Common Injuries in Car Accidents
Car accident injuries are varied in terms of their consequences and severity. Some are life-changing and impart significant financial loss. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 2.44 million individuals suffered injuries from car accidents in 2015. This represents a 4.5 percent increase over the previous year.
Injury Related to Crash Type
The type of injury is determined in part by the type of crash involved in the accident. There are several broad classes:
- Head-On Crash: These crashes occur when the front-ends of two motor vehicles traveling in opposite directions collide. They are more common in rural areas. The impact from the collision can cause devastating injuries since it is the combination of the weight and size of the vehicles and their velocities. Injuries in this type of crash are severe and frequently affect the head and torso.
- T-Bone Crash: This type of crash happens most often at intersections. Since it involves the front of one vehicle striking the side of another, torso injuries are common.
- Rear-End Crash: This occurs when the front of one vehicle collides with the back of another. Rear-end accidents are the most common type of car accident. Common injuries include cervical or neck sprain and strain and cervical disc injury.
- Low-Impact Crashes: Such accidents usually result in soft tissue injury. While it has been proven that injury can result even at low speeds, insurers dispute such claims.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries are often seen with low-impact accidents. It occurs when the muscles, ligaments, and tendons are injured. While such injuries do resolve with time, they can be painful for weeks or months. Some individuals develop myofascial pain syndrome, which is a chronic inflammation of the muscle covering called the fascia.
Cervical Strain and Sprain
Cervical strain and sprain injuries involve the muscles and ligaments of the cervical (neck) area. It is common in rear-end collisions. When struck from behind, the neck moves rapidly in a backward and forward motion, causing injury to the neck. Other factors come into play such as the support the person has from neck rests. Generally, such supporting devices require adjustment for a person’s height.
Head injuries are complex in nature. They can involve a laceration to the scalp or a concussive injury. When the trauma is such that the skull and brain are injured, more serious repercussions are involved. More severe collisions can result in injury to the brain itself. Such traumatic brain injuries can cause brain damage or death.
Chest Blunt Trauma
In some crashes, the chest might be forced into the steering wheel with considerable force. With moderate to severe impact, the airbag will deploy. Usually, a collision at 8 to 14 mph will be enough for both the side and frontal airbags to deploy. Sitting too close to the dashboard or the steering wheel without a seat belt can result in serious trauma from the air bag’s rapid deployment. In some cases, defective airbags do not deploy or seat belts break, leaving the victim exposed to the steering wheel or other hard surfaces.
Upper and Lower Extremity Injury
With most types of car accidents, the legs and arms can easily be injured. The lower extremities are often within inches of the dashboard. An impact can result in the knees and lower legs being thrust into the dash or steering column with enough force to cause a fracture. Post-traumatic osteoarthritis can develop from injury to the knees and ankles, causing chronic pain.
Car accidents commonly cause back injuries. This includes the cervical (neck), thoracic (chest) and lumbar (lower back) areas. Back injury can vary from soft tissue damage to spinal cord injury. With more severe back injuries, surgery may be necessary.
Roseville Car Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, a car accident lawyer in Roseville. If you have suffered injury from a car accident, it is important that you have the assistance an experienced injury lawyer can provide. Please call me anytime at (916) 921-6400 or (800) 404-5400 outside of the calling area for free, friendly advice.
I’ve practiced personal injury law since 1982, and I have helped numerous Roseville and Northern Californians in a variety of accidents from wrongful death to truck accidents. Whether it was a pedestrian accident or one involving a motorcycle crash, I’ve been able to help clients obtain just compensation for their injuries.
When you are looking for a personal injury lawyer, look for what former clients and peers have to say about them. You can see my reviews on Avvo, Yelp, and Google. Check out my verdicts and settlements page to see how I’ve resolved previous cases.
I belong to the Million Dollar Advocates. This is a forum of trial attorneys from around the nation who have won $1 million or more in verdicts and settlements.
If you wish, read more about personal injury law here on my informative website: AutoAccident.com.
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