Key Facts You Should Know
Although rear-end collisions can occur anywhere in San Diego, some of the more common locations for this type of crash include El Cajon Boulevard and 36th Street, Broadway Road and 5th Avenue, and Interstate 5. These roads often have dim lighting, speeding cars, and inadequate street designs that make them some of the more dangerous places to drive, especially at night, often resulting in tragic accidents with devastating injuries and even fatalities.
For instance, I-5 has about a million drivers on it daily and because of its constant stop-and-go traffic, rear-end collisions are common, specifically when motorists fail to pay adequate attention to the road.
Even though San Diego is known for its fantastic climate, beautiful beaches, and laid-back atmosphere, it is also one of the most congested cities in the United States. Thus, motor vehicle accidents, including rear-end collisions, are widespread in the area.
To help you understand how these accidents may impact you, in the below blog post, we will discuss how rear-end collisions affect drivers in San Diego and the legal recourse victims have if they have suffered an injury in a rear-end collision.
Common Causes of Rear-End Collisions in San Diego
Even though there are roads in San Diego that are more prone to automobile accidents than others, rear-end collisions can occur anywhere in the area. Generally, the most significant factor in these types of crashes is speed.
However, other common primary crash factors include:
- Driving too closely behind another motorist
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol
- Making improper turns
- Backing-up unsafely
- Distracted driving
- Fatigued driving
- Poor road conditions
If you have sustained injuries in a rear-end collision, it is often challenging to figure out the precise cause of the accident. That is why it is important to reach out to an experienced car accident attorney who can investigate your crash, figure out what happened, determine who was at fault, and hold all those liable for your collision responsible for the losses and damages that you’ve endured.
Common Injuries Resulting From Rear-End Collisions in San Diego
Read-end collisions can result in many unique and extreme injuries. However, some of the more common injuries that result from this type of accident include:
Neck and Whiplash Injuries
Whiplash refers to injuries to the upper back, shoulders, and neck caused by the head and neck snapping forward in a sudden movement. These injuries are common in rear-end collisions, even at low speeds. The impact usually causes the muscles and the ligaments in the neck and shoulders to stretch beyond their normal range of motion, which then causes straining or tearing of the tissue.
Neck and whiplash injuries are often painful and can last for weeks. In some cases, the severe pain can even spread through the arms and legs, resulting in weakness, numbness, and tingling.
Spinal Injuries and Back Issues
Back and spinal cord injuries are another common type of injury that results from rear-end collisions. Spinal cord injuries are serious injuries that can significantly impact a person’s life. The force and impact from being in a rear-end crash can compress the spine and put pressure on the vertebrae, causing bruising in the ligaments and lower back muscles.
Additionally, these rear-end crashes can also force a spinal disc out of position or cause it to tear and leak, putting painful pressure on the spinal cord. These discs are gelatinous structures that sit in between the spine’s vertebrae and act as shock absorbers while using the ligaments to hold the spine together.
Bones are rigid structures that often bend when an outside force is applied to them. However, if this force is too great, the bone will break. In some instances, you may feel a sharp, sudden pain when your bone breaks. Other times, you may not feel anything.
Some of the more common broken bones that result from rear-end collisions include:
- Spinal vertebrae of the neck or back
- The clavicle
- Pelvic bones
- Cranial or skull bones
- Fibular and femur bones
- Facial bones
- Ribs and the sternum (breastbone)
A rear-end collision can lead to various types of brain injuries. Contrary to popular belief, a vehicle does not have to be going fast when it crashes into another car for this type of injury to occur. Head injuries tend to happen when an individual slams their head onto the steering wheeling or is impaled during the crash. Generally, the most dangerous type of head injury is a traumatic brain injury (TBI), which is a disruption in the normal function of the brain often caused by a jolt or blow to the head, the head suddenly and violently hitting an object, or when something pierces the skull and enters the brain tissue.
Symptoms of a TBI can be mild, moderate, or extreme, depending on the extent of damage to the brain. Mild cases may only cause a temporary change in the victim’s mental state, while severe cases can result in unconsciousness, coma, and even death.
Facial injuries, which can include scarring and disfigurement, can be a devastating effect of a rear-end crash. These types of injuries include facial bruising, lacerations, scrapes, a broken nose, and extensive dental issues. These injuries often result from the person slamming into a window, steering wheel, or dashboard when struck from behind.
Some of these injuries can require expensive dental work, long-term treatments, and numerous surgeries to help the victim recover. Plus, because scarring and deformities can also result from this facial trauma, counseling may also prove necessary.
