Car Accident Injuries and Crash Types

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May 12, 2019
Edward Smith

Car Accident Injuries and Crash Types

Car accident injuries depend significantly on the type of accident you have, the speed and whether safety restraints are used. For instance, a head-on collision is usually fatal while a rear end crash is not. Yet, each set of accident injuries can be disabling to some measure. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that over 3 million individuals are injured in traffic collisions each year. So, let’s look at what happens with different types of accidents and what you might expect.

What Can Affect the Severity of Injuries?

Different factors come into play when it comes to the severity of car accident injuries. Some of those factors include:

  • From what direction did the collision occur? Frontal and side collisions usually cause more serious injuries. This is because with frontal or head on crashes you have an impact derived from the momentum of both vehicles.
  • Were the driver and passengers in the vehicle wearing their seat belts at the time of the accident? Without restraints, the chances of a serious injury are increased. For instance, in a rollover accident, someone could be thrown from the vehicle if they were not wearing a seat belt. The seat belt can also be defective.
  • How fast was the vehicle going when the crash happened? Speed is an important factor in terms of injury. High impact speeds usually mean catastrophic injury.
  • Was it a two-vehicle collision or were multiple vehicles involved? When multiple vehicles are involved, the secondary impacts can cause even greater injuries. This is because safety devices such as airbags deploy once and are then useless.
  • Did the airbags deploy when the crash occurred? Sometimes, airbags are defective and do not deploy.
  • What size vehicles were involved? If a large vehicle such as a big rig and a passenger vehicle are involved, the smaller vehicle is likely to sustain greater damage and hence injuries.

Types of Injuries

Car accident injuries can range from minor to severe. Minor injuries do not require hospitalization, although some may need to be checked and treated by a physician. Following are the range of injuries that an occupant of a vehicle in a crash might sustain.

Minor Injuries

Minor car accident injuries may include bruising, cuts, scrapes or abrasions. They may be caused by being tossed around in the vehicle upon impact or due to the airbag deployment. Loose objects in the vehicle such as a handbag, eyeglasses or other items can also cause minor injuries if they strike the person.

Moderate Car Accident Injuries

Moderate injuries can cause limitation of movement and pain. For instance, a rear end crash can cause a cervical sprain, commonly referred to as whiplash. This injury results in upper back and neck pain and stiffness. The injury is due to the rapid back and forth motion of the head and upper spine due to the impact. This injury usually responds to rest and anti-inflammatories. However, a certain percentage of cases have persistent symptoms that can last for a year or more.

Another example of a moderate injury involves broken bones. This can affect any part of the body. However, a knee injury is most common. This is the result of the knees hitting the dashboard. Ribs can also be fractured by the steering wheel. Usually, ribs heal on their own with time. However, since the ribs encase vital organs such as the heart and lungs, a displaced fracture can pose an imminent danger to both. A rib that is broken can puncture the lungs, resulting in a serious emergency.

Severe Car Accident Injuries

Many serious car accident injuries pose a significant danger to an individual. They are related to the type of accident. Let’s look at a few:

Head on crashes are often associated with serious injuries or death. Some of the most common injuries include:

Side impact collisions can cause trauma such as:

Rollovers can result in serious injuries or death, usually due to failure to wear a safety restraint. The number of people killed in a rollover is directly related to whether they were using a seat belt. A rollover can cause the roof of the vehicle to extend inward towards the occupants. This is referred to as a crushed roof. It happens despite federal rules for manufacturers to make the roof strong enough to support the weight of the vehicle. If this happens, an attorney can determine if the manufacturer complied with the federal order. If not, he or she can file a product liability lawsuit to recover damages.

Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento car accident lawyer. If you are injured in a vehicular accident, you need the help an experienced lawyer can provide. Call me at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice. You can also reach me online. As a personal injury lawyer, my services are provided on a contingency basis. This means you only pay if you win.

I’ve helped clients win the compensation they deserve in catastrophic collisions, pedestrian injuries, and wrongful deaths.

I am pleased to say I belong to the following organizations:

  • National Association of Distinguished Counsel: Members represent the top tier of lawyers who provide legal excellence to clients.
  • Million Dollar Advocates: This forum only accepts lawyers who have won more than $1 million for a client.

Learn more about my practice on the following pages:

Photo Attribution: Depositphotos_51823105_l-2015

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