The Most Common Types of Injuries in an Auto Accident
According to the Texas Department of Transportation, 265,076 people in Texas were injured in an auto accident in 2016. Auto accidents can affect victims in virtually any part of the body and with a variety of severity depending on the type of impact. Follow these 7 steps after you are in a car accident and contact an auto injury lawyer to maximize your recovery. Although major accidents often cause major injuries and minor accidents typically cause minor injuries, bodily harm can vary significantly regardless of the severity of the impact. Many injuries are obvious immediately, while others are not and can take days or weeks to flare up. Have a precautionary medical examination as soon as possible and in the coming weeks and months after the accident, stay in tune with how your body reacts and alert your doctor if you begin to notice new pain or symptoms that become more prominent.
Primary Types of Car Injuries
In a car accident, some injuries are more likely to happen than others. The primary types of injuries in a car accident that need insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits are as follows.
Brain and Head Injuries
Some of the most common types of injuries that occur in auto accidents are brain and head injuries. These can consist of concussions or other traumatic brain injuries (TBI) that can include skull fractures, internal bleeding, and lacerations that can require plastic surgery. Even when there are not any noticeable signs of damage (such as bleeding or bruising), the brain isn’t immune to an injury as it could have had damage inside the skull (think about why we open egg cartons to check if eggs are cracked). These can sometimes heal on their own after some rest or they may even be severe enough to impair vital functions, including a person’s vision or concentration.
In addition to brain injuries and traumatic head injuries, facial injuries happen frequently as the result of vehicle crashes. These can be caused by a variety of factors including the airbag, the steering wheel, the dashboard, the side window, or even shattered glass. The types of injuries that they can inflict include lacerations, facial fractures, dental injuries, jaw disorders, vision loss, and loss of hearing.
Neck and Back Injuries
The most common type of injury that’s suffered in car accidents is whiplash. Whiplash is an injury where the neck stretches and then snaps into place because a vehicle crash causes the car to either suddenly stop or accelerate. Whiplash can damage the vertebrae, ligaments, or even the spinal cord itself. It can lead to chronic pain or even paralysis and loss of function in part of the body.
Other types of neck and back injuries that can occur are back sprains, disc injuries, thoracic spine injuries, lumbar spine injuries, lumbar radiculopathy, and cervical radiculopathy. Many of these neck and back injuries won’t necessarily show up immediately – it may take time before these injuries are noticeable and the victim feels their effects. Keep in mind x-rays or CTs you receive at the emergency room may not show some of the damage to the spine that you can better see with an MRI.
Emotional and Psychological Injuries
The damages that an auto accident can cause aren’t just physical – they can cause a person to suffer emotionally as well. Those involved in a car crash may be suffering from severe, long-term injuries, expensive medical bills and rehabilitation costs, and the potential loss of life to friends or loved ones. All this weight can lead to emotional distress, depression, and a condition that resembles post-traumatic stress disorder.
Common Types of Car Crashes and Related Injuries
The type of crash can also result in specific injuries. The primary types of crashes that need insurance claims and personal injury lawsuits include the following:
- Head-On Collisions – It shouldn’t be surprising that head-on collisions are serious and often deadly. Head and brain injuries, back and spinal cord, loss of limbs and deep cuts, whiplash, and injuries to soft tissue are common injuries.
- Rear-End Car Wrecks – Whiplash is the most prominent. Neck and back injuries are commonplace and you could also see head and soft tissue injuries.
- Side Impact Crashes – Whichever side has the impact in a collision is the one more likely to be injured. These injuries could include brain, head, neck, back, chest, abdominal, rotator cuff and meniscus tears and soft tissue.
- SUV Rollover Accidents – Due to the higher center of gravity for these larger vehicles and rolling, you can see head, spinal cord, and soft tissue injuries as well as broken bones.
- Truck and Commercial Vehicle Wrecks – A commercial vehicle’s size and weight alone can cause catastrophic impact resulting in head wounds, spinal cord and broken bone injuries. In some cases, there is vulnerability to chemicals due to vehicle transmissions or cargo on board.