Common Auto Accident Injuries and How They Affect Victims’ Lives
Posted in Car Accident on January 31, 2018
At Matt Hardin Law, it’s our goal to stand up for the rights of people who were hurt in car accidents that weren’t their fault. Even minor crashes can result in debilitating injuries, and our Nashville auto accident attorneys have seen how those injuries can change lives forever.
Victims may suffer profound losses personally, professionally, socially, and psychologically as a result of the injuries they incurred during their car accidents. We strongly believe that innocent victims shouldn’t have to pay out of pocket for things like medical bills and lost wages when they’re already suffering so much for something that wasn’t their fault.
If you or someone you love was hurt in a crash that was caused by another driver’s negligence, getting an experienced legal team on your side can make all the difference in the world. You shouldn’t have to worry about negotiating with the insurance company or wondering whether their settlement offer is fair—instead, you should be focused on getting better.
Let us handle the insurance company and its teams of adjusters while you spend time with your family. Get in touch with us today—dial (615) 200-1111 or complete a free online contact form to find out how we can put our 30 years of experience to work for you and your loved ones.
10 Most Common Car Crash-Related Injuries
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that any part of the body can be injured during an auto accident, regardless of whether it’s a front-impact, side-impact, or rear-impact accident. Injuries can be caused by everything from hitting the steering wheel and being cut by broken glass to ejections and being struck by loose objects.
Some of the most common types of auto accident injuries include:
- Brain injuries – The brain is extremely vulnerable during car crashes. When a victim’s head collides with a hard surface, such as a steering wheel, dashboard, seat, door, or window, he or she can suffer a serious traumatic brain injury (TBI). Many TBIs are life-threatening, as they can result in brain bleeding, which is a medical emergency. TBIs can occur even if the head doesn’t strike an object, as the forces involved in car accidents can be sufficient to cause the brain to move inside the skull with enough speed to cause cellular and tissue damage.
- Head injuries – Victims who suffer brain injuries or who are lucky enough to avoid them still often must contend with painful and debilitating head injuries. Skull fractures and contusions are common car accident injuries, as are eye injuries, nose injuries, oral injuries—including loss of teeth—and jaw injuries. People who suffer head and face injuries may require reconstructive plastic surgery to restore their appearances and regain their quality of life.
- Neck injuries – Whiplash is one of the most common post-accident related complications that victims suffer from. Because car accidents involve sudden deceleration after traveling at high speeds, victims’ necks are forcefully moved at high speeds and at extreme ranges of motion. That hyperextension can result in tearing and inflammation in cartilage and other tissue in the neck, resulting in extreme pain and immobility.
- Back injuries – Aside from brain injuries, one of the most devastating injuries car accident victims can suffer is spinal injuries. The spinal cord is protected by the vertebrae, but auto crashes can generate enough force to break vertebrae and damage or even sever the spinal cord, resulting in partial or complete paralysis. Victims who are spared spinal cord damage may still suffer from painful complications such as slipped discs, ligament damage, and torn muscles.
- Chest injuries – Seat belts can help reduce the severity of chest injuries, but all auto accident victims are at risk of suffering broken ribs, clavicles, and sternums during crashes—especially if they are riding in seats that aren’t equipped with seat belts or they are struck by loose objects. Children and some elderly vehicle occupants can even suffer chest injuries from striking airbags at high speeds.
- Chest cavity injuries – In some cases, chest injuries are severe enough that the rib cage is broken or punctured, resulting in damage to the diaphragm or even the lungs and heart. The stress of accidents can also cause victims to suffer from heart attacks, while collapsed lungs can occur if victims are struck in the chest with sufficient force by airbags, broken glass, or other debris.
- Abdominal injuries – Unlike the chest, the abdomen isn’t protected by bones. That makes it extremely vulnerable during auto accidents. In addition, the abdomen is the location for many vital organs, including the liver, kidneys, stomach, and spleen. All abdominal organs are at risk during crashes, and like the brain, they can be damaged through sheer force of an accident alone—even if they aren’t directly damaged due to impact or punctures.
- Arm and leg injuries – Broken arms and legs are common after auto accidents. Victims often tense up in the moments preceding impact, putting significant stress on their limbs. That can lead to severe compound fractures that require immediate medical attention. Less severe but equally debilitating injuries include muscle tears and joint damage.
- Hand and foot injuries – Hands and wrists are easily damaged or broken during crashes, especially if victims are tightly clenching their steering wheels before impact. Feet and ankles can also be hurt, as they may be crushed in heavily damaged areas of a vehicle. In severe cases, amputations can even occur. If immediate medical attention isn’t received, victims can lose limbs or digits and may even face life-threatening blood loss.
- Burn injuries – Although not as common as the other types of injuries, car accident victims face the risk of suffering burn injuries during and after crashes. Car engines produce significant heat during operation, and when they’re damaged after a collision, that heat can result in sparks, which can lead to flames and vehicle fires. Victims who are unconscious or unable to get out of their vehicles may be burned either directly from heat or via smoke inhalation.
Because many injuries aren’t immediately noticeable or apparent, it’s vital for all auto accident victims to go to a hospital or doctor’s office for a checkup after a crash—even if they don’t think they were seriously injured. Some injuries are internal and take hours, days, or even weeks to show up. In addition, waiting too long to seek treatment can result in less effective treatments and can even jeopardize your chances of receiving compensation for your injuries.
Physical Injuries Are Just the Tip of the Iceberg for Auto Accident Victims
At Matt Hardin Law, we know that car accident victims are often suffering from immense pain and dealing with disabilities that will keep them out of work for long periods of time. But for many victims, the physical complications are secondary to the emotional and psychological damage they suffered.
Anxiety, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder are all common among car crash survivors, especially if they lost a loved one or suffered profound injuries during their accidents.
It’s our goal to help victims get compensation for all of the ways that their accidents affected them. When you get in touch with our Nashville car accident lawyers, you’ll get a legal team that looks at the big picture and how the accident will affect you next year, 10 years from now, and for the rest of your life.
Call us today—we’re ready to help you get the money you deserve.