Most Common Types of Injury Suffered in a Car Accident
When a car accident occurs, those involved are likely to suffer injuries, especially when the car accident occurs at a high speed, occupants are not buckled up, airbags are defective, etc. In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that car accidents are the leading cause of unintentional injury in the United States, with more than 32,000 car accident deaths, and two million injuries, reported each year.
At the law offices of McPhillips Shinbaum, LLP, our Alabama car accident lawyers have experience handling the car accident cases of those who have sustained serious injuries. Some of the most common types of injuries suffered in a car accident include the following:
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissues include tendons, ligaments, and muscles, all of which may be stretched, torn, lacerated, or otherwise damaged in a car accident. These types of injuries occur when the body is twisted in an unusual position, or when a part of the body is impacted with a blow. The most common soft tissue injuries are sprains – the stretching or tearing of a ligament – and strains – the stretching or tearing of a muscle or tendon.
These soft tissues are found throughout the body, which mean the neck, back, shoulders, knees, hips, and more are all at risk of sustaining a soft tissue injury during a serious car crash. One of the most common types of soft tissue injuries is whiplash, which is caused by the abrupt back-and-forth movement of the neck during a crash. Whiplash can cause injury to the muscles, tendons, and ligaments, but also cause damage to nerves and discs in the spine.
Head and Traumatic Brain Injuries
The head and brain are two of the most vulnerable parts of the body, despite the extremely hard skull that is designed to protect it. In an accident the head may be hit with force, leading to scalp or facial injuries which can leave a person with permanent scarring and disfigurement.
Often more serious than injuries to the external parts of the head, are injuries sustained by the brain. When a person’s head is hit with a significant amount of force, or if the head is snapped back and forth so forcefully that the brain is shaken or hit against the skull with force, or if the skull and brain are penetrated, a person will likely incur a traumatic brain injury (TBI). TBIs vary significantly in severity, but have the potential to cause emotional, cognitive, and sensory difficulties. For example, a person may lose the ability to speak or communicate, lose control over certain motor functions or may be rendered unconscious for a prolonged amount of time.
Back, Spine, and Spinal Cord Injuries
Another part of the body that is extremely vulnerable in an accident is the spine. The spine is an intricate foundational piece of the human body, providing shape for the back, and protecting the spinal cord. Made up of multiple vertebrae which form the spinal column, the spine can be damaged when the body is twisted or moved suddenly, or when hit with force or a penetrating object. This can lead to fractured vertebrae, disc herniation, or worse, a severed spinal cord. If the spinal cord is impacted, an individual may experience weakness or full paralysis at the site of the injury and below. Spinal cord injuries are permanent; there is no way to correct this injury type.
Bones are not meant to bend, and when a person’s body comes in contact with a rigid object during a crash, or is moved in an unnatural way, the result may be a bone break or fracture. A fracture may be open or closed; an open fracture is one in which the bone is so severely broken that it breaks through the skin, which is not only more painful and difficult to treat, but also increases the risk for bone infection.
While most fractured bones can be completely healed with time, the process can be very painful and expensive, and very difficult for the patient to endure.
Been Injured? We Are Here to Help
If you are injured in a car accident, whether you have suffered one of the injury types above or another type of serious injury, our experienced Alabama car accident lawyers are here to help. Contact McPhillips Shinbaum, LLP right away so our Alabama injury attorneys can get started on filing your claim and recovering compensation for the damages you suffered. You can reach us at (334) 262-1911 or online.