Common Injuries Caused in Auto Accidents
Generally, auto accident injuries are categorized as impact injuries or penetrating injuries. When a person’s body collides with the interior of the vehicle, this is typically referred to as an impact injury. For example, a person’s head can be hit against the vehicle’s side window or his or her knee can hit the dashboard upon impact with the other vehicle. When a penetrating injury occurs, a person can sustain lacerations, cuts, and/or scrapes. Any loose objects inside the car can cause these types of injuries, but they can also be caused when the vehicle’s windows shatter upon collision.
The following are common injuries that can occur in a car accident:
Open Wounds – Upon motor vehicle collision, the loose objects in the interior of the vehicle can become projectiles that are violently thrown around the inside of the vehicle. This can include phones, eyeglasses, coffee mugs, and even books. When any of these items hit a person with significant force, they can cause open wound injuries, such as scrapes, lacerations, and abrasions.
Many cuts and abrasions can be minor and will require no medical treatment. Other serious open wound injuries can result in significant blood loss and will require surgery and/or stitches.
Head Injuries – A head injury can be caused even when the auto accident seems relatively minor. Unfortunately, the severity of a head injury is difficult to determine without a thorough medical evaluation. According to the National Institute of Health, some brain injuries can take several weeks to become apparent.
Injuries in the Chest Area – These injuries can often take the form of bruising or contusions, but they can sometimes be catastrophic and result in internal injuries, such as broken ribs and internal bleeding. The group of individuals at higher risk of sustaining these injuries are drivers, who are often violently hit by a deployed airbag. It should be noted that chest injuries can also be caused when a seat belt is worn.
Injuries in the Extremities – Car accidents have the potential to be extremely forceful. Upon collision, a person’s arms and legs can be significantly injured, which can lead to debilitating injuries. Depending on the nature of the accident, light bruising and scrapes can occur, but in many accidents, the injuries result in sprains, broken bones, or even the loss of a limb.
Spinal Cord Injury – According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, spinal cord injuries usually begin when a person suffers a traumatic blow to his or her spine, which fractures or dislocates the vertebrae. A majority of injuries do not completely sever a person’s spinal cord. Instead, most injuries are caused by a fracture or a compression in the vertebrae, which crushes and destroys a person’s axons. These axons are extensions of nerve cells, which carry signals from a person’s brain through the spinal cord to the rest of his or her body. When a person sustains a spinal cord injury, this can damage anywhere from a few axons to nearly all of them. Spinal cord injuries can vary from an incomplete injury, where a person can recover, or a complete injury, which results in complete paralysis.