Over 3 million people sustain injuries from car accidents each year.
While various factors impact the severity and extent of the wounds, there are a handful of injuries that are more prevalent than others.
The most common injuries are impact injuries and penetrating injuries.
Impact injuries are typically caused when part of the person’s body hits some part of the interior of the car – for example, when your knee hits the dashboard or your head hits the seat rest. Penetrating injuries are typically cuts and scrapes. Shattering glass or loose objects flying inside the car on impact often cause these types of injuries.
Within these categories there are five specific types of injuries.
Soft Tissue Injuries
A soft tissue injury is damage to the body’s connective tissue, which means muscles, ligaments and tendons. This is the most common type of injury resulting from a car accident.
A “whiplash” type injury to the neck and upper back is a form of soft tissue injury. In that type of injury the muscles and ligaments are stretched due to sudden movements imposed on the head and neck in the collision. The same forces can cause soft tissue injuries in other areas of the body such as the back.
Scrapes and Cuts
In a car collision any loose objects inside the car immediately become projectiles in the car’s interior. This includes cell phones, coffee mugs, books, boxes, etc. If these objects hit your body it can cause cuts, more serious wounds, or other injuries.
Head injuries vary in severity depending on the accident. Impact with a side window, headrest, or steering wheel can cause scrapes and bruising to the head, or even deeper lacerations. More severe collision impacts can cause a closed head injury, which is when fluid and tissue inside the skull are damaged because of the sudden movement or impact of the head. Less severe closed head injuries often result in concussions, while the most severe impacts can cause brain damage.
These injuries typically take the form of contusions or bruises, but can be more severe, such as broken ribs or internal injuries. Drivers can often experience chest injuries because of their position behind the steering wheel. If a person’s body is thrown forward in a collision, the chest area will still experience a high level of force against the shoulder harness or seat belt, which can cause severe bruising.
Arm and Leg Injuries
If you are in a side-impact collision, your arms and legs might be thrown hard against the door. In this situation, passengers can have a higher risk of knee injury, as their legs may hit the dashboard or the seats in front of them. Depending on the nature of the collision, injuries to your arms and legs might be mere bruises or scrapes, but sprains and breaks can occur.
It is important to note that some injuries may not be apparent directly following the accident. That is why it is crucial to get a timely and thorough medical evaluation. A doctor can assess known injuries and can determine if others are present due to the crash.
To learn more about the steps you can take after an accident, click here
For nearly 50 years Kimmel, Carter, Roman, Peltz & O’Neill have helped thousands of injured Delawareans. With 12 attorneys, over 210 years combined experience, we are here to help you. For a free consultation, call 302-565-6100.