Common Types of Injuries Caused by Car Accidents
When you think of a car accident, you may picture the damage to the vehicles involved. More concerning, however, is any injuries that you or other occupants may have suffered. Though a car accident can damage virtually any part of the body, some common injuries are likely to occur.
Two Main Categories of Car Accident Injuries
In general, there are two broad categories of injuries caused by car accidents:
- Impact injuries, which occur when some part of the body hits some part of the interior of the car.
- Penetrating injuries, which include cuts and scrapes.
Penetrating injuries are usually less severe than impact injuries, though if a piece of glass or metal cuts the neck, it can open an artery and cause life-threatening bleeding. This has occurred in accidents involving defective airbags that exploded instead of deploying correctly and highlights the importance of always making sure any vehicle recalls are repaired. Penetrating injuries can also cause vision and hearing damage.
Impact injuries can be more dangerous because they are often more severe, and because they can go unnoticed for a time. That’s why it’s important to always get medical attention after a car accident even if you think you don’t need it.
5 Most Common Injuries After a Car Accident
When looking at specific types of injuries, the following are typically the most common after a car accident.
1. Scrapes and Cuts
It’s pretty difficult to get out of a car accident without a few scrapes and scratches. These are the most commonly suffered injuries, usually caused by broken glass, the deployment of the airbag, and loose objects in the car flying around. Some of the cuts may be more serious and require stitches.
2. Soft Tissue Damage
These include strains, sprains, and blunt force trauma to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Whiplash is a common type of soft tissue damage that can cause severe neck and back pain. Often these injuries go unnoticed at first because of the increased adrenaline after the accident, and because inflammation takes time to develop and cause pain.
3. Arm/Leg Injuries
Because of the force that is applied to the vehicle in an accident, the arms and legs are vulnerable to potential injuries including sprains, torn ligaments, bruising, and fractures. If the car suffers a side impact, the arms and legs may be thrown against the door. Other accidents can cause the legs to hit the dashboard or seats in front of them.
4. Back/Spinal Injuries
These are often one of the most serious types of injuries that can occur because of a car accident. Back injuries include sprains, strains, herniated discs, fractured vertebrae, and spinal cord damage. These injuries may cause individuals to be partially or completely paralyzed.
5. Head/Traumatic Brain Injuries
These may occur if the brain forcefully hits the skull during a collision. Bruising and concussions may occur. More serious injuries are typically called traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and are some of the most critical injuries that may occur, as such injuries can completely change someone’s life.
If you’re in an accident, always get medical attention immediately. If your injuries are serious and you’re facing extensive medical costs and care, contact a car accident attorney for help in recovering the damages you deserve.