As per the report revealed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 3 million people meet with vehicle accident every year across the US. Different kinds of injuries occurs because of motor vehicle accidents and can also vary from person to person, as it completely depends on the situation of a car accident.
Some injuries can be resolved within a few days without requiring any medical treatment; however, some other types of injuries are considered serious and may result in this or that level of temporary or permanent physical disability, and require accident rehabilitation and healthcare.
Severity of injuries a person may get from being involved in a car accident depends on the following factors:
- Was a person (driver or passenger) wearing a seat belt in the moment of the collision
- What was the speed of colliding vehicle or a vehicle which hit a pedestrian
- Which side of the car got the most of the impact
- Was the person sitting inside the car siting straight or had another position
- Was the vehicle equipped with airbags for the driver and all passengers
Car injuries are broadly classified into two categories:
- Impact injuries
- Penetrating injuries
Impact injuries occur when any part of the body strikes against any interior part of the car. Generally, it can be a knee hitting a dashboard, or head strike against the side window of the car.
Cuts and scrapes fall into the Penetrating injuries category.
Let’s review the most common injuries one by one.
In car accidents are the most common and usually caused by airbags, steering wheels, car seats, dashboards, shattered glass, side window or windshield. The injuries to the face vary from scrapes and bruises to fractures and laceration. And, if serious disorder occurs, it can affect the jaw and potentially result in serious dental injuries.
Types of facial injuries
Some facial injuries are minor and can be easily taken care of, if proper care provided. However, some injuries may be fairly severe and can lead to permanent damage, such as scares on the face. These injuries usually affect social lives of many people in a negative way. If a facial injury requires surgery, its recovery time will be longer and grueling.
Some of the most common facial injuries are:
- Damaged teeth
- Nerve damage
- Injuries to the nose or eyes
A motor vehicle accident can cause much more dangerous – internal injuries to happen, including the spleen, injuries to bowels, lungs, liver, kidneys, heart or aorta. Fractured ribs are also considered as one of the most common type of internal injuries to occur, causing puncture lungs and affecting other internal organs. Internal injuries can put the victim’s life into risk and must be treated by an experienced doctor only.
Another common, very dangerous and deliberating type of injuries, which can be caused by an auto collision and affect drivers, passengers and pedestrians is a brain or head injury. It is abbreviated as TBI, and is the most damaging and complex car accident injury. It occurs when a person’s head hits any object with a high impact. Depending on damage to the brain and the area affected, symptoms of these injuries can be moderate, mild or severe. It can cause permanent or temporary impact on major brain functions, which may result in different types and severity of disability. The nature of this injuries can be different: bruising of the brain, fractures to the skull, damage to the nerves etc. Even if you are not able to see any sign of trauma, the brain might be bump inside the skull, which may result in bleeding, bruising and swelling. A CT (Computerized Tomography) or MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) is generally required to identify a TBI.
Is another type of the most common car accident injuries. Chest injuries usually take the form of bruises or contusion, but can be more dangerous, e.g. internal injuries or broken ribs. Drivers who sit in the driving seat are more often affected by chest injuries because of their position behind the steering wheel. Such a position does not allow them to avoid hitting their upper body against the steering wheel. During a car crash, a person’s body is thrown in the forward direction with a tremendous speed.
Flying objects, broken glass or torn sheet metal inside a car may result in lacerations, simply known as cuts. Simple cuts can be cured in a small period of time, or if more serious they can be treated with a few stitches. However, deep cuts may result in significant blood loss and require surgery.
Broken legs, wrist, ribs, arms and ankles – all types of fractures are common in a collisions. Simple fractures can be treated by physical therapy assigned by a doctor. However, in serious cases, they will most likely require surgery to repair, and then will be followed by physical therapy. If a broken bone makes a hole in the skin, it is called an open fracture, which is much more serious because now it is contacting with outside environment. Whatever the case be, you must consult to with a specialist as soon as possible.
People involved in a car accident may also get a compression fracture. It more frequently happens to senior people. Compression fractures are basically small cracks in the spine bones that can cause vertebrae to deform or compress. As a result, the structure and shape of the spine might be permanently changed, causing unpredictable damage.
Common symptoms of a compression fracture include: breathing difficulties and pain, it can also result in posture changes. Many people fail to find an expert physician, required for this type of cases. Near two-third of compression fracture cases are not treated properly.
Is one of the most serious type of injuries which results in any kind of damage occurred to any part of the spinal cord. This further causes permanent changes in sensation, motion, strength and other kind of body functions. Injuries of this type affect every aspect of people’s lives: personal, work, social and so on.
Another type of spinal cord injuries is a herniated disc. Damage to any spinal disc can cause it to deform or break, hence destroy its capability to provide the flexibility to the bones of the spine. A damaged disc can put direct pressure on closest nerves, which can further cause numbness, pain and weakness in any part of the body, which is directly related to the nerves.
If disc injuries are in the lower part of the body, it can lead to a condition known as sciatica. The pain in this condition can be debilitating, and can become worse as the time passes.
Many scientists are predicting that the advanced researches conducted today will surely help to develop a solution to this problem and allow to fix spinal cord injuries soon. However, until the results come up, rehabilitation and treatment available today help injured people suffering from spinal cord injuries to live independent and productive lives.
It is a most common type of injuries caused to drivers and passengers in a car accident. It occurs when a neck stretches and shifts back to its place rapidly, due to the vehicle’s sudden stop or movement. Whiplash can damage the spinal cord, disks or ligaments, or even the vertebrae itself. Moreover, this type of injuries can result in full or partial paralysis or loss of sensation in different parts of the human body. Even less severe back and neck injuries can result in pain that in turn drastically reduces the quality of life you were happy with before.
Drivers or passengers suffering from long-term or short-term psychological injuries, such as stress disorder, emotional distress, depression, post-traumatic and persistent anxiety, are at significant risk. These psychological conditions can affect every aspect of person’s life and cause long lasting aftermath, or even worse – loss of life.
Yes, it’s not a type of a physical injury, but psychological trauma can result in more severe problems, comparing to other types of injuries we have listed above. The experience and shock of being involved in a car accident can become a major concern and leave an involved person scared. That’s why we recommend everyone who has been involved in a motor vehicle accident to check with a doctor.
Keeping all this in mind it becomes more and more clear that not all injuries appear right away, showing different symptoms. It complexly depends on the nature and details of the accident; it may take few days, weeks, or months for injuries to appear. So, if you have been involved in a car accident, we would highly recommended you to seek medical advice as soon as possible, even if you have slightest discomfort or any indication of injury.
It is important to seek legal advice
If you or anyone you known has been involved in a motor vehicle accident, please consider speaking to an experienced attorney. A personal injury lawyer can thoroughly examine your case and advise you on any legal actions you should or take. Drivers, passengers or pedestrians who got injured in a car accident, can claim for compensation from the opposite party by the law.