Five Most Common Injuries Caused by Car Accidents
Those who are injured in auto accidents often suffer a wide range of injuries, many of which may not be immediately apparent. Some injuries take time to manifest, and others might be so subtle they cannot be recognized for years. This is why it is important to be evaluated right away following a car accident. Likewise, you should immediately consult a Virginia auto accident lawyer to figure out your rights and learn more about when and how to get compensated for potential injuries. After all, if you are injured by someone else’s negligence, the law says you are entitled to be compensated. Here are five of the most common injuries suffered by auto accident victims.
#1 – Head Trauma
When a vehicle impacts with a stationary object or another vehicle, the jolt creates a sharp deviation in momentum that can cause the head to jerk back and forth quickly. This jerking force can cause the person’s head to slam into the headrest, side window or even the steering wheel. Vehicles nowadays are typically equipped with airbags – both front and side – thus preventing some of the risk of a head injury. Nevertheless, even the airbag can seriously injure you by creating a powerful impact with your head and face. Many have experienced broken noses and black eyes simply from airbag deployments.
#2 – Whiplash
Through the same force that causes head injuries, the head can “whip” back and forth rapidly in an accident – especially rear-end collisions. This whipping action can cause severe inflammation and pain in the person’s neck and shoulders. This is often referred to as a “soft tissue injury.” In other words, while there are no broken bones, the injury is actually inside the tissue. Tearing, pulling and rupturing can occur in the muscles and ligaments as well, leading to extremely painful symptoms that require ongoing medical care for months, if not years.
#3 – Hand and arm injuries
You may remember from that old driver’s education class you took decades ago that we are supposed to drive with our hands at the 10 and 2? Or was it the 9 and 3? (State Farm currently recommends 9 and 3).
Well, it is actually more important than it sounds. You see, when you are involved in a head-on or near head-on collision, the force of the impact will thrust your body forward into a stationary steering wheel. You are moving; it is not. The position of your hands will determine whether your thumbs get broken or not. If your hands are placed low on the wheel or in an “overhand” position, they cannot break free from the wheel and will simply break. If positioned to the sides of the steering wheel, without the thumbs being locked or wrapped around the wheel, then upon impact, your thumbs will slide off and your arms will slide off the wheel, preventing them from breaking. Thumb, wrist, and humerus fractures are among the most common injuries seen.
#4 – Spinal Injuries
Not surprisingly, spinal injuries are also very common. Airbags protect the head and neck, hand placement can protect the wrists and hands, headrests and airbags decrease the threat of whiplash, but nothing can protect your spine from the torsion and force of a car accident. Many people report feeling fine right after an accident. They decline treatment from emergency services, only to begin suffering extremely painful symptoms days or even weeks later. This is why getting examined right after the accident can be so important. Further, it establishes that the accident was the direct cause of the injury.
#5 – Lacerations and Scars
Finally, in almost every serious auto accident, glass breaks. Side windows shatter and front windows break free from the vehicle. In the fierce seconds of an accident, glass sprays everywhere. Drivers, often in shock from the sheer power of the accident, do not even realize they have bits and shards of glass in their neck, arms, and face. While it may seem relatively minor in comparison to the possibilities, glass cuts and lacerations can be very serious and leave lasting scars that disfigure the victim for years – even permanently.
If you or someone you know has been involved in a car crash in northern Virginia, contact Simms Showers, LLP for a free consultation to find out your rights and determine whether you might be due compensation for your injuries.