Every day, drivers face the dangers associated with severe accidents. Traumatic brain injuries, internal bleeding, fractures, mental trauma, and burns are some of the most common types of car accident injuries that victims suffer.
According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the number of traffic fatalities in 2021 increased by more than 10 percent compared to 2020, hitting 42,915 deaths. And before that, 2020 was considered the most dangerous year to be behind the wheel of a car since 2005.
While fatalities have soared, the chances of being injured in a car accident have increased, meaning drivers have to take more precautions than ever. A car accident can cause severe injuries to virtually any body part. The following are some of the most common injuries from car accidents.
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Traumatic Brain Injuries
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is one of the most serious car accident injuries. Unfortunately, traumatic brain injuries from car accidents are also common. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed in a study that motor vehicle accident injuries are the leading cause of TBI-related deaths.
TBIs are usually the result of a severe blow or jolt to the head or body. The neck and head can move freely during a car crash, while other body parts are still restrained. The force of impact may cause the head to move forward and strike a hard object—such as the steering wheel or window—as the momentum inside the car abruptly changes.
Brain injuries can also result when objects like glass, metal, or fractured pieces of the skull damage brain tissue.
Wide-ranging physical and psychological repercussions may result from a TBI. While some indications or symptoms may develop directly following the traumatic experience, others may take days or weeks to manifest.
Following are some common symptoms of traumatic brain injuries:
- Drowsiness, fatigue, and trouble sleeping
- Speech difficulties
- Vertigo or loss of balance
- Sensitivity to lights, sounds, tastes, and smells
- Changes in behavior
- Feelings of confusion
- Memory loss or problems paying attention
- Mood swings
- Anxiety or depression
Now is the moment to contact an experienced car accident lawyer if you recently sustained a head injury from a car accident.
Related: How Can I Tell If a Head Injury From Car Accident Is Mild or Severe?
The following are some of the most frequent internal injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents:
Sometimes referred to as internal hemorrhaging, internal bleeding when blood collects inside your body in places it doesn’t belong. Blunt trauma from the impact of a car accident can cause this and can quickly become fatal if not treated promptly.
Blunt trauma to the abdomen can harm internal organs. This kind of damage can impair organ function, induce internal bleeding, and potentially lead to death.
An injured spleen might burst, resulting in internal bleeding. Surgery is frequently required to repair a burst spleen.
A sharp item, including a broken rib, can injure your lungs. A punctured lung can make breathing extremely difficult and may become life-threatening.
A brain bleed might occur if you suffer a severe head injury from an accident. It may result in a stroke or further brain injury that needs rapid medical treatment.
Fractures and Broken Bones
After vehicle accidents, people might sustain fractured bones in a variety of ways. Drivers and passengers without seat belts might fly into the air, hitting the windshield or other parts of the vehicle. Those who do wear seat belts might suffer fractures from impacts with loose objects or from slamming against the seat belt or airbag.
Below are some of the most common fractures caused by car accidents.
Your spine is susceptible to injury in head-on or rear-end collisions when the seat belt or airbag strikes your body with enough force. The most dangerous fractures are those to the vertebrae, which in the worst circumstances, can be deadly or cause paralysis.
The collarbone is the most delicate bone in the human body. This bone spans across the rib cage, and its thinness and low density can cause it to crack easily in a car accident.
Pelvic Bone Fracture
Pelvic and hip injuries from car accidents are common, but they are even more likely to occur in motorbike collisions. The pelvis is one of the most frequently fractured bones in motor vehicle accidents.
Fibula and Femur
Leg fractures are surprisingly frequent. Although the fibula and femur are sturdy bones, they are susceptible to breaking when a car crashes violently into a person’s leg.
Neck Injuries and Whiplash
Your neck could quickly jolt backward and forward due to the impact of a car accident. Additionally, a collision may cause your neck to shift violently from side to side. These sudden sharp motions can cause vertebrae in your neck to slip out of alignment, causing severe pain and discomfort.
Some of the most common neck injuries include the following:
- Herniated discs
- Strains or sprains
- Pinched nerves
- Muscle tension and stiffness
- Muscle spasms
Getting quick medical attention for a neck injury or whiplash after a car accident is crucial to prevent long-term problems. Though healing from a car accident can happen within a few weeks, some factors may cause the treatment and recovery process to take longer.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Car accidents can cause soft tissue injuries. The skin, tendons, ligaments, and muscles are types of soft tissue.
Due to the rapid impact of the vehicle in a car crash, strains and sprains are common. Strains are injuries to either the muscle itself or to the tendons that attach the muscle to the bone. A strain in the lower back is a typical back injury sustained in auto accidents.
Serious car crashes can rip or tear muscles.
Physical therapy, chiropractic care, or other treatments suggested by your physician can help you recover from a soft tissue injury.
Related: Should I Go to the Hospital or Urgent Care for a Car Accident Injury?
Fires in car accidents are uncommon, but they do occur. When a car crash leads to a fire, passengers or drivers can suffer severe burns. Burn injuries from car accidents may be first-, second-, or third-degree burns.
A first-degree burn only affects the skin’s outer layer. Some car accident victims suffer first-degree friction burns from their seat belts. Such a burn can be painful, but an accident victim usually recovers in just a few days.
Second-degree burns damage the outer and second layers of the skin. If someone’s skin touches hot metal following a car accident, they may get a second-degree burn. It might take weeks for a second-degree burn to heal completely. Furthermore, it may require skin grafts or other extensive medical treatment.
Third-degree burns are even more severe, burning so deeply that they can harm nerve structures. A burn of this magnitude damages the skin’s outer and second layers while also penetrating the skin’s core layer.
Those who endure third-degree burns frequently require surgery. In addition, victims of third-degree burns will require continued treatment and surgeries to repair the damaged skin.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
The length of time you have to file a claim for damages will vary depending on the state in which the accident happened. For example, in Tennessee, you have one year to file a lawsuit for car accidents, barring special circumstances, while in Missouri, most car accident claims are subject to a five-year timeline.
This legal time limit is known as the statute of limitations. Once that time has passed, you will not be able to file a lawsuit to pursue compensation. That is why it’s so important to speak with a legal professional right away.
Contacting an attorney is one of the first things you should do after a car crash. An experienced personal injury lawyer will fight for the compensation you’re eligible to receive. They’ll help you to gather documentation to support your claim, build your case, and negotiate a settlement.
Symptoms of physical injuries after a car crash may not be immediately noticeable, so seeking legal advice after a motor vehicle accident is always a wise decision.
If a loved one was involved in a crash caused by another party and passed away as a result of their injuries, a car accident lawyer can also help you to file a wrongful death claim.
Car crash victims who attempt to represent themselves are often fighting a losing battle. Insurance companies have legal resources at their disposal that can be countered only by an experienced personal injury attorney.
NST Law Can Help if You’ve Been Injured in a Car Accident
We at NST Law are proud to call ourselves the champions for the injured. Medical care after an accident can quickly put victims in debt and may affect their financial health for years. Contact our skilled attorneys right away if you’ve sustained an injury in car accident.
Contact us for a free consultation now so that we can review your case and decide how we can best help you.
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