Serious injuries result from car accidents every day.
Agencies that keep track of such things report an average of 6 million car accidents each year in the USA.
3 million people suffer injuries in U.S. car accidents each year.
Approximately 2 million of those injuries end up being permanent.
An unfortunate reality, car accidents take place more often than any of us want to realize. When they do, various forces of impact throw the drivers and passengers about, causing injury.
Medical providers divide the spine into three parts, cervical, thoracic and lumbar. The cervical spine rides inside of our necks, holding up our heads. The lumbar spine makes up the low back. In between sits the mid back or thoracic spine. Any of those areas subject themselves to the forces of heavy vehicles bashing together. Resulting injuries include herniation, spinal cord damage, dislocation, subluxation, sprains and strains.
Head and Brain Injuries
Forces of impact from one vehicle striking another cause head injuries ranging from lacerations to skull fractures. Other such injuries include traumatic brain injury or TBI, concussion, internal bleeding and persistent headache. Impact on the head causes concussions which can result in headaches, blurred vision, trouble concentrating, nausea, memory loss and other symptoms. Sometimes symptoms take place immediately after the accident, in other cases there’s a delay between accident and onset of symptoms. Either way neurological treatment should be sought without hesitation.
The possibility of fire presents a key reason to abandon a vehicle if at all possible after a collision. Burns range from less severe to life threatening. Medical providers rate burns on a scale of one to three from least severe to the worst. Generally first degree burns affect only the outer layer of skin or epidermis. Symptoms include pain, redness and swelling. Second degree burns affect both the outer and inner layer or dermis. In addition to pain, redness and swelling second degree burns often come along with blistering. Third degree burns destroy both the epidermis and dermis. The third degree burn also often penetrates into the innermost layer of skin, the subcutaneous tissue. The burn can appear white or blackened and charred. More serious burns may require skin grafts. They may also result in scarring.
Fractures result depending on the type of impact and the position of passengers and drivers in the vehicles. For example side impact collisions can cause upper body fractures including broken arms. Drivers and front seat passengers can suffer ankle fractures when the vehicle slams into another vehicle or structure.
Extreme crash impact and rollover forces can result in serious head injuries, crush injuries, burns and other catastrophic physical damage resulting in death. Accident experts tell us high speed is a frequent cause of death on the highways.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Ligaments, tendons and muscles often stretch beyond normal limits and even tear under the forces of a vehicle accident. Often called sprains or strains, the injuries range from less severe to extreme. Insurance companies love to disparage what has come to be known as the soft tissue injury. At the same time talk to those sustaining such injuries and the effects can prove debilitating, long terms and severe.
After an Accident
These represent only some of the injuries, severe and not as serious, resulting from motor vehicle accidents. Such injuries often produce life altering effects in the short run and sometimes long term or permanent.
It may sound obvious but getting medical care immediately is highly important. In the case of serious injuries people obviously require emergency care at the earliest moment. At the same time my office has experienced cases in which for whatever reason those injured decide to shy away from treatment. I’ve even seen those who have suffered fractures avoid treatment.
Whether out of embarrassment or out of fear of the cost of an ambulance and other medical treatment, some actually refuse treatment right away. First of all, there’s no reason to be embarrassed for having suffered an injury. Things happen. Nearly everyone at some point in their life suffers injury and or illness and requires medical attention. Second, while medical costs can in fact shock the consciousness, at what risk to one’s health does one not get needed treatment? In addition many conditions only worsen if ignored.
Other Accident Injuries
More people drive larger cars, notably Sports Utility Vehicles or SUVs, than before. But are they any safer? The venerable New York Times reported SUVs and pickups accounted for 70 percent of consumer vehicle sales.
Sales of midsize sedans have nose-dived, from 3 million in 2012 to 1.9 million last year. One of every five cars sold was a midsize sedan in 2012; today it’s barely one in 10.
New York Times Sept. 12, 2019.
Studies go both ways on the question of whether SUVs are actually any safer. Some studies confirm that survivability is more likely in a larger SUV compared to a smaller sedan. At the same time, SUVs by design carry a higher center of gravity. Drivers feeling safe and confident in their cocoon of a large comfy vehicle forget this. SUVs are more prone than sedans to rolling over in a crash, whether taking an exit ramp at high speed or otherwise cornering at high speed. Such accidents tend to cause broken bones, head injuries, spinal cord injuries as well as others.
This list represents injuries commonly caused in vehicle collisions.
What to do after a car accident?
Any injury is serious if it happens to you. The Law Offices of Andrew D. Myers help accident victims document their injuries, obtain the required documentation and fight the insurance companies. If you have been injured in an accident through no fault of your own, contact us through the contact us tab above or call one of the telephone numbers at the top of this page.
Car Accident Statistics in the U.S.; driverknowledge.com.
CDC: Distracted Driving
National Safety Council: Distracted Driving.
S.U.V. vs. Sedan, and Detroit vs. the World, in a Fight for the Future; New York Times, Sept. 12, 2019.