Types of Car Accident Injuries

whiplash injuries from a car accident

Auto accidents are the leading cause of injuries and life-long disability.

According to statista.com, the U.S recorded 6.6 million car accidents in 2019. Figured released in 2020 showed that 42,000 people experienced fatal accidents in road accidents, while more than 4.8 million others suffered other injuries.

Although car accident injuries vary from one person to another and from crash to crash, some are relatively common. This post gives an overview of the common types of car accident injuries.

Read on to learn more.

What Types of Injuries Can Result from Car Accidents?

Injuries basically fall under two categories; impact and penetrating injuries.

Impact injuries are those that you suffer when your body hits the dashboard, the seat rest or other interior parts of the car. Penetrating injuries are cuts and scrapes caused by debris flying inside the car or shattered glass. The types of car accident injuries under these two categories can range from:

Soft Tissue Injuries

Soft tissue injuries are damages to the connective tissue in the body, including muscles, ligaments and tendons. In fact, soft tissue injury is the most prevalent type of injury that results from car accidents.

types of car accident injuries

Soft tissue injuries include whiplash, neck and upper back injury. Whiplash occurs when sudden head and neck movements during a collision forcefully stretch muscles and ligaments.

The same force may cause soft tissue injuries in other body parts like the back, resulting in low-back muscle strains.

Head Injuries

Head injuries range from relatively minor scratches to severe impact. These injuries occur when an unexpected halt in movement or change in the direction of a car suddenly moves the occupant’s head in an unnatural way. This force may hit your head on the steering wheel or side window, causing bruises or cuts.

A serious head collision may result in a closed head injury, which typically bruises and tears brain tissue and blood vessels. Consequently, such closed head injuries lead to concussions and even lasting brain damage in severe cases.

Chest injuries

In case you didn’t know, most serious injuries are linked with trauma affecting the chest area. Any blunt force from a car accident may result in broken ribs and collapsed lungs. Internal bleeding in the chest area is likely to occur following a vehicle accident.

types of car accident injuries

Individuals with heart problems can also experience traumatic cardiac arrest following any impact on the chest during an accident.

All these types of injuries call for urgent medical attention; else, they could be fatal.

Disc Injuries (Herniations, Bulges)

Disc injuries are relatively common following a car accident. The discs are the rubbery cushions between your vertebrae, and they act as shock absorbers. A sudden jolt or blow to your spine can cause the discs to rupture or bulge.

Disc herniation is a more serious disc injury that occurs when the inner portion of the disc leaks through a tear in the outer layer. This can cause pain, numbness, and weakness in your arms or legs.

These injuries may result in radiculopathy. This nerve condition occurs when the nerves near your spine are compressed or irritated. This can cause pain, numbness, and weakness in your arms or legs.

There are different treatment options available for disc injuries, depending on the severity of the injury. These include rest, ice, heat, physical therapy, and pain medication. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct the injury.

Arms and Legs Injuries

The same force that unexpectedly moves a person’s head in a car collision acts the same way on arms and legs. A car accident will often have your knees hitting the dashboard if you are driving or the seat in front of you if you are in a commuter vehicle.

In such an accident, your arms and legs may suffer bruises, sprains, or even break based on the kind of collision.

Notably, some injuries can go unnoticed after an accident. Some symptoms may take days or weeks to appear, all depending on the severity of the injury.

It’s therefore advisable to visit a physician immediately after an accident to be on the safe side.

What Are the Most Common Injuries from Car Accidents?

There are so many types of accidents that may result from a car accident. Some of the common car crash injuries include:

Head and Brain Injuries

An individual can be in a coma for a prolonged period of time all thanks to traumatic brain injuries. It might be true that survivors seem to heal in most cases. However, they experience life-long negative impacts including change in personality and lack of concentration.

Concussions and fractures on the skull are prevalent injuries in auto accidents.

Fractures and Broken Bones

Any of your bones could break in a car accident, depending on the nature of the crash. Arm and leg fractures are prevalent, especially in serious accidents where a vehicle collides with another.

You may also suffer broken ribs or fractures on your skull.

common types of car accident injuries

Most often than not, broken-bones victims recover quickly and only require a cast to heal. But in the case of compound fractures, a victim may need to under surgery and take a long period to get back in shape.

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Neck Injuries and Whiplash

Whiplash is the single most common type of injury among all other types of car accident injuries. Whiplash will have you wearing a neck brace for weeks or even months.

