All About Back and Neck Injuries From Rear-End Collisions

Every year, Fort Walton Beach residents experience almost 1,000 rear-end collisions. These crashes can be terrifying, and they often cause serious injuries. If you’re involved in a rear-end collision, what sort of injuries can you expect to walk away with?

There are several common back and neck injuries that happen in rear-end crashes. Read on to learn more about these injuries and what you should do if you’re involved in one of these accidents.


Whiplash is one of the most common injuries that can happen during a rear-end collision. When you get hit from behind, your body slings forward with the initial impact and then back with the rebound. This motion can severely strain the soft tissues in your neck and upper back.

Common symptoms of whiplash include pain, stiffness, and loss of range of motion in your head, neck, shoulders, and upper arms. 

Most people find that their symptoms go away within a few days after the accident. But in some cases, accident victims may experience complications from whiplash lasting months or even years.

Neck and Back Sprains

It may come as no surprise that the back-and-forth motion that causes whiplash can also strain the soft tissues in your back. 

Your tendons and ligaments (the tissue that holds your joints together) may get strained or even torn during a rear-end collision. This damage is called a sprain, and it can take weeks or even months to heal from.

Symptoms of a neck or back sprain can include severe pain, a decreased range of motion, and cramping. These symptoms can be very similar to those you’d get from whiplash, but sprains are often much more serious. 

It’s important to get examined by a doctor as soon as possible after an accident so you can determine what sort of injury you’re dealing with.

Herniated Discs

Your spine is made up of vertabrae padded by soft tissue called discs. When you’re involved in a rear-end collision, the violent motion of your spine can dislodge or even tear these discs. This condition is called a herniated disc, and it can sometimes require surgery to fix.

If you have a herniated disc, you may experience severe pain in your back, neck, shoulders, arms, or legs. You might also have numbness or tingling in these regions, as well as weakness and loss of function in these limbs. 

If you suspect you have a herniated disc, you need to talk to your doctor as soon as possible to begin treatment.

Spinal Fractures

Spinal fractures are some of the most dangerous injuries that can happen in a rear-end collision

Depending on the force of the accident, you could actually break one of the vertabrae that make up your spine. Not only can this be very painful, but it could put you at risk of severing your spinal cord.

If you suspect you or someone else at the scene of an accident has fractured their spine, the single most important thing you can do is to not move them. If at all possible, leave them in the exact position where they are until the paramedics arrive. They can stabilize the victim to prevent any further damage to the spinal cord and reduce the risk of paralysis as much as possible.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are among the longest-lasting wounds that commonly happen in rear-end collisions. As the name suggests, these injuries involve damage to your spinal cord – the bundle of nerves that conveys signals from your brain to every other part of your body. If your spinal cord is damages, you could be left with permanent weakness, loss of function, or – worst of all – paralysis.

As with spinal fractures, if you suspect you or someone else at a car accident scene has a spinal cord injury, avoid moving them if at all possible. 

In some cases, damage to the spinal cord may heal with time. But if the spinal cord is entirely severed, there’s a very high likelihood that you’ll be paralyzed for the rest of your life.

Get the Compensation You Deserve

Rear-end collisions can cause deadly injuries, ranging from whiplash and sprains to spinal fractures and spinal cord injuries. If you’ve been involved in a rear-end accident, it’s critical that you get examined by a doctor as soon as possible. This can give you the best chance at making a full recovery and detecting any hidden injuries in time to treat them.

If you’ve been hurt in a rear-end collison, you could be entitled to compensation. Schedule a free consultation with our Fort Walton Beach personal injury lawyers today to discuss your case.

Contact Our Car Accident Law Firm in Northwest Florida

If you need legal assistance, contact the Destin car accident lawyers at Brannon & Brannon Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers at your nearest location to schedule a free consultation today.

We have two convenient locations in Northwest Florida:

Brannon & Brannon Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers – Destin Office
4507 Furling Ln Suite 214
Destin, FL 32541
(850) 790-0243

Brannon & Brannon Car Accident & Personal Injury Lawyers – Fort Walton Beach Office
975 Mar Walt Dr
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32547
(850) 863-5297