Almost 6 million auto accidents occur every year in the United States. Luckily, most of these accidents result in only property (car) damage. Moreover, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), around 3 million people suffer from injuries in these vehicular accidents. One in every three accidents involves personal injuries to the passenger and driver. Moreover, two out of every ten accidents result in severe injuries.
Since all car accidents are different, the injuries suffered also vary depending on the individual circumstances of every collision. Moreover, while some accidents and injuries can be resolved within a few days, without having to seek any medical attention, other fatal injuries can result in physical disabilities.
The type and severity of the injuries suffered by those involved in auto accidents depend on a few factors.
- Which side did the car get hit from? Was it the rear, the front, or the side?
- Was the driver and passenger(s) wearing a seatbelt?
- Was the passenger looking straight ahead, or was their head turned in a particular direction?
- Did the car have functional airbags? Did the airbags open successfully upon impact?
- Was the collision at low-speed, or did the cars crash at high speed?
Types of Car Crashes
Different car crashes result in different kinds of injuries. Here are a few types of car collisions along with the sort of injuries the occupants of the car can sustain.
Head-on collisions are probably the deadliest of crashes. When involved in this type of accident, the occupants of the car can suffer from some severe injuries, including back and spine injuries, brain and head injuries, soft tissue injuries, whiplash, lost limbs, serious cuts, and broken bones.
Rear-end collisions can result in some severe injuries and bruises. The most common type of injuries experienced in this type of case is whiplash. Apart from this, a lot of other back and neck injuries are also frequent occurrences. Some other injury types involved in rear-end collisions include soft-tissue and
Side-impact crashes cause the most significant impact on a specific side of the vehicle. In this case, you are most likely to sustain from fatal injuries if you’re sitting on the side of the car when the impact happens. Some of the common injuries that may occur from side-impact crashes include neck injuries, brain and head injuries, back injuries, abdominal injuries, chest injuries, pelvic injuries, limb, and soft tissue injuries.
Like the name suggests, fatal crashes can be very severe. They usually result in head injuries, crushing injuries, and burns. Moreover, the probability of them resulting in fatalities is pretty high.
SUV Rollover Crashes
SUVs are a trendy vehicle type that many people prefer. They tend to have a high center of gravity in comparison to other kinds of vehicles. Hence, they are pretty likely to roll in the occurrence of a crash. Moreover, SUVs also always take a corner very quickly. Spinal cord injuries, head injuries, soft tissue injuries, and broken bones are some of the most common injuries that result from these types of accidents.
Commercial Vehicle and Truck Crashes
When commercial vehicles, such as trucks, get hit by personal vehicles like sedans or SUVs, the results can be disastrous. This is mainly due to the size and weight of commercial vehicles in comparison to private cars. Head injuries, crushing injuries, spinal cord injuries, burns, and broken bones are some of the most common types of injuries sustained in such collisions.
Injuries Sustained From a Vehicle Accident
Car accident injuries can be classified into two broad categories – impact injuries and penetrating injuries.
Impact injuries are usually caused when the body of the occupant hits any part of the car’s interior. For instance, if their knee hits the dashboard or their head hits the side window.
Cuts and scrapes are classified as penetrating injuries. When loose objects or shattered glass starts flying around in the car, it can often cause serious, penetrating wounds.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries entail damage that is caused to the connective tissue of your body. This soft tissue includes muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Soft injuries are one of the most common injuries suffered from a car accident, and it can take many forms.
Whiplash injuries are a widespread soft tissue injury that can impact your neck and back. This kind of damage entails the stretching of muscles or ligaments. Whiplash injuries occur due to sudden jolts imposed during a collision. Car crashes can also cause other soft-tissue injuries like mid and lower back muscle sprains. Moreover, it can result in some more severe back injuries depending on the impact.
Scrapes and Cuts
Cuts and scrapes are penetrating injuries that can occur due to loose objects being thrown around in the car during a collision. Some of these objects that may cause damage include cell phones, eyeglasses, bags or purses, books, etc. If any of these items come into contact with your body, they can easily cut through your skin or cause other injuries. These cuts and scrapes can be minor, thus requiring no medical attention. On the other hand, sometimes they can be more serious, resulting in loss of blood and requiring stitches. Moreover, cuts and scrapes can also occur if your vehicle’s airbags get deployed during the collision.
Head injuries are pretty standard when it comes to car crashes. While some are relatively minor, others can turn out to be quite severe. When a car stops unexpectedly or changes direction right before or during a collision, it causes the heads of the occupants to experience unnatural movements. Not only does this cause neck and back muscle strains, but it also results in head injuries.
