Common Auto Accident Injuries

Auto accident injuries are as common as auto accidents themselves.  Rarely do both parties walk away from an accident unscathed.  Drunk drivers, distractions like cell phones and texting and the sheer number of people trying to share the road are some of the top causes of auto accidents in Florida.  Injuries can vary from minor to lifelong traumas.  If you find yourself the victim of an auto accident injury, seek medical attention and legal representation with a qualified personal injury attorney.  A doctor will need to evaluate your condition and determine the best course of treatment to minimize the long term damage.  An attorney will be your advocate and fight for your financial and legal rights in the aftermath of the accident.  While car accident can cause a slew of different injuries, these are the 6 most common.

  1. Whiplash and soft tissue damage. Whiplash is one of many common auto accident injuries and occurs most often when a car that is at a standstill is hit forcefully by a moving vehicle. The force of the impact can move your neck and spine into unnatural positions, causing damage to the soft tissue.  Whiplash can be relatively minor and resolve in a few days or it can cause a long term disability.  Dynamic X-rays or an MRI may be more effective than regular X-rays in diagnosing whiplash.  If you have severe whiplash as the result of an auto accident you may also find your condition to be emotionally damaging.  You may suffer from bouts of anger or depression as your prolonged injuries cause frustration and feelings of helplessness.  Whether your whiplash is minor or severe you should seek medical attention and follow your doctor’s recommendations to getting on the road to recovery.
  2. Concussions and head injuries are common in car accidents. The force of a collision can slam your head into the steering wheel, the window or back into the headrest. Depending on the severity of your accident and injury you could suffer a minor concussion, with a headache and nausea for a couple days or have a traumatic brain injury (TBI).  “Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is sudden damage to the brain caused by a blow or jolt to the head. Common causes include car or motorcycle crashes, falls, sports injuries, and assaults. TBI is the leading cause of death and disability among people aged 1 to 44.” TBI recovery can be lengthy and include medication and rehabilitation therapy to relearn skills.  These types of injuries can create life-long difficulties and challenges. If you ever have a jarring impact that causes a head trauma you should have it checked out right away.  Some head injuries will require immediate attention to minimize damage.
  3. Seat belt injuries. There are mandatory seat belt laws in all states except New Hampshire. These laws can vary in severity and degree but many more people are now required to use them.  While seat belts typically do more good than harm, it is not uncommon to suffer injuries from this restraint system when involved in an accident.  The mechanism of a seat belt is to tighten the straps around your body, preventing you from being thrown forward on impact.  It is not surprising that the same mechanism can cause injury.  The shoulder strap of the seat belt can cause injuries to the chest and shoulder while the lap belt is often responsible for injuries to the abdomen.  These injuries can be as simple as bruising and tenderness but can also be very dangerous, sometimes causing internal bleeding and damage to internal organs.  While seat belts are designed to help keep you safe there is also a risk of injury.
  4. Back problems can be common in even the most minor of car accidents. Your spine is simply not designed to take the brunt of impact generated in a car accident. You may experience minor pain that keeps you off your feet for a couple days but you could also find yourself the victim of a spinal cord injury.  Some spinal cord injuries are permanent and could leave your paralyzed or disabled for the rest of your life.  Back injuries can also be reoccurring.  A herniated disc is an example of a common spinal injury that can recur.  A car accident can cause the disc between two spinal vertebrae to be displaced, causing pain and numbness.  This is just one type of back injury that you may believe is resolved only to have it flare up several years later.  It is important that you get any injury examined and re-evaluated periodically to accurately diagnose and treat.
  5. Chest injuries are common in car accidents. Bruising from seat belt across your chest is common but you can suffer more painful and serious injuries. Bruised and fractured ribs as well as damage to your heart can all happen.  You can ease your discomfort from injured ribs by using ice.  You need to rest and make sure you can take deep breaths.  If you have difficulty breathing it could indicate a more serious issue such as a collapsed lung or pneumonia.   Projectile objects such as broken glass and shrapnel from the accident can pierce your chest and wreak havoc on your pulmonary system.
  6. Damage to your extremities. Your arms and legs are often the victims of broken glass and impact injuries. You may suffer injuries from your arms being slammed into the car door or steering wheel.  Your legs can suffer damage by the engine and front portion of the car being pushed into the cabin of the vehicle.  You can have minor scrapes and bruises or broken bones from these injuries.

Auto accident injuries can range from minor to debilitating.  After you are involved in an accident it is important to get medical attention and communicate any and all symptoms.  While car accidents are common, how your injuries impact your future is not.  If you need assistance filing a claim against the person responsible for a car accident or an insurance company unwilling to pay, please call us.  We would be honored to fight on your behalf, file your claim and help you prove your right to compensation.