Car accidents can range from minor fender-benders to fatal disasters, but regardless of how serious it is people can sustain all types of injuries from these accidents. Data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in 2010 shows that almost 4 million people were injured, over 32,000 died and almost 25 million vehicles were damaged that year from car accidents in the US. And even though the number of fatalities was a bit lower in 2013, they still numbered in the tens of thousands.
In any car accident where somebody gets hurt the severity largely depends on the circumstances surrounding the accident: the intensity of the accident, the speed of travel, the condition of the car and driver, the passengers’ sitting position, and the condition of the passengers in the car before the accident.
Other conditions to consider include the biker’s location (if a bike was hit or hit somebody else) and/or the pedestrian’s point of contact with the car (in the case of a pedestrian being hit). Although highly variable, the following seem to be the most common types of injuries that result from a car accident:
Bruises, Cuts, and Scrapes
This is common in mild accidents. It could also depend on how masterful or adept the driver was at navigating or controlling the car during the accident. Generally, cuts, scrapes and bruises are hardly life threatening. But, you also want to be sure that the cut isn’t very deep.
A slight laceration on the forehead for instance, might be just skin deep while a scrape might not affect more than the outer layer of your skin. Whatever the case, if you only suffer this type of injury during a car accident, chances are you will be fine and only need to worry if you’re bleeding and it refuses to stop.
However, don’t walk away from an accident scene just because you think your injuries are minor, there could be hidden damage as well. As with any other injury: see a doctor to stave off the chances of infection.
Head and Neck injuries
Many accidents involve some sort of head or neck injury. This is usually because of the force that accompanies a moving car when it suddenly impacts something with considerable resistance. How bad it is depends on what part of the head or neck is affected.
Some examples of common types of head and neck injuries include: whiplash or concussion, broken neck, cranial fracture and subdural hematoma. Head injuries are typically very dangerous and potentially fatal if left untreated. If you’re lucid, tell the EMTs what happened as soon as they arrive. It could be the key to saving your life if you become unconscious.
The chest is arguably one of the most common areas of impact in the body during an accident. Depending on whether or not you were wearing a seatbelt at the time of impact, chest injuries can be anything from welts or bruising resulting from the friction of the seatbelt against your skin to ruptured diaphragm, broken ribs and perforated internal organs.
For example, it is not uncommon to find broken ribs piercing the lungs or heart in an accident; this can result in rapid internal bleeding and eventual death. If you find that there’s a sharp pain in your chest or difficulty in breathing, inform the EMTs when they arrive.
Injuries of the Lower Extremity
These are usually common among the victims of the accident – whether they be pedestrian, bikers, or car owners. The impact of a car with another car, an object or a person can result in a compressed abdominal wall, injured spleen, kidney and liver, hip fracture, fractured femur, lacerated thighs, broken lower legs and arms, and severed toes, fingers and limbs.
Apart from the anguish of physical pains accompanying many car accidents, the cost getting proper medical treatment for all these can be quite expensive and may prove to be too much of a financial burden. If this is the case, you may need the help of a proven car accident attorney to help get the maximum compensation required to help foot the medical bills, recover on time, replace lost or damaged vehicles and other associated costs.
Oscar King works as an investigator for car insurance, frequently investigating injury and accident claims in Deland. Dealing with legal complications is part of the job, and he fully recommends the Law Offices of David Heil for handling any legal aftermath. You can find additional examples of his written work on Google+.