Millions of people are injured in car accidents every year in the United States. The most recent data from 2020 reports roughly 4.8 million medically consulted injuries in that year, alone. This accounts for injuries that resulted in consulting a medical professional and doesn’t account for more minor injuries suffered in accidents.
Car accident injuries can vary widely depending on the individual involved and the specific circumstances of the crash, and there are some injuries that are more common than others. Keep reading to learn more about the five most common types of car accident injuries and how a car accident attorney could help you get back on your feet.
Varying Severity for Car Accident Injuries
Some injuries will resolve themselves without a trip to the hospital, while others could change your life forever. The severity of injuries can vary even within the same car as passengers and drivers may suffer completely different types of injuries. Adults and children may also be affected differently, and it’s extremely important that the appropriate safety seats or restraints are used for children based on their height and weight.
Factors that can influence the severity car accident injuries include:
- Whether or not the individuals were wearing their seat belts
- Which side of the vehicle was impacted (side, front, or rear)
- How each person in the car was positioned at the time of impact (straight ahead versus turned around or to the side)
- Whether or not the vehicle had functioning airbags
- How fast each involved vehicle was traveling at the time of impact
In addition to severity, these factors will also affect the type of injury after a car accident. Two general types of injuries exist: impact injuries and penetrating injuries. Impact injuries occur when something on the inside of the car hits your body, such as your head hitting the steering wheel. Penetrating injuries are usually scrapes and cuts that are often caused by shattering glass or loose objects in the vehicle.
Five Most Common Car Accident Injuries
Although there’s a wide range of injuries you could suffer during a car accident, there are some injuries that tend to occur more often regardless of the severity of the accident. These injuries include:
1. Head Injuries
Head injuries are very common following an accident. Usually, they occur because the head has impacted an object. Serious injuries could result in problems like internal bleeding, concussions, or a traumatic brain injury so you should always get checked out by a doctor if you hit your head during a car accident.
2. Limb Injuries
There is typically a lot of force put on the arms and legs during a crash. They may be thrown against doors, seats, the dashboard, or the steering wheel which can cause bruising, cuts, sprains, and even fractures or breaks.
3. Scrapes And Cuts
Scrapes and cuts are most commonly caused by loose objects in the vehicle. However, they could also be caused by airbag deployment or shattered glass from the windows, as well. Most scratches are relatively minor, but some may require stitches and if there is a lot of bleeding, loss of blood can become a concern. When the EMTs arrive at the scene of the accident, you should always have them check out any scrapes or cuts you’ve suffered no matter how minor they may seem.
4. Soft Tissue Injuries
Any damage to muscles, ligaments, or tendons is considered a soft tissue injury, and these are by far the most common type of injury following an accident. Soft tissue injuries can include strains or sprains to the head and neck, usually in the form of whiplash, as well.
5. Chest Injuries
It’s common to experience some bruising to the chest after a car accident especially if airbags deployed. However, injuries to the chest can also be more severe. Broken ribs and internal injuries often occur with drivers if the impact pushes their body into the steering wheel. Internal injuries aren’t always obvious at first, so you should seek a medical exam if you experienced a significant impact to your chest or abdomen during an accident.
Always Seek Medical Attention After a Car Accident
Injuries don’t always appear right away after a car accident. In some cases, you may not realize just how hurt you are due to the adrenaline pumping through your body as a response to the accident. That’s why it is always a good idea to seek medical attention after an accident, even if you feel fine in the moment.
Lewis & Keller Will Be Champions For You After an Accident
If you’ve been injured in a car accident in the Winston-Salem area, it can be overwhelming and you may not know where to turn. That’s where our team at Lewis & Keller comes in. We have combined decades of experience amongst our team, and we make it our mission to be champions for every client who walks through our doors.
If you were hurt in a car accident and need help navigating your claim or working with the insurance company, we’re here for you. Get in touch with our team today by giving us a call or filling out the online form to get started on your free case review.