Meanwhile, you will incur high expenses and long-lasting pain and suffering. Whiplash injuries happen commonly in rear-end vehicle accidents, according to Johns Hopkins.

Face Injuries and Lacerations

Driving is a risky affair that can leave you with burns and lacerations on the face and other body parts. These injuries can be caused either by sudden contact with glass or steel or fires resulting from burning fuel.

The worst part about face injuries and lacerations is that they can leave permanent scars on the survivor.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Car accident injuries don’t necessarily have to be physical. Sometimes you can experience mental and emotional damage because of a car accident.

You might experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and when you do, things that were previously a routine to you become problematic or even impossible.

What To Do If You Have Been Hit by Uninsured or Underinsured Motorist

Statisticians and car accident analysts report that almost all people who have been involved in severe vehicle accidents experience PTSD. The good thing is that mental health treatment can help you recover fully from the emotional suffering after an accident.

What Are the Most Severe Injuries from Car Accidents?

Victims rarely leave the accident scene entirely unhurt regardless of the type of collision. But even so, injuries sustained from car accidents are not the same. Some tend to be more severe than others depending on the type of accident. Here are some severe car accident injuries that may have a long-lasting impact on your life.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

TBI happens to be one of the most critical car accident injuries resulting from a vehicle collision. According to the Mayo Clinic, TBIs result from a blow to the brain or when sharp objects pierce the brain.

Every year, more than 50,000 people die from TBI, while another 80,000 or more suffer long-term disability. This is just how bad car accident injuries can be!

Traumatic brain injury

A concussion is the most common type of TBI, and it occurs when a jolt to the head causes the brain to shake and shift. These movements strain brain tissue and result in severe damage.

Spinal Cord Injuries and Paralysis

A car crash or torque exerts considerable impact on the body such that it can cause long-term disability from spinal cord injuries.

In some cases, spinal damage causes partial paralysis, which a motorist can recover from fully and resume their daily lives. In other cases, a spinal injury will lead to permanent paralysis. It all depends on the level of the injury.

Back Injuries

The human body and spine are not built for impact, so car accidents commonly result in back injuries. Unfortunately, back injuries may not be noticed immediately after an accident. The pain and disability resulting from a serious back injury can be severe and long-lasting.

Internal Injuries

A car accident can be so severe that the force crashes the whole vehicle. When this happens, the metal and plastic inside the vehicle can press on the occupants and result in internal bleeding.

Internal injuries

The car occupant may also be hit by flying debris from within the car and suffer internal injuries. Internal bleeding from such injuries requires emergency medical attention. Internal bleeding will be fatal if not addressed immediately.

Severe Burns

Most cars on our roads use gasoline-powered engines to move. Gasoline is a flammable substance, so a crash may cause a fire in case of a fuel leak from the vehicle.

Occupants of the car may suffer burns if the gasoline catches fire. There are different types of burn injuries, ranging from first-degree for the least severe to fourth-degree for serious and almost fatal burns. Severe burns even require the victim to undergo surgery and skin grafting.

What Do I Need from Insurance If I’ve Suffered an Injury?

If you sustain injuries in a car crash, you may be eligible for compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and car repairs, among other claims.

That means you need your car insurance company (or the other driver) to compensate you for your medical care alongside the pain and suffering associated with the injury.

To do this, you must promptly notify your insurance company about the car accident. Start with informing them of the incident, and explain your injuries’ facts and severity in detail.

Collision coverage

Keep in mind that insurance claims are subject to strict time limits. So, you must lodge your claim within the set time limit; else, it may be rejected. The time limit will depend on the type of insurance claim you wish to make.

If you don’t want to lose your chance to claim personal injury compensation, it’s best to seek the advice of an experienced auto accident attorney. An attorney can help you navigate your legal options.

Final Thoughts

The aftermath of a car accident can be difficult for anyone involved. If you are ever involved in an accident, it’s advisable to seek medical attention immediately even if you think the injuries are not severe. The sooner you address the symptoms the higher your chances of recovery are.

Once you’ve received treatment, be sure to follow up on the compensation you deserve from your insurance company. The only way to maximize your chances of receiving the compensation is hiring an experienced

At Legal Giant, we have a team of experienced car accident attorneys ready to help you get your rightful compensation. We understand what you are going through and we want to help you. Contact us to schedule your consultation today.

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