Car wreck injuries are very, very scary. Most happen in the blink of an eye and can have life-changing effects. According to the Bureau of Statistics, roughly 13 car accidents occur every minute on US roadways – leaving millions of people injured every year.
Car accident injuries can vary, but some are more common than others. Minor accidents typically go away in a few days or weeks without medical treatment. Others can be extremely serious and require months or years of treatment – and may result in permanent damage.
The severity of car crash injuries can be attributed to a few different factors, including (but not limited to):
- The speed of the cars involved in the accident
- Seat belt use
- Where the vehicle was hit (front, side, rear)
- The passenger’s position at the time of impact
Injuries from car accidents are generally grouped into two categories: impact injuries and penetrating injuries.
Impact injuries occur when a passenger’s body hits the interior of the car – like if the passenger’s head hits the steering wheel or dashboard during the collision. Penetrating injuries are when a part of the vehicle punctures the passenger’s skin. A scrape or laceration from broken glass would be an example.
Most Common Types of Car Accident Injuries
In this post, we will examine the most common types of injuries caused by car accidents – and what you can do if the accident was not your fault. Let’s dive into it.
Head injuries are usually the worst injuries from a car crash. In a car accident, these injuries can range from minor to fatal. A collision typically causes the victim’s head to jolt in an unnatural motion.
The whiplash from the impact can result in a concussion, even more so if the victim’s head hits part of the interior. Severe head injuries – also known as traumatic brain injuries – occur when the collision causes bruising to the brain tissue and blood vessels.
Head injuries are not always noticeable immediately after a car accident. It can take hours or days for symptoms to appear. This is why it is essential to get examined by medical staff after an accident. Even if you don’t feel any pain, these professionals know the early signs of a head injury – and will make sure you get taken care of properly.
Back and Neck Injuries
The spinal cord is not designed for heavy impacts, making the neck and back very susceptible to damage in a car wreck. Whiplash is the most common culprit behind these car accident injuries. Even low-speed crashes can have severe consequences.
Symptoms of back and neck injuries can take days to appear – sometimes longer. In addition to getting checked by medical staff after a car accident, watch for symptoms like:
- Issues maintaining normal posture
Back and neck injuries can result in permanent damage if left untreated. If you felt any sort of whiplash in a car accident, it’s worth getting examined.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue damage is a broad term in car wreck injuries.
These car injuries involve damage to muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Whiplash is the most common type of soft tissue damage – which occurs with sudden jolts that stretch the muscles and ligaments in the upper back and neck. Muscle sprains in the lower and mid back are also common in car accidents.
Broken bones and fractures are very common types of car accident injuries. Fortunately, most are not life-threatening.
Legs or arms hitting the interior may occur during impact resulting in compound fractures or breaks – with varying severity. We’ve also seen car accident victims with broken pelvises after high-speed crashes.
Fractures and broken bones are usually easy to identify at the scene. Bruising, swelling, numbness, and limited range of motion are common symptoms that occur hours or days after the accident.
Penetrating car wreck injuries – like scrapes and lacerations – occur when sharp objects inside the vehicle act as hazards during a collision. Broken glass, car parts, and even airbags are common causes of cuts and scrapes.
Minor cuts usually heal within a few weeks and do not require significant medical treatment. Larger lacerations may require stitches and a visit to the emergency room.
Chest injuries can occur when the victim is pushed violently against the steering wheel, dashboard, or another part of the interior. Seat belts – while they protect against more serious injuries – can cause damage to the chest upon impact. The consequences of chest injuries typically involve painful bruising or broken ribs.
Internal car wreck injuries are extremely serious.
Flying debris, sharp impacts, and being pressed against an object during a collision can result in damage to the organs. These injuries may not be apparent immediately after an accident. Some of the common symptoms to watch for include (but are not limited to):
- Abdominal pain
- Purple skin around the affected area
If you notice any of these symptoms or injuries from a car accident, get to a hospital immediately.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Some car accident injuries aren’t physical. Some victims suffer emotionally from PTSD after an accident. Normal tasks like driving to the grocery store or even crossing a roadway might trigger distress. Victims of car accidents may be able to recover damages for mental health treatment if they are dealing with emotional anguish.
What to do When You Get in a Car Crash
If you’re facing issues from the car wreck injuries listed above – and the accident was not your fault – the law is on your side.
The next step is building a personal injury case to receive compensation for medical treatment, property damage, pain & suffering, and more. Immediately after the accident, you’ll need to:
- Seek medical attention
- Take pictures of the accident/your injuries
- File a police report
- Get examined by medical staff
- Exchange information with the other driver
- Collect more detailed evidence (road conditions, witness contact information, etc.)
- Contact your insurance
- Reach out to a personal injury attorney
When seeking out an attorney, be sure they specialize in car accident injury law. Insurance companies have no intention of paying damages to victims, regardless of the circumstances. Specialized lawyers know how to negotiate with insurance companies and earn fair settlements for victims of car accidents.
Keep in mind, a skilled, trustworthy car accident injury lawyer will not charge out-of-pocket costs. These attorneys work on a contingency fee agreement. This means they make a percentage of the total settlement AFTER the insurance company pays it out. In other words, don’t be concerned that you cannot afford a good attorney – everyone can!
Over to You
Dealing with car wreck injuries – in any capacity – is a scary ordeal. Car accidents happen in an instant and can change everything. Fortunately, you don’t have to deal with the fallout alone. If you’re not sure what the next steps are, it never hurts to discuss with an attorney.
At Midwest Injury Lawyers, we offer FREE consultations to victims of car accidents. Even if you don’t have a valid claim, we’re happy to answer your questions and point you in the right direction. Give us a call at 312-786-5881, send an email to email@example.com, or request a consultation online.