Types of Common Injuries Sustained in Car Accidents

While most people who hear the words car accident conger up images of neck and head injuries complete with cervical collars, it is important to stress that car accidents cause a significant array of other bodily injuries as well. It is true that head and neck injuries are common in conjunction with accidents, but so too are breaks of limbs, minor to major trauma of the chest, and nearly any other injury to the body.
Head and Neck
The head is unprotected in a collision, often susceptible to a violent back and forth motion where it can hit the edge of the steering wheel depending on the absence of an airbag. This can lead to bruising of the skin, mild to moderate laceration and, rarely, some bruising of the brain tissue if hit hard enough. The neck suffers a condition commonly known as whiplash from the swift back and forth of the impact. It can be mild to severe, and has been known to resolve without permanent disability depending on the degree.
Cerebral Damage
While minor accidents usually account for a headache with a mild concussion, there are a variety of brain issues associated with moderate to severe car accidents. Concussion is by far the most common, but a hematoma below the scalp is possible, as well as subdurally. While many believe this is the result of major accidents, it is not necessarily true. All it takes, really, is that right angle.
Shoulders and Chest
The strap of the seatbelt runs diagonal across the shoulder, passing down the ribcage and ending at the hip. When the car is violently lurched forward, the strap will tighten automatically, holding the driver in place to reduce the risk of harm. However, depending on the speed and the force, the strap may cause bruising of the skin of a fabric burn where it rubs too hard. Depending on the force of impact, it is not uncommon to see ribs crack or break, and the area above the sternum may bruise.
Spine federal civil rights attorneys
The spine can only respond to so much force and rapid movement of an accident. If twisting occurs, it is highly common to injure a disk in the back. The same rapid movement that causes whiplash can damage nerves, resulting in severe pain and debilitation until the damage is mended. In major car accidents, it is possible for the vertebrae to break, usually not completely, though this is where the paralysis legal malpractice examples of an accident comes from. When a vertebrae breaks, very often the nerves are severed or partially severed with it, therefor resulting in the inability to move certain parts of the body. Spinal chord shock is a condition where the spine inflames and decreases nerve impulse and is also commonly seen in car accidents. If this is the issue, once the inflammation goes down movement is usually possible.
Appendages
The arms and legs are susceptible to similar injuries in an accident. Most often are muscle pulls and strains. Sprains of the wrist and ligaments of the hands and fingers are also common from the tight grip or the rapid velocity of the airbag deploying. Depending on the angle of impact, the feet and hands can be broken, or the ankle sprained. Head on collisions will usually result in this type of injury as the brunt of the force is being taken by the anterior part of the body. Knees and other sensitive joints are also frequently damaged, sometimes resulting in the need for surgery to fix, specifically with the knee.
While the majority of accidents are often minor “fender benders”, it does not mean they are without injury. However, the injuries are not extensively to the head and neck as often believed, but can range across the body. While more focus is often placed on the upper body, it is not good practice to ignore that injuries happen all along the anatomy.

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