Car accident injuries are common. However, the nature and severity of the injuries can vary from minor to life-altering.
In 2021 (the most recent year of data), car accident injuries took an unfortunate upward turn. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “The estimated number of people injured on our roadways increased in 2021 to 2.50 million, rising from 2.28 million in 2020, a statistically significant increase of 9.4 percent.”
This data only tells half the story. It may help us understand the big picture, but it does not help us understand the personal side of these accidents—the lives that are upended because of injuries sustained after an avoidable collision. In many cases, these injuries result in long-term, even lifelong, consequences.
Here, we are going to look at some of the most common car accident injuries. If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident and you are seeking justice for the damages you have sustained, please call the car accident attorneys at Colombo Law at 304-599-4229 today for a FREE case review.
Common Injuries Sustained in Car Accidents
Of the 2.50 million injuries that happen in car accidents each year, the following are some of the most common:
Whiplash injuries, which affect more than 2 million Americans annually, are soft tissue neck injuries most often caused by being rear-ended. When you are hit from behind, it can cause your head to rapidly move forward and then back. This forceful movement can lead to damage to the soft tissue, bones, muscles, and nerves in the neck.
While whiplash symptoms can go away on their own in a matter of days or weeks, more serious cases of whiplash can result in years of pain and suffering. Victims may also experience debilitating neurological symptoms, such as headaches and vision problems.
There are more than 200 bones in the human body, many of which can be easily broken due to the immense force created in car accidents. Some of the bones most commonly fractured in accidents include:
- The arms
- The legs
Treatment for broken bones can range from casts and bed rest to surgery, depending on how severely a bone is broken and in how many places.
Cuts and Scrapes
Vehicles are made up of hard materials that, when twisted or broken, can create extremely sharp edges. While a cut or scrape can usually be treated quickly with glue or stitches, these injuries can also lead to serious infections, including sepsis, if not treated properly.
In some cases, cuts can also result in disfigurement which may require reconstructive surgery to remedy. Sometimes the victim may never look the same.
Internal injuries are among the most dangerous because they are not always immediately apparent. For example, a broken rib can puncture a lung, resulting in pneumothorax. This type of injury may not cause any pain, but it can be deadly.
Collisions can also cause damage to organs such as the liver, spleen, and kidneys, leading to serious problems that may not manifest for days or weeks after an accident. This is, in part, why it is so important to receive medical attention after a serious car accident, even if you feel okay initially.
Common Catastrophic Injuries Caused by Car Accidents
While these injuries are generally less common than the injuries discussed above, they are worth reviewing because of how serious they tend to be:
Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are some of the most serious injuries that a human being can endure. According to the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of injury to the spinal cord.
A spinal cord injury can impact mobility and loss of function. In extreme instances, permanent paralysis may occur.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries can be very serious, leading to long-term physical, psychological, and neurological challenges. According to the CDC, one of the primary causes of TBIs is motor vehicle accidents.
While burn injuries are uncommon in car accidents, they can be extremely serious. According to one study that analyzed 178 patients who suffered burn injuries in car accidents, the mortality rate was 24.7%. These injuries may occur when there are malfunctions with a car’s electrical components, ignition system, or battery, or in the event that gasoline and other fluids ignite as a result of the collision.
Burns can also happen when 18-wheelers carrying flammable liquids or gas are involved in accidents, causing the substances to ignite.
Colombo Law Understands the Most Common Car Accident Injuries
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the types of injuries sustained in car accidents. While many of these injuries are obvious and physically traumatic, some injuries—such as PTSD—can go unnoticed even by the victim’s closest friends and family.
No one should have to suffer in silence if they were injured in a car accident. And, if the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, you should also not be forced to bear the costs by yourself.
Contact Colombo Law to discuss your case for FREE. Our lawyers serve clients in Morgantown and throughout West Virginia.