When you drive through any borough in New York City, you are at risk of getting involved in one of the many car crashes that occur here every day.
If that’s not a sobering enough though, how about this? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that more than three million people are injured each year in vehicle accidents across the United States.
Because of this, it is important to learn about the types of injuries that are most common in vehicle collisions, and what you can do to protect yourself if you are injured in a car crash. The most common types of injuries sustained in a car crash fall into two categories: penetrating injuries and impact injuries.
Penetrating injuries occur when a part of the vehicle or a piece of flying debris penetrates your soft tissues with a cut, scrape, or puncture. Impact injuries occur when your body hits the vehicle interior.
These two types of injuries can take many forms, depending on the body area and level of impact.
Auto Accident Injuries You Need to Watch Out For
Here is a list of four common types of injuries:
Cuts and Scrapes.
Contusions can occur anywhere on the body due to either penetrating or impact injuries. A cut or scrape may or may not require medical attention, depending on its severity. The vast majority of people in car accidents will suffer at least one cut or scrape, and possibly many more. Be sure to seek medical treatment so infection is kept at bay.
Several different types of head injuries may occur in a car crash. The most common head injury is “whiplash,” which occurs during sudden movement of the neck and head in a collision. The sudden movement during a crash stretches ligaments and muscles, and the stretching can cause pain and stiffness in the neck and shoulders. The pain of whiplash may not be felt for several hours after the crash, and it can last many months.
Another head injury that may occur during a car crash is a concussion. The force of a car crash can cause the brain to move inside the skull. Concussions cause temporary and sometimes permanent loss of brain function. Symptoms of concussions include headaches, vision problems, nausea, loss of focus or concentration, loss of balance, irritability, and confusion.
Many concussion victims face the threat of seizures for years after the accident. Rare but serious complications from concussions include bleeding of the brain and permanent disability.
Since the area between the torso and steering wheel is so narrow, it’s common for drivers to sustain torso injuries in a car crash. Broken ribs are a common occurrence, as well as deep bruising from air bag deployment and seat belt restriction.
Back injuries often occur in car crashes. The same forces that cause whiplash can cause strain on back muscles and ligaments, so it’s common to have mid- and lower-back pain after a crash. Back pain may not present itself until several hours after the crash.
More severe injuries can occur if the spinal cord is damaged. Victims of a car crash may experience temporary sensation loss to extremities or permanent paralysis, depending on the damage to the spinal cord. Car crashes may also cause herniated disks, which can be painful and problematic, and may eventually require surgery.
Injuries to Extremities.
Your arms and legs are at risk of injury in a car crash. Depending on the type of collision and whether you are driving or riding, you may be thrown against the car’s interior, or your knees may hit the dashboard or the seat in front of you. You may have cuts, scrapes, and bruises, muscle injuries, or even broken bones in your arms and legs.
Another common component of car crashes is the emotional impact. A car crash can change your life by causing enormous amounts of stress due to physical injury, medical and insurance bills, loss of income, and damage to property. It may take you years to recover from post-traumatic stress disorder provoked by the event.
Since car accidents are a leading cause of injuries in the United States, it’s important to know how to protect yourself if you are injured. Time is of the essence after you are involved in a car crash. Be sure to seek medical attention, even if you don’t feel immediate pain. Problems like whiplash and concussions can arise hours later.
Contact our office for legal counsel as soon as possible after an accident. The financial and emotional costs of car accidents are high, and we are skilled at assisting people like you to receive the compensation you need and deserve while holding those responsible for your injuries accountable.