Unfortunately, in severe rear-end crashes where the car is crumpled or totaled, the victim’s limbs may get crushed or even severed off. Sometimes, the victim may have to have a limb removed because of the extensive damage. Crushed or amputated limbs are often a life-altering injury that may require hospitalization and multiple surgeries.
Even if a victim does not suffer severe physical injuries, the emotional aftermath of a rear-end crash can still take a significant toll on injured individuals and their families. These victims often have to deal with severe anxiety, nightmares, and overwhelmed feelings that cause them to miss work and not function as they once did.
Actions to Take After a Rear-End Collision in San Diego
The accident scene following a rear-end collision can often prove chaotic, stressful, and overwhelming for everyone involved. However, even amongst this confusion, it is important to understand that the actions you take after this accident are not only crucial to your health and safety, but also to protecting your legal rights. For these reasons, if you have been involved in a San Diego rear-end collision, you should:
Following a car accident, you should contact 911 immediately. This is not only the fastest way to get your accident on record, but it is also crucial to notify emergency medical services that you or another individual at the scene requires immediate medical help.
Once the police arrive at the crash scene, they can investigate what happened and document their findings in their police report. If you decide to pursue an injury claim, this report can provide you with valuable details regarding what happened and who may have been at fault for the crash.
Collect as Much Evidence as You Can
If the area is safe and you do not require any immediate medical help, you should try to take as many pictures and videos of the crash scene as you can. Try to include photos of the vehicles involved in the crash, the placement of these vehicles on the road, your visible injuries, any skid marks on the street, the weather conditions at the time of the accident, any traffic signs near the crash scene, and any other evidence that can help show what happened.
See a Doctor as Soon as You Can
Although your injuries may appear minor following a rear-end collision, it is still important for you to get them checked out by a healthcare professional. Symptoms of a severe injury, such as head and brain trauma, can take days to weeks to manifest. However, the longer you wait to receive treatment, the more deadly these injuries can become.
It is also important to get this prompt medical attention for your injury claim. Insurance companies are looking for any reason to deny your claim. By not getting your injuries immediately evaluated following the crash, the insurance company will argue that your injuries are either because of a subsequent event or not that serious. When you receive a medical evaluation, your doctor can document your injuries and the cause of these injuries in your medical records, providing you with a direct link between your accident and the injuries you sustained.
Get Driver Details
You want to make sure you get the names, contact information, driver’s license numbers, and insurance information from every driver involved in the accident.
Obtain Witness Contact Information
If there were people at the scene who saw what happened, make sure you get their names and contact details as well. These witness statements can provide you with useful evidence regarding what happened and who may have been at fault for the accident. Plus, their testimony can also back up your claim. However, if these individuals do not want to provide you with any details or give you their contact information, do not force them. Once you hire a skilled San Diego lawyer, your attorney can work on getting this information and testimony for you.
Be Careful What You Say
After a rear-end collision, you want to be careful what you say. At the crash scene, make sure you do not admit fault for anything that happened, apologize for anything that occurred, or give any definitive statements regarding the incident. These types of statements can hurt your claim and your ability to pursue compensation for your injuries.
Additionally, make sure you avoid posting anything about the incident on your social media accounts or any other online forums. Even though this may seem like a good idea and a great way to vent your frustrations, all it does is provide the defense with evidence to use against you in court.
Contact an Experienced San Diego Car Accident Attorney
Car accident claims are stressful, tedious, and at times overwhelming. Such claims often require sound legal arguments, relevant evidence, and a thorough understanding of the state’s laws for a successful resolution. Fortunately, when you work with an experienced San Diego motor vehicle accident attorney, you do not have to tackle these complicated legal battles on your own.
These lawyers can:
- Provide you the legal help you need and determine the legal options you can pursue.
- Answer all of your questions and concerns.
- Investigate your accident and secure the evidence needed to show fault and damages.
- Hold all the parties liable for your injuries accountable.
- Tackle the discussions and negotiations with the insurance company and fight for a settlement offer that reflects the full value of your case.
- Make sure legal documents are prepared adequately and filed before the two-year statute of limitations runs out.
- Bring in the experts, such as accident reconstructionists, economists, doctors, and engineers, to substantiate your claims.
- Take your case to trial, if needed, and fight for maximum compensation to which you are entitled.
If you or a loved one has suffered harm in a rear-end accident in San Diego, do not wait any longer. Contact an experienced car accident attorney today for a free case review, during which you can discuss the details of your accident, ask any questions that you may have about your legal options, and determine your eligibility to pursue compensation for the full cost of your injuries.