In many serious crashes that take place here in Louisiana and elsewhere, the physical devastation to their victims is often immediately recognized. However, in some accidents, the true nature of the injuries does not manifest until days or weeks later. This is often true in a rear-end car accident in which the ultimate effects of the injuries might not be easily recognizable at the time.
Many of the injuries in these types of accidents are to the head, neck and back. What looks and feels like a minor injury at first can quickly become debilitating and even life threatening. It is crucial for anyone involved in a rear-end collision to seek medical attention even if they "feel fine" the day it occurred. Otherwise, you might not realize that there is a potential for serious harm to your body in the form of brain damage or permanent neck and back injuries. People who suffer from a seemingly minor case of whiplash often discover later that they are unable to perform even the most basic daily tasks, which could affect their ability to work and otherwise care for themselves or their families.
You might be able to receive restitution from the other driver through the successful presentation of a civil claim in a Louisiana civil court. It is your right to file such a claim regardless of whether any criminal charges were filed against the driver that rear-ended you. Any potential criminal proceedings are considered to be separate from a civil claim. Many people turn to the civil court system to pursue not only monetary restitution for their injuries, but also for some sense of justice since the burden of proof in civil courts is not as stringent as it is in criminal proceedings.
If you were involved in a rear-end car accident -- or lost a loved one to one -- it would be in your best interest to contact an attorney as soon as possible. An independent investigation can be done to gather the appropriate evidence to present to the court that documents the injuries suffered were the result of another person's negligence. Successfully proving such negligence could result in an award of damages to help with the financial burdens you are left with in the aftermath of the collision.