The Most Common Types of Car Crash Injuries
Despite many drivers’ best efforts to exercise caution and avoid collisions when driving, car accidents still happen at an alarming rate. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that there were 7,277,000 police-reported car accidents in the United States in 2016. Car accidents are the leading cause of injuries in the United States.
The most recent data from the NHTSA, which was published in 2018, reports that in 2016 there were 2,177,000 police-reported car accident-related injuries. This number is up from the previous year of 2016, in which there were 1,715,000 police-reported car accident injuries. The data shows that since 2007, the earliest year highlighted in the report, police-reported car accident injuries have been on the rise.
Following are some of the most common injuries related to car accidents.
One of the most common car accident-related neck injuries is whiplash. Whiplash occurs when the neck is caused to move forcefully and rapidly in a back-and-forth motion. This also can be referred to as a neck strain. Vehicle occupants often experience whiplash when they are hit from behind. Some common symptoms of whiplash include the following:
- Neck pain or stiffness
- Loss of range of motion in the neck
- Tenderness in the shoulders and upper back
- Tingling in the arms
Neck injuries should be diagnosed and treated by a doctor. More severe neck injuries can result in paralysis. Unfortunately, wearing a seat belt will not help prevent whiplash.
Head and Brain Injuries
Various head and brain injuries can occur as a result of a car crash. Traumatic brain injuries occur when the head is forced to move back and forth in a rapid motion, causing the brain to hit the skull. Some common types of traumatic brain injuries suffered in car accidents include, but are not limited to, concussions, contusions, and hemorrhaging. Some common symptoms of a traumatic brain injury include the following:
- Loss of consciousness
- Disorientation and dizziness
- Nausea or vomiting
- Inability to sleep or sleeping more than usual
- Difficulty with speech
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Issues with memory
There are other signs of brain injury. If you have suffered a blow to the head, seek medical attention as soon as possible, as a brain injury should be diagnosed and treated by a medical professional to ensure minimal damage.
Arm and Leg Injuries
Depending on the circumstances of an accident, arms and legs can be injured in various ways, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Broken or fractured bones
- Torn ligaments and tendons
- Lacerations and scarring
Also, a limb may have to be amputated as the result of a car accident.
These types of injuries can occur due to the driver hitting the steering wheel in a collision, a seatbelt tightening around an occupant, or by striking the dashboard. Chest injuries can involve broken or bruised ribs, punctured lungs, and heart issues. Chest injuries may be accompanied by symptoms like:
- Chest pain
- Coughing up blood
- Shortness of breath
These types of injuries can occur due to impact with an object during a car accident, such as flying debris and glass. Facial injuries may include cuts and scarring and may require continual treatment.
Although any accident can cause injury, some factors that contribute to the likelihood of injury and may worsen resulting injuries can include any of the following:
- Whether the individuals involved in the accident were wearing seatbelts
- What types of vehicles were involved in the crash, that is, sedans, sports utility vehicles, crossovers, pickup trucks, or motorcycles
- How fast the vehicles were traveling when the accident occurred
- Point of impact on the vehicles
- Where in the vehicle the travelers were in relation to where the vehicle was hit
- Whether the airbags deployed
- Whether the crash in a rural area or a city
- Whether any of the drivers were under the influence of drugs or alcohol
If you have been involved in a car accident, seek medical attention for your injuries. Individuals involved in a collision may be transported to the hospital by ambulance or helicopter. Other accident victims who walk away from the scene should seek medical attention as well, even if the accident is considered minor, as some symptoms may be delayed and some issues take time to manifest.
Being in a vehicular accident is a traumatic experience. As a result of an accident, victims and their families may face many short- and long-term consequences that often require ongoing medical treatment and missed time at work. At Hankey Marks & Crider we believe that you should not have to face the aftermath of an accident alone. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact the experienced and compassionate Indianapolis car accident attorneys at Hankey Marks & Crider to learn more about your legal rights. Call us today at (317) 634-8565.