Automobile accidents continue to be a leading cause of personal injury in the United States. Varying degrees of physical trauma resulting from a car accident can set victims back anywhere from a few days to a lifetime. While every crash and injury is unique, statistics reveal the most common injuries and what causes them.
In 2019, the National Safety Council estimated a total of 24,200,000 vehicles were involved in a crash. They reported 39,107 motor vehicle accident deaths, along with 4.5 million medically-consulted injuries.
What factors impact the severity of automobile injuries?
There is often a mountain of relevant variables when it comes to determining what exactly caused an injury after a car crash. Important factors pertaining to the victim include:
- Proper use of a seat belt. Wearing a safety belt can reduce chances of severe injury by half.
- How the vehicle was hit. Was the collision from the rear, side, or front?
- The positioning of the passenger. Was the victim facing forward or was their body or head turned in another direction?
- Speed. The speeds of both the striking vehicle and the struck vehicle can have an impact on injuries.
- Airbags. Did the car have proper airbag technology? Was the passenger airbag turned on?
The two broad categories for car accident injuries are impact injuries and penetrating injuries. Impact injuries occur when the victim’s body makes impact with some part of the vehicle’s interior. Examples include ramming into the dashboard or hitting one’s head on the seat rest.
Penetrating injuries, on the other hand, involve parts of the vehicle breaking off and injuring the victim. Typical wounds are cuts and abrasions caused by shattered glass, loose objects, and outside elements which penetrate the windshield during a crash.
What are the most common car accident injuries?
Both minor and major accidents can result in a variety of injuries to those involved. Whether there is a fast and full recovery or a victim is permanently disabled from a wreck, negligent drivers need to be held responsible for damages. The most common forms of personal injury from a car accident include:
- Soft tissue injuries. These types of injuries cause damage to a person’s connective tissue like muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Whiplash is a common soft tissue injury where the muscles and ligaments in the victim’s head and neck are affected due to the abrupt movement caused by the collision.
- Cuts and scrapes. Lacerations, minor scratches, and bruises can all be caused by loose materials inside the vehicle during a crash. Cell phones, mugs, bags, eyeglasses, books, and dash-mounted equipment like a GPS can all come in contact with the body at increased speeds and result in cuts or abrasions to the skin and flesh. Safety mechanisms such as airbags and seat belts can cause cuts and bruising due to impact on the skin. Some of these injuries will require minor treatment to heal, but others may mean a loss of blood and even require stitches.
- Head injuries. Injuries to the head and brain are some of the scariest to face in the wake of an accident. More common are concussions and neck muscle strains. However, the most severe can result in traumatic brain injuries. These catastrophic injuries pose a risk for permanent impairment for the victim.
- Burn injuries. Although less common than other injuries, burns caused by auto accidents can cause major long-term damage to victims. Fire caused by the collision and ignited by gas and other chemicals can result in significant damage to surface level skin and even deeper levels of tissue.
- Broken and fractured bones. Hard impact to the dashboard, window, door, consul, or steering wheel can cause broken bones in the arms, legs, and ribs. Vulnerable knees can take a beating too, especially when in a tight position within a vehicle.
- Spinal injuries. In a high-impact collision, the back will absorb an incredible amount of force. Ranging from herniated discs to fractures to spinal cord trauma, the results of a crash may be serious for a victim’s back. Whether initially severe or not, even acute back injuries can worsen over time and lead to long-term pain.
- Infections. Any of the above injuries also have the possibility of leading to infection. Proper medical treatment immediately following an accident can be critical in mitigating risk of injury-related infection.
- Loss of limb. Serious lacerations, infections, broken bones, or nerve damage may even lead to the victim to losing a limb. Limb loss unquestionably alters the life of a victim for the long term and is one of the most devastating results from a crash.
Many times, victims of car accidents face a variety of injuries with different severity. Aside from the physical pain and suffering one may face from an injury, the financial setbacks may prove to be even longer lasting. This is where the value of an experienced attorney comes in.
Even those partially at fault may be able to seek compensation for injuries due to the neglect of the other driver or party. Having a skilled advocate on your side allows you to recover both physically and mentally while your attorney seeks financial compensation for your losses.
At The Hayden Law Firm, we advocate for victims of car crashes by providing personalized attention to meet your needs. Our experienced team will walk you through every concern related to your case, while compiling the best resources available through our extensive professional network. We will take on the insurance companies so you don’t have to, working to secure fair and just compensation for your personal injuries. You can call our offices at 314-207-5492 or fill out our contact form for a free consultation today. We proudly serve clients in the greater St. Louis area and throughout Missouri and Illinois.
Attorney Amanda L. Hayden has dedicated her legal career to fearlessly advocating for clients and their families after their lives have been devastated by the careless and/or reckless conduct of others.
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