Types of Car Accident Injuries
In its annual report, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently reported that an estimated 29.9 percent of car accidents that occur in the U.S. result in injury. In these accidents, nearly three million people suffered injury, while 34,439 tragically lost their lives.
While the severity of the injuries sustained in car accidents depends on a number of different factors, there are a few types of car accident injuries that are more common than others.
The most severe of these injuries can cause significant pain, disfigurement, and even permanent disability, the treatment for which can be ruinously expensive. For help seeking compensation for your own car accident-related injuries, please contact our personal injury legal team today.
Car Accident Injuries
The type and severity of the injuries suffered by car accident victims depends on a number of different factors, including:
- The number and
type of vehicles involved in the collision;
- Whether the occupants of the vehicles involved were wearing seat belts;
- Whether the vehicle was equipped with properly functioning airbags;
- The speed at which the vehicles were traveling prior to the collision;
- Whether the injured party’s vehicle was struck from the rear, front, or side; and
- How the vehicles’ occupants were sitting at the time of the collision.
How these factors are applied will, in large part, dictate which of two main types of injuries a person will suffer, which include: impact injuries and penetrating injuries. The former, which include contusions and broken bones, are usually the result of a body part striking the interior of the vehicle during a collision.
Penetrating injuries, such as lacerations, on the other hand, are almost always caused by coming into contact with shattered glass or loose objects in the car that become dislodged upon impact.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Of the many types of impact injuries that a car accident victim can suffer, soft tissue injuries, which involve damage to the body’s connective tissues like muscles, tendons, and ligaments are perhaps the most common. Soft tissue injuries can take a variety of forms, including:
- Contusions, which
are caused by blunt force trauma and often result in pain and swelling due to
bleeding in the tissue;
- Strains, such as whiplash, which are caused by the overextension of the muscles and ligaments, often in the neck or back;
- Sprains, which take the form of a partial tear in a ligament, or the fibrous bands of tissue that connect and stabilize the bones; and
- Bursitis, which involves inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs that provide a cushion between the bones, tendons, and muscles and is often caused by direct trauma to the joints in the shoulders, knees, elbows, and hips.
Soft tissue injuries are often accompanied by discoloration, swelling, and significant pain and in most cases, can be treated with rest, elevation, and compression.
Cuts and lacerations are one of the most common types of penetrating injuries that a person can sustain and are usually the result of coming into contact with shattered glass or loose items inside the car. Surface level cuts are the least severe type of broken glass injury, as they do not penetrate the tissues that lay below the skin.
Deep level lacerations, on the other hand, are much more serious because they involve the severing of the skin, as well as the underlying tissue and muscles. If a particularly large piece of glass penetrates a person’s bone or strikes an artery, a person could suffer severe blood loss and even a severed limb.
Many car accident victims suffer lacerations to the head due to impact with a side window or steering wheel. Not all head wounds are visible, however, as some of the most severe head injuries involve damage to the fluid and tissue inside the skull.
Known as closed head injuries, this type of damage often results in concussions, or more serious types of traumatic brain injuries, the most severe of which could require surgical intervention to stop bleeding or relieve pressure.
Aside from soft tissue injuries, lacerations, and concussions, broken bones are some of the most common injuries sustained by car accident victims. There are a variety of types of broken bones and which type a person suffers depends in large part on the amount of force applied to the bone and the direction of impact.
An extreme amount of pressure, for example, could cause a victim to suffer from a compound fracture, in which the bone is so severely broken that it actually punctures the skin.
Stable fractures, which occur when the ends of a broken bone line up and are only slightly out of place are the least serious type of broken bone and often heal within a matter of weeks, while comminuted fractures, which are more serious, require that a bone be set in multiple places, as they occur when a bone breaks into at least three pieces.
Contact an Experienced Car Accident Attorney
If you need help with your own car accident injuries, please contact the Peace Law Firm to schedule an initial consultation with a dedicated car accident lawyer.