The severity and type of injuries sustained in a car crash vary depending on a number of factors, including the number and size of the vehicles involved in the crash, the speed at which the parties were traveling, and the age and general health of the passengers. Regardless of the circumstances, car accidents can have painful and often deadly repercussions, so if you or a loved one were recently injured in a car crash, it is important to speak to an experienced car accident attorney who can explain your legal options.
Despite the number of variables, there are some types of injuries that occur relatively often in car crashes. These injuries include:
- Head trauma: This can include injuries ranging from headaches and concussions to skull fractures and brain injury. These types of injuries usually occur when a victim’s head hits the window, steering wheel, or dashboard as a result of a sudden and violent impact, which causes damage to the fluid and tissue in the skull.
- Spinal Injuries: Spine damage is one of the most serious injuries that a person can sustain in a car crash. This is because the spinal cord plays an integral role in the brain’s ability to send messages to the rest of the body, including the heart, lungs, and muscles. Damage to the spinal cord can significantly impair this ability, causing loss of movement and feeling. In some cases, the spinal cord itself remains undamaged, although the vertebrae protecting it become fractured, crushed, or herniated. One of the most common spinal injuries is a herniated disc, which is caused by the spine’s compression during a serious impact.
- Neck Injuries: Sudden and forceful impacts can cause the head and neck to recoil, resulting in stretched muscles and ligaments in the neck and upper back. More commonly known as whiplash, this is one of the most well-known types of injuries sustained by car accident victims. Neck injuries can make pivoting the head painful and may last for weeks ore even years. Some car accident victims also suffer vocal cord paralysis as a result of nerve damage, making it difficult to breathe, swallow, and speak.
- Chest injuries: Because the head and chest are often the first parts of the body to feel the impact of a crash, it is not uncommon for those parts of the body to sustain a significant amount of damage. This usually manifests as broken ribs, punctured lungs, and internal bleeding. The stress of being involved in a car crash can also exacerbate a pre-existing heart condition, which in turn can cause cardiac arrest.
- Superficial injuries: Abrasions, lacerations, and bruises are some of the most commonly experienced injuries is even minor car crashes. In most cases, these types of injuries are not serious, although if left untreated they could become infected, requiring a course of antibiotics. In more serious crashes involving a significant amount of broken glass, victims may sustain deep lacerations that require stitches, suturing, or additional surgeries. These injuries may even cause permanent damage to underlying muscles.
- Psychological injuries: Passengers or drivers who were involved in particularly horrific car crashes may suffer from emotional distress for the rest of their lives. This is especially true for children who suffer or witness serious injuries at a young age or lost a loved one as a result of a crash. Anxiety and an inability to sleep are typical responses to traumatic car crashes that may require treatment through prescription medications or ongoing therapy.
Unfortunately, whether or not a person suffers an injury in a car crash is largely out of his or her control. There are, however, a few precautions that drivers can take to give them a better chance of walking away from an accident with less serious injuries. These precautions include:
- Ensuring that all passengers in a vehicle are wearing seat belts before starting the car;
- Avoiding becoming distracted while driving by securing loose items, refraining from adjusting in-vehicle controls while driving, and constantly scanning the road for obstacles;
- Refusing to drive while impaired;
- Obeying the speed limit;
- Refraining from driving at night if the driver lacks experience; and
- Making sure that any children are securely restrained in car seats.
While these precautions do not guarantee that a drive will not be injured in an accident, they can go a long way towards ensuring that those who are involved in car accidents will escape more serious injuries.
If you live in the Clinton area and were recently injured in a car crash, please contact the Joye Law Firm by calling our Clinton office at (888) 324-3100 or by completing one of our standard contact forms and a member of our dedicated legal team will help you schedule a free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney who can help you obtain the compensation you deserve.