5 Common Vehicle Accident Injuries
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that 2021 was the deadliest year on U.S. roads since 2005, with over 43,000 individuals losing their lives. In addition, nearly 5 million people annually suffer vehicle accident injuries, and Florida roads are considered the third most dangerous in the country (behind California and Texas.) While measures must be taken to learn why accidents have risen significantly in recent years, it is also imperative that we ensure that those who have already been injured are taken care of adequately.
Car Accident Injuries We See Most Often
Car accident injuries can be mild to severe – and while most people heal in weeks or months, many suffer life-changing damage. Below are the most common injuries sustained by car accident victims.
- Brain and head injuries, including traumatic brain injury (TBI), are usually caused by the victim’s head colliding with the steering wheel or side window. A mild TBI may result in a type of concussion that heals on its own, while severe TBIs may manifest as long-term or permanent cognitive impairment. Skull fractures, broken bones, or facial lacerations and bruises are also common types of head injuries.
- Neck and back injuries are also frequently seen after vehicle accidents. The most common of these injuries is whiplash, typically due to a rear-end collision. Whiplash results from a rapid back-and-forth neck movement and, in the most serious cases, can result in cervical spine fracture. In less severe cases of whiplash, symptoms may only last a few days. Those with neck pain following an accident should seek a medical evaluation, as the discomfort could indicate a herniated disc or spinal cord injury that may deteriorate if left untreated.
- Leg and knee injuries can happen when the leg hits the dashboard upon impact. Drivers especially have limited space for their legs, making them vulnerable to bruises, sprains, or broken legs, ankles, and knees.
- Injuries affecting the chest and abdomen may appear as contusions or bruises in less serious car crashes. Still, broken ribs or damage to internal organs is also possible in cases of extreme impact with the steering wheel – or damage from the seatbelt.
- Psychological injuries such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are not visible but can represent some of the longest-lasting effects of a severe vehicular accident. Research from the National Center for PTSD revealed that approximately 9% of car accident survivors develop mental health conditions in the weeks and months following the crash. Depression and anxiety are also prevalent when physical injuries limit mobility and daily function.
A Medical Examination is Critical
After a traumatic event, the body produces adrenaline. While this hormone is helpful in many ways, it may also mask any pain or symptoms the victim has sustained. Sometimes, even a severe injury may not manifest for days or even weeks.
Because of this, a car accident survivor may claim that they “feel fine” or deny medical treatment, even if they have unknowingly been severely injured. It is, therefore, essential that anyone who has been in a car accident is checked by a medical professional as soon as possible.
While health and safety are the most important reasons to seek medical care following a car accident, it is also vital for receiving the compensation you may deserve. Insurance companies and other negligent parties will often try their best to prove you aren’t truly injured to limit their liability and compensation. But those who are injured deserve reimbursement for medical bills, ongoing treatment, and loss of wages – and proving your injury through doctor’s records is the best way to ensure success.
If you have been injured in a car accident, call the personal injury experts at Hale Law immediately. We will evaluate your case, help you to gather needed evidence, and speak with the insurance companies on your behalf. Don’t leave your outcome to chance or let insurance companies intimidate you – go to Hale. Hale Law – Accident Attorneys.