Car accidents are extremely common in the United States, accounting for more than 37,000 deaths per year. Although most car accidents are not fatal, they still cause thousands of injuries every year. These injuries can range from minor bruises to broken bones and traumatic brain injuries, which can have lifelong health implications. Below, we’ll take a look at some of the most common injuries that motorists sustain in car accidents and how they are caused.
Head and Neck Injuries
The most common neck injury in car crashes is whiplash. Whiplash is an injury to the soft tissue of the neck and upper back, and it occurs when the muscles and ligaments of the neck and upper back are stretched due to sudden movements. This stretching is often caused by the sudden jerking of the head, which can occur when one vehicle strikes another.
Head injuries are caused by the same forces as whiplash. If the force of an impact in a collision is great enough, it can cause an occupant’s head to strike nearby objects, including the steering wheel, dashboard, console, or windows. In some cases, this can cause traumatic brain injuries, a very serious condition in which the brain tissue is damaged from hitting the inside of the skull. Traumatic brain injuries can lead to health problems, including nausea, fatigue, headaches, seizure, and cognitive or physical impairments.
Arm and Leg Injuries
Due to their exposure and relatively free movement, an occupant’s arms are at great risk of striking nearby objects or getting scraped or cut by projectiles. For example, the force of an impact in an accident often causes occupants’ knees to hit the dashboard or the seats in front of them. Glass, airbags, dash-mounted GPS systems, cell phones, coffee mugs, purses, or anything else that is not physically attached to the automobile can cause scrapes and cuts to the arms and legs in an automobile accident. Loose objects automatically become projectiles in a vehicle collision, and the severity of the injury depends on the type of object that strikes you.
The force of a collision can cause injuries when the chest strikes a nearby object. Chest injuries are particularly dangerous for the driver because of the steering wheel’s position. Blunt force trauma to the chest in a car accident can cause broken ribs, collapsed lungs, cardiac arrest, and damage to internal organs, the pelvis, and the abdomen.
Car accidents frequently cause emotional distress, which can manifest itself in many ways, including anxiety, depression, and even post-traumatic stress disorder. Young children especially can develop a fear or phobia of cars and driving after an accident, and suffer from nightmares and flashbacks. While the physical wounds from a car accident can often heal fairly quickly, emotional injuries are much more complicated and can take months or even years to dissipate.
Contact a St. Petersburg Car Accident Attorney for Help
If you were injured in a car accident, you may recover compensation for your injuries through an insurance claim or a personal injury action. Contact the car accident lawyers at Berkowitz & Myer for a free consultation by calling (727) 344-0123 today.