According to a recent report by the Federal Highway Administration, around 105 million cars are registered, and more than 286 million vehicles operate on the road regularly. With the increased number of cars, road accidents also increase simultaneously. Every year, around 42,939 people lost their lives in road accidents in 2021. Car accidents are the most common type of accident.
Car accidents may be minor to major, and injuries also vary from minor to major injuries. Some of the common injuries from car accidents are discussed below.
What Are The Common Injuries After Car Accidents?
As soon as an accident occurs, you have to ensure the victim’s condition, check the severity of the case, and call an ambulance. Car accident injuries leave victims traumatized with physical and mental damages that last for years or even a lifetime—some of the common injuries after car accidents are listed below.
Whiplash or Neck Injuries
Whiplash or Neck injury is one of the most common types of car accident injury. It happens when sudden, forceful movement strains your neck and upper spine to move in ways that cause injuries, like damaging bones, muscles, ligaments, and nerves.
Common symptoms of whiplash are stiffness in the neck while moving, tenderness to being touched around the injured area, pain that even radiates to the head, face, shoulder, and back, swelling, and sensitivity around the injury while touching, and sometimes it may affect the neurological damage. It can be cured almost in a month or even years.
A facial injury may occur by broken glass or impact with a steering wheel, airbag, side window, car seat, or hard surface. Facial damages like disfigurement, scarring, bruising, bleeding, broken bones, dental damage, eye damage, and many more.
Testing and examining facial injuries, bleeding from the nose, eyes, or mouth, cut wounds on the face, facial pain, bruising behind ears, eyes or under tongue, facial numbness or tingling, and skin infections. Minor injuries can be recovered within a week and can be managed at the accident site. Major injuries require urgent medical attention, like disfigurement requiring surgical correction, which may take years.
Back and Spinal Cord Injuries
Back and Spinal cord injuries occur in severe accidents like rollover accidents, vehicle occupants being thrown from vehicles, high-speed collisions, and a car or truck colliding with a pedestrian, bicycle, or motorcycle. As long as an accident takes place, you need to examine the lower part of the body.
Signs and symptoms of spinal cord injuries are extreme back pain or pressure in the neck, head, or back, numbness and tingling in your hands, fingers, and feet, loss of bladder or bowel control, difficulty breathing, and many more. As soon as you experience these symptoms, seek emergency medical help. It would be serious and long-lasting.
Head and Brain Injuries
Head injuries are critical injuries in a car accident. Either you hit your head on the side of the car, headrest, or steering wheel column, it could cause head trauma. That’s why you should always protect your head in any accident. Brain injuries can be mild to severe or even may cause death.
Severe brain injuries like skull fracture, intracranial hematoma, and traumatic brain injury exhibit unusual eye movement, bleeding from deep wounds in the scalp, loss of consciousness, vomiting, slurred speech, seizures or convulsions, and poor muscle control. Head injuries can lead to long-term disability, or people may go into a coma.
Broken Bone and Fractures
Broken bones and fractures are the most common injuries after a car accident. Broken ribs and limbs include fracture, dislocation, and, in severe cases, even loss of limbs.
Different fracture symptoms are swelling, major bruising, tenderness, bleeding, numbness, bone sticking out of the skin or at an abnormal angle, and severe pain when breathing. Since symptoms are visible, seek help from an orthopedic surgeon.
Lacerations and Bruises
Injuries like lacerations and bruises occur during a car accident. Cuts can cause broken glass, torn sheet metal, or flying objects. A bruise is a rapture of blood vessels that leaks blood into the surrounding tissues. Bruise appears caused by airbags, seat belt injuries, or hitting your head on the steering wheel, dashboard, or side window. Skin appears black, blue, purple, or reddish because of bruises. It heals on its own, but if wounds are not treated properly, it can cause severe infections.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Sprains, strains, and bruising in the muscles, tendons, and ligaments cause soft tissue injury. It’s a common type of injury in a car accident; sprains are partial tears to a ligament caused by a wrench or twist between the two bones of a joint (like in between knees or elbow).
Adequate rest, properly applying ice(cold packs), wearing an elastic compression bandage, and elevating the injury higher than your heart level while resting helps to recover from soft tissue injuries. In severe conditions, you can consult an Orthopedic Doctor.
Burn Injuries and Scars
After a car accident, the car might catch fire at the time of a collision, leakage of fuel, tyre burst, or electrical failure. You might catch fire or come into contact with hot fluids, surfaces, steam, or chemicals. Those burns are measured in degrees.
First-degree burns often heal without scarring. It is just on the epidermis(outermost layer of skin), which heals within a week. Second and third-degree burns usually leave behind scars, damage the dermis(the layer underneath the epidermis), and take two weeks or months to heal. In the case of third-degree burns, it would take years and, at a time, a skin graft to minimize these scars.
