Auto Accident Injuries
Car Accidents May Cause Serious Injuries
The consequences of auto injuries can be significant. The physical and mental harm that can be caused is often devastating, and recovery can take a long time. In some cases, depending on the extent of the injuries, complete recovery may not be possible. There is also more to the issue than the injuries sustained in the accident. People who are involved in an auto accident also have to deal with insurance companies. Whether they were at fault in the accident or were hit by someone else, working with the insurance companies to ensure that everyone is treated fairly can be stressful.
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While any auto accident can produce injuries, there are four injuries that are very common to many auto accidents. These include soft tissue injuries, cuts and scrapes, head injuries, and chest injuries.
Soft Tissue Injuries / Whiplash
The most common soft tissue injury – which are injuries to tendons, ligaments, and muscles – is whiplash. The upper back and neck can be damaged in this kind of injury, which occurs because of the “snapping” motion (the head moving rapidly forward and back) that takes place when one vehicle strikes another or a solid object and comes to a very abrupt stop. Mid-back and low-back soft tissue injuries are also common in auto accidents, primarily for the same reason that whiplash is a frequent injury.
Cuts and Scrapes
Cuts and scrapes are some of the most common injuries, for several reasons. Abrasions and scrapes can come from the airbag and the seatbelt, and many people are cut by flying glass from the windshield or other windows. While these are designed to hold together even as they shatter, so they don’t send debris into the vehicle, a violent accident will still dislodge pieces of glass that can fly into the passenger cabin. Damage to the inside of the car from the accident can also create sharp areas of metal or plastic that can provide many opportunities for cuts, scrapes, and related types of injuries.
Head injuries happen in many car accidents, in two different ways. A severe whiplash injury can actually move the brain in the skull, causing a concussion or swelling. When this happens it can be very dangerous, and should be checked out and treated. Head injuries can also happen when people don’t wear their seatbelt, because their head can hit the steering wheel or even the windshield. Even people who wear their seatbelts can sustain head injuries if the vehicle’s exterior is crushed (such as when there is a rollover accident). The roof line of the vehicle can be compressed, pressing down on the occupants’ heads and causing potentially significant injuries.
Chest injuries are most common in auto accidents where people don’t have seatbelts securely fastened. That’s because they can be thrown forward into the steering wheel or the dashboard, pressing hard plastic and metal into their chest and causing injuries to the ribs and internal organs. However, it’s also possible for people who are belted in to sustain chest injuries if the car they are driving collapses around them or the engine compartment is pushed back into the passenger area far enough. Chest injuries can also happen from the force of the seatbelt as it restrains them in a serious crash or from debris or objects that can be thrown around the passenger area during a serious auto accident.