In the year 2019, more than 38,000 people lost their lives in auto accidents; another 4.5 million incurred serious injuries that required medical attention. Almost 6.5 million car crashes were reported in the last year and at least 40,000 were fatal in nature. The economic damages caused by traffic accidents in the U.S every year exceed $200 billion. The rate of car fatalities has slightly decreased since previous years, yet the number is still alarming. In most road accidents, one party/driver is primarily at fault; hence, the party that has minimum or no liability can claim compensation.
Robert Brown, who is a personal Injury Attorney in New York tells us about some of the most common injuries suffered by victims in auto accidents:
Whiplash is among the most common injuries associated with car crashes, and usually occurs with rear end accidents. It involves a sudden jerk or whipping movement of the neck, causing the head to sway back and forth involuntarily. Whiplash injuries are very painful, as they put severe pressure on the tendons and ligaments around the neck. These injuries take ample time to heal and victims may have to wear a neck brace for a while. Whiplash injuries do not involve broken bones, but they cause damage to muscle and soft tissues.
Sprains and Strains
Sprains and strains are among the less serious injuries of a car crash. They occur at various joints along the limbs and neck. Sprains and strains are caused due to insufficient space for body movement during an accident. Your body might cramp into one place or hit hard against a surface of the car during collision. Sprained/strained ankles, knees, wrists, toes, fingers, elbows, shoulders, etc. inhibit joint rotation and body movement.
Head injuries are high-risk injuries, especially if the impact cracks or pierces the skull. When the head hits the steering wheel, dashboard, or windshield during a crash, the victim is most likely to experience a concussion; headache, wooziness, external bleeding, nausea, and short-term memory loss are common symptoms. Head injuries require immediate medical attention, as there is the possibility of brain damage. If the skull remains intact, head injuries are able to heal faster and dodge perpetual impairment.
TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury)
Head wounds that cut too deep can cause traumatic brain injuries. Brain damage is lethal and many people die of it, if not transferred to an emergency in due time. Brain damage can lead to permanent disabilities, paralysis, or a coma. TBIs cause lasting effects on the functionality of the brain, leading to memory, speech, muscle coordination, and sleep problems.
Fractures and Broken Bones
Fatal car accidents apply immense force on the human body, causing bones to fracture or break under unnatural pressure. Broken ribs, arms, and legs are extremely painful; they can occur in front, rear, and sideways collisions. Some broken bones or fractures can be healed with a cast, whereas more severe breakage may require replacement or repair of bone via surgery.
Spinal cord injuries occur when the body twists, bends, or turns abnormally during an accident. Backbone injuries can lead to long-term discomfort, partial paralysis, or a permanent disability. Herniated disc is a condition where one or more of the pine’s vertebrae are dislocated or ruptured. This can cause complications and the repair of the spinal cord may require insertion of artificial discs.
Scrapes, Cuts, Lacerations and Bruises
Car accident injuries that affect the outer layers of the skin can be categorized as scrapes, cuts, bruises, or lacerations. These injuries may not penetrate across skin, but pain and blood loss are still evident. They are caused by friction, abrasion, stabbing, or puncture by rough and/or pointy objects within the vehicle. In some case scenarios, the driver/passenger may fall out of the vehicle and skid/get dragged along a pavement. Sometimes broken shards of glass penetrate into deeper layers and damage soft tissue. Some bruises are minor and do not require medical attention. However, bleeding may indicate the need for stitches or bandaging. All wounds need to be sterilized and enclosed to avoid impediments.
High impact collisions sometimes result in explosions or cause cars to catch fire. First-degree burns are treatable by OTC medications, whereas second-degree burns may require a visit to the hospital. Second-degree burns appear glossy due to dripping body fluids and leave undying scars. Big fires or prolonged exposure to toxic chemicals may result in third degree burns. Victims of third degree burns require intensive care; surgery or skin drafts are typical for effective healing or restoration.
Internal bleeding is difficult to diagnose and are potentially life threatening. Even if you look fine on the outside after an accident, it is necessary to be checked by a doctor to detect any internal bleeding. Common symptoms of internal bleeding include dizziness, numbness, shortness of breath, acute vision problems, vomiting, weakness, abdominal pain, and low blood pressure.
Auto accident injuries are not limited to physical damages, and they greatly influence the mental state of an individual. About 40% of car accident survivors undergo PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Pain and suffering are the primary elements of this psychological condition. Victims may find it impossible to return to a normal way of life after going through a near-death experience. Patients of car accident PTSD may fear driving or sitting in a car again. They become depressed because of the haunting memories, flashbacks, and nightmares of the accident.