A statistic from 2016 shows that an estimated 4.6 million people in the US were seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents according to the National Safety Council (NSC). While the type and severity of injuries from automobile accidents vary with individual circumstances, there are several contributing factors that list injuries into two broad categories, impact injuries and penetrating injuries. You may require immediate emergency care or surgery at the ER for major injuries affecting the head, spinal cord or open bone fractures. Non-life threatening injuries can be easily treated at an urgent care facility. Regardless of the severity of the injuries, you and your passengers need to be seen by a doctor after the accident, because some injuries are not immediately obvious and other injuries could develop into something more serious over time.
You probably have many questions after a car accident like; what are the most common vehicle accident injuries? Or, what steps should I take after an auto accident? The advocates at Johnson Attorneys Group are here to provide you with answers and to help you maneuver the California legal system for maximum compensation for your car accident lawsuit.
Here is a list of the most common vehicle accident injuries:
Back or Neck Injuries
The most common injury resulting in a car crash is soft tissue damage to connective tissue like muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Whiplash injury to the neck and upper back is due to rapid, unexpected motion of the head and neck being thrown back and then forward. The sudden force can cause serious neck strain by hyperextending or tearing tendons and ligaments in the neck. The same forceful movement can cause soft tissue damage to your back resulting in mid and lower back sprains. You can also suffer from more serious spinal injuries like compression fracture, disc herniation, and spondylolisthesis (vertebrae slippage) symptoms because of the forceful impact against your spine.
Concussion and Post Concussion Syndrome
A concussion occurs when the brain is severely shaken inside the skull because of a blow to your head during an auto accident. It can also occur from the violent shaking of your upper body from the impact of a collision. A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) with symptoms of a headache, impaired balance, coordination, memory, and judgment or an inability to concentrate. Approximately 10% of those who suffer from a concussion will also suffer from a complex condition known as post-concussion syndrome. Symptoms of fatigue, insomnia, dizziness, irritability and behavioral or emotional changes, along with light and noise sensitivity can last for weeks, months or even a year or more after a concussion.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Over half of reported traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are as a result of vehicle accidents. These injuries can occur when an object that penetrates the skull or causes fracture strikes the head. However traumatic brain injury can also occur with the sheer force of impact, causing the brain to collide with the skull. This type of TBI can cause a contusion (bruising or bleeding) of the brain. The level of trauma depends on the type and amount of force that impacts the skull. The categorized level of brain injury will determine the appropriate treatment of traumatic brain injury:
- Mild Traumatic Brain Injury is diagnosed if the person is confused or loses consciousness at the time of the injury. Scans or testing may appear normal and the loss of consciousness can be very brief or does not occur at all. Also called a concussion, Mild TBI is anything but mild to the person injured with mood swings, headache, frustration and memory problems. Fifteen percent of those diagnosed with mild TBI have symptoms that last for one or more years.
- Moderate Traumatic Brain Injury results from a blow to the head and violent shaking of the head. Someone who has suffered from a moderate TBI may not experience any symptoms, while others may be left with lifelong disabilities. Symptoms may include a loss of consciousness from a few minutes to hours, prolonged confusion and cognitive or behavioral difficulties that may last for months or be a devastating lifelong impairment.
- Severe Brain Injury usually happens as a result of a crushing blow or penetrating wound to the skull. These type of injuries damage delicate brain tissue and can often be life-threatening. Treatment requires extensive rehabilitation and prolonged hospitalization with little chance of returning to pre-injury function.
Fractures and Broken Bones
Broken or fractured bones can happen from a car accident at any speed because even if you are traveling at a slow rate of speed, an impact will immediately stop the vehicle while your body continues moving forward. Bone injuries occur in high-speed collisions where a passenger who is not properly secured with a seatbelt is thrown from the vehicle. Fractures and broken bones also happen as a result head of collisions or rollover accidents. Bone injuries are painful and need immediate medical attention. Diagnosis includes an examination, x-ray and sometimes an MRI or CAT scan. The bone will then need to be immobilized to protect and align new, soft bone tissue as it heals with a cast, splint or sling.
Chest Impact or Traumatic Cardiac Injuries
The chest area receives a high level of force from your seatbelt, steering wheel, dashboard and deployed an airbag in the event of a collision. When your body is thrown forward in a car accident, chest injuries like contusions, bruises, broken ribs or very serious internal damage can occur. Sometimes those with chronic heart problems can experience what is known as a traumatic cardiac arrest. The victim suffers a heart attack because of the stress and trauma of the accident. Because it may be common to suffer from chest pains from seat belt bruising, it is very important for anyone with heart issues to be seen by a doctor immediately after being involved in a vehicle accident.
Wounds like Scrapes, Lacerations and Bruising
Broken glass, any loose objects inside the car and jagged metal can cause cuts, scrapes, and bruises on the skin and soft tissue areas of your body. While some of these injuries are superficial and can be treated with simple first-aid, you may require medical attention for more serious open wounds resulting in blood loss. Stitches or sutures may be needed for a deep or gaping laceration or a wound that is bleeding profusely and the flow does not appear to be slowing. Be sure to apply direct pressure and elevate the injured area if you can on the way to the hospital or urgent care facility. After treatment, be sure to keep an eye on your injuries to monitor healing. If you suspect infection or you become concerned – visit your doctor immediately.
Get the Legal Help You Deserve
Johnson Attorneys Group encourages you to seek medical treatment as soon as possible after a vehicle collision for injuries with symptoms that may not show up for days, weeks or even months after the accident. We offer a free, no obligation review of your case to help determine if you are owed compensation for loss, injury or pain and suffering expenses incurred because of your car accident. Get the legal help you deserve, call us today at 1-800-208-3538. We have won thousands of cases and have the resources to help you win or successfully settle your case in California. Learn more about clients we’ve helped by viewing our case results.