Millions of automobile accidents occur in the United States annually. Although the circumstances of every car accident are different and result in unique sets of injuries, there are some common patterns of injuries. The injuries caused by a car accident can be very minor and only require a few days for a complete recovery or they may be so severe that they deemed a permanent disability.
Factors that may play a part in the nature and severity of the injury include (a) whether the passenger was wearing a seat belt; (b) the location of the point of impact upon the vehicle; (c) where and how the passenger was seated at the exact time of the collision; (d) the speed of the vehicles involved immediately prior to the accident; and (e) whether or not the car’s airbags deployed immediately after the collision.
The following is a list of the most common injuries from automobile accidents:
Cuts and abrasions often result when, upon impact, shattered glass and other debris collide with the skin. Such lacerations can be so serious that stitches or surgery is needed to adequately repair them. Although lacerations are unlikely to cause a permanent injury, the scars that are sometimes left behind can be permanent if they are not minimized with additional surgery.
Depending on the severity of the accident, it is very possible to break a limb in an automobile accident. Even a minor accident can cause a broken arm, wrist, leg, ankle or rib. Such injuries normally require medical treatment and a cast of some sort to assist the bone in healing. Other broken bone injuries can be so severe that surgery is required to correct the injury. Unfortunately, it is also possible that a broken bone may result in a permanent injury. An orthopedic physician should be seen in the event that treatment is needed for a broken bone injury.
Spine, Back and Neck Injuries
Sometimes connective tissues of the body are traumatized from the accident, yet there are no broken bones. These injuries, sometimes called soft tissue injuries to the muscles, tendons and ligaments, can cause a great deal of pain and suffering. Often called “whiplash,” these injuries most commonly occur when, at the point of the collision, the body is thrown forward and then backward in a rapid, jerking motion. These injuries can extend from the upper neck to the upper and lower back and spine.
The force of the collision can cause organs within the body to be injured and to bleed internally. These are extremely serious injuries which require immediate medical treatment.
Concussion and Traumatic Brian Injury (TBI)
It is very common for a passenger in a vehicle to hit his or her head as a result of the accident. This blow to the head can be so forceful as to cause a concussion or traumatic brain injury (TBI). The problem in treating such an injury is that there are no obvious symptoms that it has occurred. It is therefore advisable to seek medical attention if an accident victim is aware that any sort of head injury has occurred.
While the most obvious injuries resulting from a car accident are physical, it is also possible, particularly if the accident is very serious, that a victim will suffer severe emotional distress. In fact, some victims display symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a car accident. This disorder can interfere with normal sleep, appetite, work performance or behavior in personal relationships. Contact us today if you have been injured in an auto accident.