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The injuries caused by a rear-end collision range anywhere from minor bruises and scrapes to debilitating brain injuries or loss of limb. Many victims usually underestimate the severity of their injuries, especially if those injuries are internal. Rear-end collisions often lead to these types of serious injuries, so it’s important to seek medical care immediately following the accident.

After receiving care, our Texas personal injury attorneys can help you file a claim for the compensation you need to recover. Here are the most common rear-end collision injuries and the symptoms you should look out for.


This is by far one of the most common rear-end collision injuries. Whiplash occurs when a sudden movement snaps the head or neck forward or backward. This causes the ligaments and muscles of the neck to overstretch, often leading to a strain or tear. While whiplash is more likely to occur in high-speed collisions, it also happens in low-speed accidents. 

The symptoms of whiplash from rear-end collision include muscle soreness, headache, numbness, dizziness, spasms, and stiffness. Many of these symptoms last for days or weeks, depending on the severity of the injury.

Spinal Injuries

Back injuries, including damage to the spine, are some of the most serious rear-ended collision injuries. The impact from a rear-end crash not only strains muscles in the lower back, but can also lead to fractures in the vertebrae or herniated discs. This often results in life-long complications and chronic pain. Symptoms of spinal injuries include headache, lower backache, arm pain, leg pain, stiffness, difficulty walking, numbness in the extremities, bladder control issues, and paralysis.

The amount of time that it takes to recover depends on the severity of the back injury. For bruises and strains, pain may last for a few weeks. However, more serious injuries such as herniated discs or facet joint damage can cause lingering pain for several years. 

Head and Facial Injuries

Most common car accident injuries involve some damage to the face or head. In rear-end collisions, these injuries typically occur when a driver’s head strikes their window, steering wheel, or dashboard. Injuries to the head can be life-threatening, so it is best to get checked by a medical professional immediately following the accident. 

A majority of facial injuries come in the form of bruises, cuts, scrapes, broken teeth, or a broken nose. While these injuries may not seem serious, they often require long-term treatment and can cause permanent disfigurement.

The most dangerous kind of head damage is a traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBI can be caused by whiplash or head trauma and usually results in a concussion. The damage from a TBI is often permanent, leading to life-long neurological issues, including the following:

  • Memory loss;
  • Lack of focus;
  • Impaired movement;
  • Loss of balance;
  • Depression;
  • Sleep disorders;
  • Light or noise sensitivity;
  • Mood swings;
  • Slurred speech;
  • Nausea; and
  • Seizures.

For this reason, head injuries of any kind should be taken seriously after a rear-end collision, even if they initially seem to be minor.

Chest Injuries

Injuries to the chest, including fractures, are very common in rear-end collisions. While seatbelts and airbags prevent many fatal injuries, they can break your ribs during more severe crashes. This is especially true in a rear-end collision since the force pushes the occupants forward. 

Immediately following an accident, it may be difficult to know if you have broken ribs. While sharp pain accompanies more severe fractures, cracks or hairline fractures may be less obvious and difficult to discern. Some symptoms of broken ribs include swelling, heat in the area, bruising, stiffness, and weakness. Severe pain when breathing, coughing, laughing, or twisting your body may also be an indication that you have broken ribs.


Unfortunately, amputations happen often in severe rear-end accidents. In many cases, the force of the collision causes the car to crumple, leaving the victim vulnerable to crushed limbs. When this happens, emergency responders may have no choice but to remove the limb in order to save the victim’s life. 

Amputations are life-altering injuries that drastically decrease a victim’s quality of life. Victims often need years of rehabilitation and psychological therapy to recover. And after some time passes, they may experience further complications that require additional surgeries. Some complications that may arise down the road include infections, blood clots, swelling, or heart issues.

Injured in a Rear-End Collision? Call The Zimmerman Law Firm Today

If you sustained injuries like the ones listed above in an accident that wasn’t your fault, we can help. For nearly 60 years, The Zimmerman Law Firm has been representing clients throughout Texas with their personal injury claims. Our experienced personal injury attorneys know that you need a compassionate advocate to fight for you. We will tirelessly work to negotiate a fair settlement on your behalf so you can focus on your recovery. 

Contact us today to schedule a free case evaluation with one of our personal injury lawyers. We are proud to serve clients from our offices in Waco, Austin, Round Rock, and Killeen.

Author Photo

Michael Zimmerman

Michael was born in Houston, Texas. His education at Baylor and Texas State Universities earned him a Bachelor of Science degree in 1987. His major was in Biology with a Minor in Chemistry. He finished his legal education at Texas Southern University in 1990, earning a Juris Doctorate from Thurgood Marshall School of Law. He was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1990.

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