Most Common Car Accident Injuries
According to recent statistics, serious car accident injuries are more common in New York than in most other states. A DMV report said there were more than a quarter of a million non-fatal accidents recorded by the NYPD in 2011 alone.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the collision, injuries from an auto accident can range from mild to life-threatening. The most common car accident injuries reported are:
A serious car accident – perhaps resulting in loss of life – can have traumatic consequences for the surviving occupants of the vehicle or vehicles, even if they themselves did not come to any physical harm. Victims may suffer short term emotional distress or long term psychological problems like post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
One of the most common car accident injuries, whiplash can range from minor to severe. ‘Whiplash’ refers to any injury to the muscles, tendons, joints and ligaments of the neck caused by a sudden impact or deceleration. Symptoms usually develop immediately, and injuries may take months to heal. If you experience neck pain or stiffness, shoulder pain or stiffness, dizziness or headache after an accident, you should seek medical help. In the most severe cases, whiplash can cause memory loss, fatigue and depression.
Spinal cord injury
Undoubtedly one of the most serious car accident injuries, damage to the spinal cord can result in severe pain, loss of sensation and movement, and temporary or permanent paralysis. Both paraplegia – paralysis of the lower body – and quadriplegia – paralysis from the neck down – are possible outcomes of serious auto accidents.
Dangerous debris such as broken glass, torn metal and flying objects within the car can all cause lacerations or deep cuts. Smaller cuts will heal on their own, or with the aid of stitches, but deeper lacerations can result in blood loss. Immediate treatment and surgery may be needed. Some lacerations will leave permanent, visible scarring.
Even when there are few visible injuries, blunt force trauma caused by steering wheels or flying debris can result in potentially fatal internal bleeding or injury to internal organs. Prompt medical assistance is of vital importance.
A blow to the head may cause mild concussion, or swelling in the brain. One of the more insidious car accident injuries, victims may not be aware of a problem in the immediate aftermath of a crash, so it’s important to inform paramedics if you believe you have taken a blow to the head, as immediate medical attention is paramount to prevent long-term damage. Even if the head has not been struck, sudden deceleration can cause a headache which may be symptomatic of a serious head injury. Let medical staff know if you have experienced a headache, even if you did not suffer a blow to the head.
Broken arms, legs, ankles, ribs and wrists are other common injuries. Simple breaks may be treated with a cast and, later, physical therapy to help regain motion. More serious breaks may require surgery. A compound fracture – when broken bones pierce the skin – is also common, and will require urgent orthopedic attention.
Soft tissue injury
Soft tissue injury is similar to whiplash, and can occur in other parts of the body. Such injuries include bruises, stretching, spraining, straining and tearing. Soft tissue injuries, if properly managed, usually heal over time.
Establishing liability with a New York auto accident lawyer
Car accident injuries caused by the negligence of someone else may entitle the victim to compensation. The level of compensation is dependent on a number of factors, including the seriousness of the injury, the scope and cost of medical treatment, the impact on future quality of life and the prognosis, as well as the degree to which someone else is liable for the injury.
A New York auto accident lawyer from The Sanders Firm can help you understand your rights. Our attorneys have decades of experience dealing with victims of car accident injuries. Contact our office at 1-800-FAIR-PLAY for a free case evaluation.