What Are The Common Car Accident Injuries?
No one expects to be in a car accident. They happen when you least expect them, and even the most minor injuries can leave you facing hefty medical bills and time off work. If you have lasting injuries needing long-term treatment, they can impact your life for years to come.
If your accident was caused by someone else’s negligent or reckless behaviour, you might be entitled to claim compensation. But understanding your injuries and their severity — and seeking medical treatment — are vital first steps.
Our car accident lawyers in South Carolina explore the most common car accident injuries and their impact.
Our bones are delicate and it only takes slight pressure to cause a fracture, so broken bones are a common car accident injury.
Broken bones typically occur during the impact of a crash, such as when your body is thrown forward and hits the steering wheel or airbag. Broken bones can also occur when you are rear-ended, which can jolt you forward. As the impact of a crash is often sudden, we can react without realizing it. So, just as you instinctively thrust your arm out to break your fall if you slip on the street, a rear-end car accident victim will often reach out to prevent themselves from hitting their head on the windscreen, leaving their arm to absorb the most impact.
Broken bones can take time to heal and may require surgery, especially if they do not heal correctly on their own.
Sprains And Bruises
We’ve all suffered a bruise or sprain at some point in our lives. A sprain is an injury to a ligament — the band of tissue connecting one bone to another. Bruises happen when blood collects underneath the skin after trauma.
While most bruises and sprains are nothing to worry about and will heal with rest and time, it’s vital not to overlook them if they’re caused by a car accident. These injuries can get worse or indicate a more severe injury. In rare cases, what you might think is an unsightly bruise could be a hematoma, where bleeding spreads into the surrounding tissues.
Sprains are also graded based on severity, ranging from a minor tear to a severe tear with a visible deformity.
Internal Bleeding And Organ Damage
Internal bleeding is a life-threatening car accident injury that occurs when there’s bleeding into the chest, abdomen, brain, or another organ. Some of the common symptoms of internal bleeding include bruising, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, and pain that doesn’t go away.
Any organ can be ruptured in a car accident, but some are more likely to be damaged than others.
The liver and pancreas: These organs lie on either side of the abdomen — above the stomach and below the ribs. They play vital roles in breaking down nutrients for the body and removing waste by filtering out toxins from the blood. If damaged, they can cause internal bleeding and other complications.
The lungs: Without our lungs, we can’t breathe and send vital oxygen around our bodies. Depending on where you’re hit, the lungs can get punctured in a car accident, which can be fatal. Even if your lungs are only slightly impacted in a crash, you might experience problems breathing for the rest of your life.
The brain: The brain is especially vulnerable in a car crash. You don’t need direct impact to your head to experience a traumatic brain injury, as even a rapid jolt to your body can cause your brain to hit the walls of your skull. In severe accidents, victims might experience bleeding in the brain, which is life-threatening.
Neck And Back Injuries
Neck and back injuries are common car accident injuries. Whiplash is among the most frequent, caused by sudden neck or head movement. It typically occurs when the head rapidly moves back or forward, causing the ligaments and muscles in your spine to stretch and snap back into place. Whiplash often causes soreness in the neck, shoulder, and upper back, but it can also cause chronic pain if left untreated.
Back injuries often cause nerve damage, potentially resulting in loss of function. Nerves carry messages to and from your brain to tell it what’s happening in the rest of your body. When nerves are damaged, you may feel numbness or tingling in part of your body or pain and weakness. This car accident injury can be temporary or permanent.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are serious and can be life-changing. Spinal cord injuries may occur in any accident causing a blow to the head or neck, but they are most commonly caused by car accidents.
One of the most devastating results of this injury is paralysis. You could be entitled to significant compensation if you are left paralyzed after a car accident. Depending on the severity of the injuries, you may never be able to work again or enjoy the activities you used to. In the worst cases, you may lose your independence and have to rely on others to carry out basic tasks.
Burns are a common car accident injury. They can be caused by a hot steering wheel or dashboard, or by a fire caused by the impact.
Burns can be difficult to treat and may cause permanent scars or disfigurement. This can affect your confidence and mental health for the rest of your life.
Head And Brain Injuries
Car crashes often propel drivers and passengers forward, backward, or to the side, so it’s no surprise that head and brain trauma are common injuries after a car accident. This part of the body is vulnerable and can be injured in many ways, from a direct blow to the head from the steering wheel, dashboard, or window or an indirect shunt that knocks your head forward and back.
Brain trauma ranges from mild to severe. A mild traumatic brain injury, such as a concussion, can cause a painful headache for around a week. However, more severe blows can cause bleeding, problems with memory and communication, or even death.
Dental And Facial Injuries
Just as the head and brain are vulnerable in an accident, the teeth and face can sustain significant damage in a car crash. While the type and severity of damage will depend on where your face was hit and how hard, even a minor impact can cause lasting damage. Common dental and facial injuries after a car accident include broken, chipped, or cracked teeth, lost teeth, and facial fractures, such as a broken nose or socket.
A car accident can cause many injuries and these are just some of the most common. If you’ve sustained any of the car accident injuries listed above — or others — you could be entitled to claim compensation from the person or party responsible for the crash.
To find out how our personal injury lawyers in Greenville can help you claim, get in touch for a free, no-obligation consultation.