7th Oct 2015
Being involved in an accident is a stressful and scary situation, but it becomes even more so when you suffer an injury during that accident. Most people who find themselves in this situation not only have to worry about getting back to their optimal health, they also have to worry about whether or not the insurance companies are going to reimburse them with a fair settlement to cover the full cost of treatment.
How Common are Car Accidents?
Sadly, accidents involving vehicles on the road are one of the most common causes of injury in the U.S. There were over 5.6 million car accidents reported in 2012—about 30,000 were fatal and another 1.6 million involved some type of injury, leading to an estimated $277 billion in costs for damages and medical bills each year.
What Injuries Might Be Expected After an Accident?
Every accident is different, and the injuries suffered will vary depending on the vehicles involved, the circumstances of the crash, and other factors like whether or not someone was wearing a seatbelt or has airbags in their car. While the details of each accident might differ, there are some common injuries that occur when someone is involved in a motor vehicle crash.
1: Head Injuries
One of the most common, and potentially most serious car accident injuries that people can face is a head injury. When you’re seated in a vehicle and hit another vehicle or object at high speeds, your head can come in contact with things like the steering wheel, dashboard, windows, and the vehicle frame, leading to injuries like concussion, traumatic brain injury, and other things that impact cognitive function like memory issues, hearing loss, or vision problems. These can be serious if not treated, so seeing a medical professional should be a priority.
2: Neck Injuries
Neck injuries are also very common, even in car accidents that don’t involve a lot of damage to the vehicle or other injuries. The most common is whiplash, when the sudden movement of your head and neck cause muscle or ligament injuries. Sometimes these injuries will not be noticeable immediately after the crash, but will develop over the course of a few days or weeks following an accident.
3: Chest and Back Injuries
Your chest and back are also susceptible to injury after an accident, and the most common injuries are damage to the spinal cord, spinal nerves, or discs in your back. The severity can range from back pain or sciatica after a herniated disc to muscle weakness, tingling, and paralysis.
Your chest can also suffer injury from blunt force trauma resulting from hitting the steering wheel, dashboard, airbag deployment, or seatbelt force. The result can range from broken ribs and collapsed lungs to cardiac arrest or internal bleeding, all of which require immediate medical attention.
4: Extremity Injuries
Other injuries to a person’s arms and legs are also common in car accidents, especially to arms, hands, legs and feet, as well as joints like wrists, ankles, shoulders, and knees, and hips. These can include broken bones, ligament damage, and other injuries both visible and not.
Besides the physical injuries, many people also suffer emotional distress, which can be compounded if you are dealing with the stress of trying to get a settlement from an insurance company that will cover your medical bills and other damage. If you have bee involved in a car accident, talk to an attorney today to find out what you are entitled to and get started on the road to healing.