According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are 2.3 million people sent to hospital emergency departments each year for car crash injuries. Motor vehicle crash deaths cost the US approximately $44 billion in medical expenses each year.
Depending on whether it was a mild car crash or a more severe car accident, varying types of car accident injuries can result. Read on as we explore the most common car accident injuries.
One of the most common types of car accident injury is whiplash. Whiplash is a rapid back-and-forth movement of the head. This rapid movement can result in tissue and muscle damage surrounding the neck area. Whiplash can be a serious injury causing chronic pain for weeks to even months.
Other types of neck injuries include neck strain, muscle spasms, and disc injuries. Symptoms can include minor discomfort, loss of mobility, and even debilitating pain.
Because the back is not designed for excessive amounts of impact, even low-speed collisions can result in a back injury. Depending on the nature of the car accident, the different types of back injuries you can sustain include:
- Herniated discs
- Spondylolisthesis (slipping of the vertebrae)
- Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal canal)
- Spinal cord injuries
Back pain after an accident is no joke. The most dangerous type of back injury is injuries to the spinal cord. Even a minor cut or laceration can lead to disability or paralysis. Recovery can often be long and require extensive treatment.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
When a violent blow or jolt to the head occurs, car accident victims can sustain what is known as a traumatic brain injury. This type of auto accident injury can result in a host of physical, emotional, and cognitive problems.
Symptoms of a mild TBI can include things like headaches, nausea, difficulty sleeping, and sensitivity to light or sound. More serious cases can have victims experience convulsions, loss of consciousness, profound confusion, and even coma.
Because even a mild TBI can be extremely serious, victims must seek medical attention at the outset of any symptoms. These symptoms can last weeks to months, or, in the worst-case, may even be permanent.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 80 percent of serious car crash injuries were to the head or the chest. Chest injuries can manifest itself in the form of surface injuries (i.e. bruises, lacerations, skin injuries, etc.), broken bones, or injuries beneath the surface (i.e. bone contusions).
Due to the force of the seatbelt on the chest, rib fractures, lung injuries, and ruptures of the aorta can also result from a car accident. There are cases where victims die due to chest injuries from the seat belt, but these are exceptionally severe car accidents. In most collisions, seat belt usage has proven to save lives.
If you feel shoulder pain after a car accident, you may be suffering from a more serious issue. Symptoms could include the following:
- Tender or stiff shoulder
- Acute pain in shoulder area
- Discoloring in shoulder area
- Tingling or numbness
Common car accident injuries to the shoulder can include dislocated shoulder, torn rotator cuffs, or soft tissue injuries. Your doctor will advise on the best treatment option for your shoulder injury. Immobilizing your arm through a sling, physical therapy, and surgery are some treatments your doctor may prescribe.
Fractures or Broken Bones
The space inside a car can be tight and compact. When a collision occurs, your body can essentially be crushed by the impact of the crash. As a result, fractures or broken bones are not uncommon, especially in more serious incidents.
Virtually any part of the body can suffer from fractures or broken bones. Some of the most common fractures include:
- Lower leg fractures
- Arm fractures
- Rib fractures
- Hip fractures
- Spinal fractures
- Skull fractures
Amputation or Loss of Limbs
A bad car accident injury involving high speeds or reckless driving can result in amputation or loss of limbs. If the damage is severe enough, reconstruction may not be an option. An amputation can involve the loss of arms, legs, fingers, or toes. While reattaching limbs or digits may be possible with surgery, a prosthetic limb may offer a higher quality of life for victims.
Lacerations, Bruises, Scrapes, Cuts
Compared to other types of car accident injuries, lacerations, bruises, and scrapes can be less severe. However, if left untreated, injuries can become serious. Broken shards of glass, unsecured objects, and car metal can all contribute to lacerations. It’s important to seek medical attention to avoid risks of infection or further blood loss.
Suffering a car accident injury can be draining both emotionally and financially. That’s why it’s important to contact a car accident attorney right after a car crash. Our team of legal experts are here to help you navigate these complex procedures. Contact us today for your free consultation!
Valiente Mott is a law firm dedicated to helping personal injury victims. We handle all personal injury matters, including, but not limited to, car crashes, defective products, and catastrophic injury. We are compassionate, yet aggressive when protecting personal injury victims and families who lost loved ones in fatal accidents. Learn more about who we are.
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