 miles per hour can cause that kind of acceleration when it strikes the rear of another vehicle.
Studies also establish that vehicle damage is not usually visible if the rear-end collision occurs at less than 8 miles per hour. Reading those studies together makes clear that whiplash injuries can occur even if the vehicle occupied by the injury victim suffers no damage.
Phoenix rear-end accident attorneys at the Pew Law Center use those studies to convince insurance adjusters that low-speed rear-end car crashes cause significant injuries. We also rely on expert witnesses in trials to educate juries about the mechanics and effects of whiplash injuries.
Biomechanics of Rear-End Accident Injuries
When a car is struck from the rear, the car launches forward much more quickly than a car’s normal rate of acceleration. A seated driver or passenger is pushed forward by the car seat, but the forces involved in the collision cause the pelvis to move at a higher speed than the upper body. That causes the body to rotate slightly, placing a strain on the back and neck.
Meanwhile, as the car seat pushes the occupant’s upper body forward, there is usually nothing resting against the back of the occupant’s head to move the head forward. The difference in speed between the moving body and the stationary head produces a shear force between the cervical spine and the head, extending the lower neck vertebrae and causing the upper neck vertebrae to flex.
As the car continues to move forward, the occupant’s head usually makes contact with the head restraint. Much of the damage associated with whiplash occurs before the head restraint prevents further injury. The damage is much worse, however, if the head restraint is not positioned properly.
When the car stops moving forward, forces act in the opposite direction, moving the head forward even as the body comes to a stop. That effect is magnified when the car is pushed forward into another car. In that case, the car stops abruptly but the head continues to move forward, producing new forces that stretch the ligaments and muscles in the neck.
All of that can happen in less than one second. The damage done to the vertebrae, muscles, nerves, and ligaments in the neck and back, however, can last for months or years.
Rear-End Collision Injuries In Phoenix
Rear-end car accident lawyers in Phoenix routinely hear insurance adjusters say that injury victims are fabricating their symptoms because they did not mention neck pain at the time of the accident. A number of recent studies establish that the delayed onset of injury symptoms is common when injury victims have been rear-ended in an accident.
Up to seven days after a rear-end car crash, and in some cases longer, accident victims may develop symptoms of a neck and/or back injury, including:
- Neck pain
- Stiffness in neck or shoulder muscles
- Back pain
- Pain that radiates into other parts of the body
Those symptoms usually reflect damage to soft tissues in the neck and back, including cartilage, nerves, tendons, ligaments, and muscles. The damage may consist of stretching or tearing and may produce long-lasting pain. Phoenix rear-end accident lawyers often represent clients who from suffer from depression, sleep disorders, and severe stress as the result of disabling injuries caused by whiplash injuries.
Of course, a high speed rear-end crash can cause even greater harm, particularly when the crash triggers a multiple vehicle accident by pushing the injury victim’s car into an intersection or forcing it into a lane of oncoming traffic. Rear-end car crash injuries may include:
- Broken bones
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal damage
- Facial injuries
- Damaged knees and other joints
Any serious injury is likely to cause extensive medical bills, wage loss, pain, and emotional distress. Some rear-end accidents cause long-term or permanent disabilities.
Need Help Obtaining Compensation After a Phoenix Collision? We’re Here For You
Rear-end car accident victims in Phoenix turn to Pew Law Center for caring attention to their personal injury claims. The car accident lawyers at Pew Law Center relieve injury victims of their legal worries by handling all aspects of a personal injury claim. We focus on the law so that our clients can focus on their health.
A Pew Law Center rear-end accident lawyer can help Phoenix injury victims by advising them of the steps they need to take to maximize the settlement value of their cases. We use our experience to tell clients how much a rear-end car accident is worth.
We handle all contact with insurance adjusters and negotiate settlements on our clients’ behalf. We negotiate from a position of strength after marshalling all the evidence necessary to prove our clients’ entitlement to compensation.
To put a Pew Law Center attorney on your side for a Phoenix rear-end car accident, call us at (480) 745-1770. We offer continent fees so that you owe no legal fee unless we win your case.