Injuries from car accidents can range from minor scratches and bruises to major, life-threatening internal trauma. While minor injuries can be disruptive, serious injuries can alter the victim’s life forever. This impact comes in the form of lasting physical and emotional scars, but some people’s very livelihood is threatened when they are injured in a car accident. People tend to be injured in predictable ways when they are involved in an auto accident, but this predictability does not make potential injuries any less serious.
There are several factors that can influence the severity and type of an injury, including whether or not the victim was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident, whether the car had airbags, the speed of the crash, and the victim’s proximity to the point of impact. Common minor injuries include:
These minor injuries are often not disruptive and typically are not the subject of a car accident lawsuit. By contrast, more major injuries can cause serious issues in a person’s life and become the focus of legal action.
Whiplash and Other Soft Tendon Injuries
Whiplash describes an injury incurred when the force of impact causes an accident victim’s head to violently snap forward or backward and then recoil. This type of movement causes damage to the soft tissues (muscles, ligaments, tendons) of the neck and back. Sometimes, whiplash can cause serious pain due to injuries to the ligaments and tendons in the head and neck. Other soft tissue injuries, such as back muscle sprains, are also common injuries from car accidents.
Head injuries can be quite devastating. The brain is well protected from many types of injuries, but head trauma can result from the types of violent movements people tend to experience during a car accident. Brain damage can completely change a person’s life, rendering them unable to work or live their lives as they did before the accident. Head injuries can be less serious, but because they typically do so much damage, they are often part of car accident lawsuits.
Injuries to Extremities
It is common for car accident victims to suffer injuries to their hands, feet, arms, and legs. This can mean bone fractures or breaks. The involvement of arms and legs tends to depend on the type of impact. Front-impact collisions often affect one or both legs, while side collisions can do damage to the arm and leg on that side of the car.
The torso, particularly the chest area, is vulnerable in a car accident. Often, it is the internal parts of the car itself that cause the most damage to the torso in an accident. Elements that pose danger to this part of the body include:
Most often, seatbelt injuries come in the form of major bruising in the area that makes contact with the belt. Making contact with the steering wheel or dashboard during a crash can cause external bruising, broken ribs, and internal bleeding.