Psychological Injuries and Impacts
An article published by the National Library of Medicine concluded that in the early phase, about 21-67% of motor vehicle crash survivors experience depressive moods, up to 47% experience elevated anxiety and driving phobia, and 20-40% suffer post-traumatic stress disorder—mental damage to be more severe when survivors are left with permanent physical injuries. In the long run, it would affect their career and quality of life.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Car accident victims often deal with post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD). Now and then, we try to ignore problems like depression, anxiety, changes in behavior, sleep disturbances, and vehophobia(phobia related to driving). You shouldn’t ignore these problems; they lead to nightmares, self-isolating behavior, and serious physical and emotional reactions, including disturbing memories or flashbacks. PTSD is not a sign of weakness; it affects anyone at anytime. Instead, seek medical health.
What to do After a Car Accident Injury?
Regardless of how safely you drive a car, accidents occur unconsciously. You should immediately take certain steps after a car accident injury to ensure everyone is safe when handling the after-effects of an accident, to resolve the case, and to recover damages from injuries. You can consult with a car accident lawyer to get the insurance claim process started. Here is the step-by-step process to follow after a car accident injury:
- First, you should remain calm and check yourself for injuries.
- Call 911 for medical help, or ask someone to do so if you are badly wounded.
- If you are not seriously injured, check on your passengers’ well-being.
- After the arrival of law enforcement bodies, you should report the situation and obtain eye witness for contact information.
- Pull your car over to the shoulder if you can to avoid disturbing the traffic. If it happens during the night, turn on your car’s hazard light so that others can see you.
- Seek out immediate medical treatment and explain your injuries to consultant doctors.
- Perform comprehensive diagnostic tests.
- Check the damages from both vehicles and exchange the information between drivers like full name, contact information, insurance company, policy number, driver’s license, license plate number, type, color, vehicle model, and accident location.
- Document the accident to protect yourself, identify the officers, get a copy of the accident report, and take pictures of your vehicle from different angles, showing the damages to both cars. Note down the names and addresses of all parties involved, including passengers in the other vehicle.
- Eyewitnesses play a vital role in insurance claims in court, so talk to witnesses and take their contact information.
- Notify your insurer and start the claims process.
- Notify the Department of Motor Vehicles, if necessary
Car Accidents and Its Causes
Car accidents are sudden occurrences of casualty unknowing by drivers. Drivers are aware of the general traffic rules and regulations, even though accidents occur. Most accidents occur due to human error, and it may be drivers, passengers, pedestrians, or sometimes road and weather conditions.
Since you now know what to do after a car accident injury, you should also know some of the common causes of road accidents reported by the United States Department of Transportation. This way, you can be safe even before a car accident.
Drunk driving: Drunk driving is one of the major reasons for accidents. Alcohol decreases the reaction time and concentration level of the human body. So, it reduces the focus and hampers vision due to dizziness.
Drug-Impaired Driving: Drugs impair your motor neurons, thus affecting your driving abilities. They are unaware of how fast they drive or follow traffic rules and regulations.
Distracted driving: Nowadays, people use mobile phones or talking on the phone while driving. Some other distractions are listening to loud stereo/ radio in a vehicle, animals on the road, and adjusting mirrors while driving.
Seat Belts: Seat Belts are the safety gear that saves thousands of lives each year, but people still put their lives at risk without buckling up seat belts.
Speeding: Speeding is one of the most common causes of car accidents. While you are at high speed, stopping for something unexpected is difficult. Schools, hospitals, and residential areas are restricted areas, so drivers should be aware of the speed limit.
Drowsy Driving: Nowadays, people are so busy in their day-to-day lives that they don’t have time to complete their sleep. Due to hectic, tight work schedules, they cannot rest, which leads to fatigue and drowsiness. They may fall asleep in the car and drive into oncoming traffic. Drowsy driving is becoming a serious problem in the US.
Accidents can be reduced by following traffic laws, staying focused on the road, limiting speed, and avoiding using drugs and alcohol while driving. But still, for unfortunate car accidents, you can overcome or recover your loss by hiring a car accident lawyer.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer to fight your Injuries claim
If you or your loved ones got injured in a car accident, contact a car accident lawyer at J.G Winter Law Sacramento, who is here for you. We provide free consultation at no charge until they win the case. The financial burden starts right after the accident or injury, so you should hire an experienced car accident attorney to ensure the financial claim. They treat your case own case and provide as fast as possible to help you.
They handle catastrophic personal injury cases dealing with auto accidents, spinal injuries, brain injuries, and wrongful death. They will advocate and fight for your rights. They don’t pass cases to interns; we handle each and every case personally. You can call us at (844.734.2626) or email us.