Car accident injuries can range in severity from minor to critical and even deadly. Here are the top 10 injuries caused by car accidents and how you can get the legal help you need to secure financial compensation after someone else’s negligence caused you to get into a collision.
Whiplash is arguably the most common car accident injury and while usually not life-threatening, this condition can cause chronic pain, headaches, and discomfort for an extended period of time.
Whiplash occurs when the muscles and tendons in the neck are suddenly overextended beyond their normal capacity, causing extreme strain and sometimes even tears. The condition is treatable and often resolves on its own, but some victims suffer from lifelong neck pain.
Discover more about what happens to your body in a car accident here.
2. Traumatic Head and Brain Injuries
Traumatic head and brain injuries are also very common in motor vehicle accidents; however, they are much more severe than whiplash. Many people involved in an accident suffer from concussions or more severe brain injuries, some of which need emergency life-saving surgery to correct.
These injuries are often caused when a person not wearing their seatbelt hits their head on the windshield or is ejected from the vehicle, or if a foreign object penetrates the victim’s head during the course of the accident.
Read more about traumatic brain injuries here.
3. Broken Bones
Broken bones are frequently the result of car accidents, even those that are considered minor or occur at lower speeds. Small fractures can be difficult to detect at first but can result in extreme pain later on.
In severe car accidents, bones may be broken completely through or may protrude from the skin, a condition known as a compound fracture. Bones that have been crushed into pieces may require surgery to stabilize the bone as it heals. Other breaks may only need a cast.
4. Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries are also highly common in motor vehicle collisions and can range from minor cuts and bruises to internal bleeding that becomes critical without immediate surgical repair. Even if you or your loved one feel fine after a car accident, it’s important to get checked out to make sure everything on the inside is also okay. An internal bleed can go undetected for hours but can result in death without treatment.
Learn about wrongful death in car accidents here.
5. Scarring and Disfigurement
Both minor and life-threatening injuries can result in scarring or disfigurement, which may require plastic surgery to repair. It’s not uncommon for individuals with mild to moderate injuries to need cosmetic surgery, especially when a victim’s face is involved in the injury. Even then, it may not be feasible to return your appearance to its pre-accident self. In this case, you may be able to collect compensation for non-economic damages.
6. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Car accidents often occur without warning and are devastating to experience. Many accident victims suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.
PTSD can occur after a person is exposed to a traumatic event and results in disruptive symptoms like trauma flashbacks, anxiety, panic attacks, headaches, and more. A National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) study published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease reports that as many as 39.2% of car accident survivors go on to develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Learn more about PTSD after an accident here.
There are generally two types of burns that occur in motor vehicle collisions: thermal and friction burns. A thermal burn occurs when an external heat source burns the skin, such as a car erupting into flames. A friction burn can occur if a person is ejected from a vehicle or dragged across the pavement without adequate body protection.
Listen to this podcast about what makes car accidents deadlier than other types of accidents, including serious burns and other critical injuries.
8. Loss of Limb
Limb loss in motor vehicle accidents can occur when passengers are ejected from the vehicle or in high-speed, severe collisions where the body’s blood supply to the leg is impeded. In some cases, limb amputation occurs at the scene of the accident immediately upon impact, while other victims lose their limbs in surgery after an attempt at repairing injuries to the soft tissue and bone.
Many people who suffer limb loss after a car accident cannot return to the same type of work they did before the collision, or they may be unable to return to work at all.
Neck and back injuries can lead to paralysis when the spinal cord is bruised, lacerated, or severed. Paralysis may involve all four limbs (quadriplegia) or only two limbs, usually the legs (paraplegia). This condition is also permanent since the spinal cord cannot regenerate and impacts a person’s ability to perform many types of work.
10. Crush Injuries
Motor vehicle collisions that occur at high speeds or that involve passengers who were not wearing their seatbelt can result in fatal crush injuries. If the victim survives the injury, they will likely need corrective surgery to repair and remove small pieces of bone and damaged tissue. Depending on the nature of the injury and where it is located on the body, a crush injury may result in the need for amputation.
How to Get Experienced Legal Help After a Car Accident Injury
Were you or a family member seriously hurt in a motor vehicle collision? Contact Mazow | McCullough, PC to learn about your legal right to financial compensation after a car accident at (978) 744-8000 or (855) 693-9084. We can help.