Common injuries associated with car accidents

Car accidents in America injured approximately 2.36 million people in 2012, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Although the specific injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident often depends on the type of collision that occurred, as well as the severity of the impact, there are several types of car accident injuries that are common across the board. (article continues below)

Common injuries associated with car accidents

Traumatic brain injuries

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, motor vehicle accidents are the third leading cause of traumatic brain injuries in the country, representing 14 percent of diagnosed cases. They are also the number one cause of hospitalizations for adults, young adults and adolescents between the ages of 15 and 44 years old. This type of injury can range from minor cases of unconsciousness, to more severe cases involving extensive memory loss, decreased sensation and emotional impairment.

Back and spine trauma

The Mayo Clinic reports that motorcycle and auto accidents are the number one cause of spinal cord injuries, representing more than 40 percent of back and spine injuries each year. The sudden and unexpected impact of an auto collision can dislocate, compress, fracture or crush one or several vertebrae, resulting in immense pain and a decreased ability to function.

Trauma from a back or spine injury can grow more intense over time, as tissues surrounding the injured area become inflamed, and blood and fluid start to accumulate around the spinal cord. Additional injuries to the back and spine that may occur immediately or over time include herniated discs, thoracic spine trauma, and intervertebral disc degeneration. Long term damage to nerve fibers may result in extensive pain, driving many suffers to seek pain relief through prescription medication.

Face injuries

In a severe accident, the driver’s face may hit the steering wheel, windshield, side door or airbag with such force that the bones in their face become fractured. Lacerations from broken glass, blunt force bruising, dental complications and jaw disorders may also occur.

Emotional trauma

Although may people may associate car accident injuries with physical trauma, there can be a considerable amount of emotional pain involved as well. A devastating car accident may cause extensive, chronic injuries or result in the death of a loved one, causing a significant amount of pain and suffering for those left behind. Survivors might experience deep depression, anxiety or post-traumatic stress disorder, as they relive the aftermath of the car collision.

Handling medical expenses

People who are involved in a car accident may suffer from the financial strain that medical expenses can bring. It can be difficult to pay for the aftermath of an auto accident, especially if the incident was caused by another person’s negligence. In some cases, car accident victims may be eligible for compensation for their medical expenses, time taken off of work, property damage, as well as any emotional trauma they have endured as a result of the auto accident.