Moreover, during a head-on collision, the driver’s head usually hits the steering wheel (if they aren’t wearing a seatbelt). This can cause trauma, bruising, scrapes, or lacerations to the head. The injury will be fatal if the impact is severe. This is because the tissue and fluid inside the skull experience damage due to the sudden movement of the head. Moreover, while less fatal close head injuries usually result in concussions, more severe injuries can cause brain damage.
Brain injuries aren’t counted in the same category as head injuries. This is because head injuries can be in the form of scrapes, cuts, etc. However, brain damage is obviously more severe as it can have some long-term implications. Hitting your head too hard during a crash results in traumatic brain injuries that can affect your brain’s functionality.
This can eventually result in the following brain issues.
- Memory loss
- Sleep issues
- Vision problems
- Emotional effects
Traumatic brain injuries often vary depending on the impact. They can be classified into three different categories – mild, moderate, and severe. It is essential to receive immediate medical treatment upon experiencing any sort of head injury as it can have some serious long-term implications on your mental and physical health.
Chest injuries are also a common type of car accident injuries. Even though they typically occur in the form of concussions or bruises, they can also be more severe than other internal injuries. The driver of a vehicle is most likely to experience chest injuries due to their position behind the steering wheel. This is because they don’t have enough space for freedom of movement before their chest bumps into the steering wheel.
Moreover, during a collision, if an individual’s body is thrown in a forward position, it may not impact the dashboard or steering wheel area, but it will considerably affect the chest area. Despite wearing a seatbelt, a high impact accident can cause severe bruising on your chest area.
Arm and Leg Injuries
The impact and force of a car crash that causes other injuries can also cause arm and leg injuries. If you experience a high-impact car crash, then your arms and legs may be thrown extremely hard against the door. Moreover, being a passenger in a car means very less leg space for comfortable movement. Hence, passengers usually suffer knee bruises during accidents as they hit the dashboard or seats in front of them.
The injuries sustained on your arms and legs can range from minor bruises and scrapes to significant sprains and breaks. All of this depends on the nature and impact of the collision. Moreover, some car accident injuries aren’t immediately apparent right after the catastrophic event. Depending on the nature of the injury, it can take days, weeks, and even months for the symptoms such as pain to appear.
So, if you’re unfortunately in a car crash, it is recommended to seek immediate medical attention even for the slightest discomfort or injury.
Other Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents are naturally associated with physical injuries such as broken ribs, cuts, bruises, etc. However, another significant injury that needs to be accounted for is emotional distress. When people drive with their loved ones and get involved in an accident, it can leave severe emotional scars on those who survive the fatal crash.
It can be tough for those who experience injuries and those who witness injuries. Counseling and treatment are given for post-traumatic-stress-disorder (PTSD) and other psychological traumas. Even though these injuries are invisible, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t to be accounted for. Many people often develop a phobia of driving while others may experience severe depression—psychotherapy is the best solution for emotional and psychological distress.
What Should You Do If You Sustain Car Accident Injuries?
Developing a basic understanding of common types of car accident injuries can help you comprehend the steps you will need to take in case you are involved in an accident. Being aware of the kind of car accident, the potential injuries, etc., can help you reach out for appropriate medical help. Moreover, you will also know whether you should seek out a personal injury lawyer or not.
Here are a few things you need to do in case you are involved in a car crash.
Seek Medical Attention
If you have not suffered any injuries and can still talk, call for help as soon as possible. If you can drive, immediately visit the closest medical center and hospital to get a complete medical evaluation. A proper diagnosis will help you get the appropriate care and treatment for your car accident injuries.
If you have not sustained any injuries and don’t require immediate help, then stay put at the scene of the accident, even if it is a minor one.
Call the Police
It is a good idea to call the police and file a detailed report. This will help you make a personal injury claim for the physical and emotional distress you’ve suffered. Also, provide the police with a detailed account of the accident by covering all the facts.
If you have your phone or camera at disposal, don’t forget to take pictures of any visible damage that your vehicle has suffered. Moreover, you should also take snapshots of any visible injuries that you’ve suffered.
Protect Your Rights
Don’t forget to protect your rights! The most crucial thing for you to do after experiencing a car accident is to consult your personal injury lawyer. Your attorney will help you protect your rights and get you any compensation that you deserve. Moreover, before giving any statements to anyone like your insurance company, make sure you seek legal advice. An excellent personal injury lawyer will also ensure that you get the best treatment possible for any car accident injuries sustained.
There is no denying that vehicular accidents are terrifying. In fact, they are scarier, especially when any injuries are involved. So, if you experience any tragic event like this, make sure you have a personal injury lawyer to back you up throughout the process.
Seek Legal Advice
The injury attorneys at Phoong Law Corp know how to handle and win personal injury cases. If you’ve been injured schedule a free consultation now so you and your family are protected. There is no obligation or fee unless you win.