The National Transportation Safety Board tells us that more than 1.5 million rear-end traffic collisions every year in the United States result in about 1,700 fatalities and half-a-million or more serious injuries.

Rear-end crashes happen far too frequently in western New York, and the injuries sustained in these collisions cost the injured accident victims and their families millions of dollars each year.

Listed here are the types of injuries that you are most likely to sustain in a rear-end crash:

1. broken ribs and bones
2. disfigurement
3. paralysis
4. spinal cord injury
5. traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other head injuries
6. whiplash

WHAT CAN REAR-END CRASH INJURIES DO TO YOUR BODY?

While a brain injury or permanent paralysis is sometimes the result of a rear-end accident, most people who are injured in rear-end crashes will be dealing with a herniated disc, with a sprain or a strain, or with a case of whiplash.

Here are some more details about those injuries:

1. A herniated or bulging disc may occur when a rear-end collision’s impact causes a spinal disc to protrude or herniate into the canal between the spinal vertebrae. When a herniated disc presses against a spinal nerve, excruciating pain can radiate to the arms or legs.

2. Sprains and strains are ligament damage caused by an overextension of a joint. Soft tissue injuries like these cause discomfort and pain through swelling, soreness, stiffness, and bruising. Sprains and strains need a doctor’s immediate attention.

3. Whiplash is a sprain or strain injury that happens when the spine or neck is jerked vigorously by an impact. A five-ton vehicle rear-ending another five-ton vehicle at five miles per hour may not damage the vehicles but may nevertheless cause whiplash.

WHY IS IMMEDIATE MEDICAL TREATMENT SO IMPORTANT?

Sometimes, the injuries that victims sustain in a rear-end collision may not be immediately apparent, so anyone who is involved in a traffic accident – any traffic accident – must obtain medical attention right away, even after a low-speed collision.

Get that medical help first. Untreated injuries in rear-end collisions may lead to the formation of scar tissue or to the permanent loss of a full range of physical motion, but proper and immediate medical treatment can often keep an injury from resulting in permanent damage.

After you’ve submitted to a medical exam, get legal help right away. If you have been hurt by a careless driver in western New York – in any type of traffic crash – you must act immediately.

Take your case at once to an experienced personal injury attorney.

CAN YOU AVOID REAR-END COLLISION INJURIES?

According to the safety researchers, headrests are the best protection in rear-end collisions for your neck, head, and spinal cord. If a headrest is set too low, your back or neck could be dangerously overextended, stretched, and strained in a collision.

When your injury in a low-speed, rear-end accident appears at first to be a trivial injury, an auto insurance company might deny your injury claim by contending that a low-speed crash simply could not be the cause of a serious injury.

Too often, that is exactly what happens. And that’s one reason why you’ll need a good injury lawyer working on your behalf.

WHAT DOES THE LAW PRESUME ABOUT REAR-END CRASHES?

Every motorist in New York needs to know that the state’s traffic laws are written in a way that automatically makes several presumptions regarding rear-end collisions.

For example, when a motorist in a moving vehicle rolls or crashes into a legally-parked or legally-stopped vehicle, the operator of the moving vehicle is almost always considered at-fault for the accident.

If a driver can’t safely come to a stop, that driver will almost certainly be considered negligent.

IF YOU’RE INJURED, HOW SHOULD YOU HANDLE THE INSURANCE COMPANY?

If you are injured because another driver was negligent in western New York, do not admit anything, do not accept any settlement offer, and don’t even speak to an auto insurance company until you’ve met with a Rochester personal injury attorney.

Particularly in rear-end crashes at low speeds, an auto insurance company is likely to offer the victim a settlement amount that is substantially below the actual value of the injury claim.

Do not settle for anything less than the full value of your personal injury claim. The wise move is taking your case immediately and directly to an experienced negotiator – your personal injury lawyer – who will negotiate on your behalf while you focus on recuperating from your injury.

Your lawyer will launch an investigation into the accident, scrutinize every detail, and develop an aggressive legal strategy designed to obtain the full compensation that New York law entitles you to as a victim of negligence.

That is one reason why, even when you do not think that you’re injured – and especially after a rear-end accident – you must be seen by a healthcare provider immediately.

WHAT MUST BE YOUR TOP PRIORITY AFTER A REAR-END CRASH?

Always have a medical examination within 24 hours of an accident if you are not taken to the hospital or treated on the scene. Then get the legal advice and representation that you’ll need.

Your health must be your highest priority after a traffic collision. If you are rear-ended in traffic, and if you believe another driver may have injured you, you must make the right choices.

Get the medical attention and legal help that you need – immediately. If you are injured by a negligent driver in the state of New York, you are entitled by law to compensation for your medical expenses, lost wages, and more.

WHAT’S THE COST TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR RIGHTS?

It costs nothing to learn more about your legal rights and options after a rear-end accident. A qualified accident attorney will review your case for no charge with no obligation.

If your lawyer recommends taking legal action, you pay nothing until a settlement or verdict is obtained on your behalf.

An aggressive accident attorney can protect your rights and fight for the compensation you need, but the first step is yours. You must make the call to an attorney who will aggressively fight for your rights and for the compensation you deserve.