The Law Offices of A. L. Williams and Associates, LLC.
Serious car crash accidents are a leading cause of injuries. Over 5.6 million car accidents were reported in the United States in 2012. Of these, over 30,000 were fatal and another 1.6 million involved other injuries. The damage they leave behind can be devastating. The economic cost of car accidents is estimated to be $277 billion each year – or around $897 for every person living in the United States.
While car accident injuries can vary from person to person and from crash to crash, there are some fairly common ones. Below are some of the most common car accident injuries. More specific information for a particular case should always be obtained from a doctor.
Head and Back Injuries
Head injuries are among the most serious car accident injuries. Not wearing your seat belt can magnify the severity of the head or back injury. Seated drivers and passengers involved in high-speed collisions can strike their heads against steering wheels, dashboards, or windows. This can cause traumatic brain injuries, ranging from mild concussions to comas and lasting cognitive problems. Many times extensive medical treatment and long-term medical care are required after such injuries. Head injuries can also lead to skull fractures, hearing loss, and vision problems. MRI and CT Scans are high resonance tests used to measure the severity of these injuries.
Back injuries are also common. Back injuries can be to the lower or upper regions of the back area. Any damage to the spinal cord can cause significant nerve damage. Patients may experience reduced sensation and control over their arms, hands, legs, feet, and other body parts. More serious forms of spinal damage can leave patients permanently paralyzed. Another common car accident injury is a herniated disk or bulging disk. This tends to be less severe than spinal damage or head injuries, but can still cause significant problems. Patients often experience numb or tingling sensations, muscle weakness, and arm or leg pain.
Neck Injuries and Chest Injuries
After a car accident, it’s not always obvious that you’ve injured your neck. That can be owing to the surge of pain-masking adrenaline and endorphins that many people experience after an accident, but also because damage to the neck can manifest in other areas of the body, such as your arms and hands. Common symptoms of neck injuries include:
- pain in your neck
- pain in your shoulders, arms, or hands
- reduced range of motion in your neck
- numbness, weakness, and slower reflexes in your arms and hands, and
- muscle spasms in your neck.
Many serious injuries are related to trauma affecting the chest area. These may result when passengers are struck when the airbag is deployed or from striking the steering wheel. Blunt force trauma from car accidents can cause broken ribs, a fractured nose, fat necrosis, and collapsed lungs. People with heart problems may suffer traumatic cardiac arrest from an accident. Internal bleeding in the chest area can be a serious problem following an accident. Damage to internal organs, the pelvis, and the abdomen can also occur. These kinds of injuries require immediate medical attention as they may lead to permanent injuries or in some cases death.
Injuries to the arms, legs, hands, and feet can be common. Accidents involving pedestrians can see leg and foot damages in addition to all those mentioned above. Motorcyclists involved in car accidents can suffer significantly more serious and more numerous injuries. These can include broken bones, ligament damage such as a torn ACL, and even severed limbs. The fatality rate for motorcyclists is also significantly higher than that for drivers and passengers in cars.
Emotional distress following a car accident is also common. People most often drive or ride in a car with friends and family members. Serious car crashes can leave emotional scars on those who suffered serious injuries as well as those who witnessed them. Counseling and treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and similar psychological injuries are fairly common.