Despite major advances in car safety in recent years, car accidents remain among the leading causes of accidental injury and death in America.
When a car stops suddenly because of an accident or collision, the vehicle’s occupants will remain in motion until they hit a safety restraint or the structure of the car. Unrestrained passengers may be violently thrown about the vehicle and may even be ejected from it.
Injuries from a car accident can range from minor to debilitating, even resulting in death. Though any injury could ultimately result from a car accident, among the most common are:
- Neck/Back Injuries and Whiplash –Neck and back injuries, which can occur in all types of auto accidents, are most common in accidents where a vehicle is rear-ended. Whiplash is an injury to the neck and/or back muscles, ligaments, and spinal disks that is commonly caused by the sudden jerking motion. Whiplash can cause chronic pain and problems with memory, concentration, and sleep. Car accidents can also cause broken bones in the neck and other serious neck or back injuries.
- Broken or Fractured Bones –Often car accidents result in broken arms and legs, broken collarbones, and broken ribs. Broken bones are especially dangerous because they can lead to a whole host of internal injuries that are difficult to treat. Individuals with broken ribs, for example, may also have a punctured lung. In a collision where a broken bone occurs, medical professionals must evaluate and treat all of the potentially related injuries as well. If multiple ribs are fractured or bone ends are displaced, the injury can cause life-threatening complications by injuring internal organs.
- Head Injuries and Traumatic Brain Injuries – When a motor vehicle accident occurs, drivers and passengers may hit their heads on the steering wheel, on the seats, on the windows, or even the front and side airbags. Additionally, objects in the vehicle that become unstable after an accident can cause severe head wounds. Any injury resulting in bruising, tearing, bleeding or other physical damage to the brain is a traumatic brain injury (TBI).
- Chest and Abdominal Injuries – The impact of a collision can rupture or tear the diaphragm and injure the liver, spleen, kidneys, or other internal organs. Injuries to major internal organs usually require surgery, and internal injuries often result in serious bleeding.
- Cuts, Burns, and Bruises – Accidents where glass shatters, airbags deploy, chemicals spill, and fires start are common causes of scarring and lacerations. Victims experience lacerations and burns to the face and torso which can cause deep scarring. These types of soft tissue injuries may heal quickly, but serious lacerations and contusions may affect deep muscle tissue or internal organs. Cuts and bruises to the eyes can result in permanent vision loss. Scarring on the face and other parts of the body can be devastating to an individual’s self-esteem and confidence. Additionally, scarring that damages the nerves or muscles may also impact motor control functions.
Nonfatal injuries suffered in a car accident often require medical treatment, surgery, rehabilitation, ongoing therapy, and assistive care, depending on the type and severity of the injury. Injured victims’ inability to work as they heal adds to the financial burden of recovery. Serious injuries and lengthy recoveries can also cause emotional problems, such as anxiety and depression, for the injured individual, and close family members.
If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of someone else’s wrongful conduct, please contact Potter Burnett Law today for a free initial case evaluation with one of our experienced personal injury attorneys.