Each year more than three million people are injured in car accidents on U.S. roadways. Every one of these accidents is as unique as each individual involved. That includes the type and severity of the injuries that victims suffer. From bumps and scrapes to catastrophic or fatal injuries – car accidents take a tremendous toll on those involved and their loved ones.
While every car accident and the damage is different, there are some things that many accidents have in common. Primarily, there are some types of car accident injuries that are more common than others. That’s because there are commonalities in how people sit, drive, and their behaviors. Some of these commonalities include:
- Seat belt use, or lack thereof
- The type of car accident (head-on, rear-end, side impact, etc.)
- How the person was sitting at the time of the accident
- Whether the car has airbags
- Whether speed was involved
Most Common Types of Car Accident Injuries
At The Embry Law Firm, our car accident lawyer routinely evaluates car accident cases involving the following injuries:
Scrapes and Cuts
During a car accident, debris can fly around inside the car. Debris could be as simple as the items on your dashboard falling around, or could be more serious if glass breaks or there is damage to the structure. Cuts and scrapes are common, and can be caused by almost anything that is free to move around the inside of the car.
Soft Tissue Injuries
The soft tissues in the body are connective tissues like tendons, ligaments, and muscles. Soft tissue injuries are common in car accidents because they can be caused by something as simple as twisting the wrong way, tensing up certain parts of the body, or stretching too much.
There are multiple types of head injury that can happen in a car accident. The more obvious type of injury is physical trauma, such as striking your head on the steering wheel or side window. But head injuries can also be caused by unnatural movement and strain, such as whiplash. Some head injuries are minor and have no lasting impacts, but others can be severe enough to cause brain damage or death.
Much like debris can move freely during a car accident, many people find that their arms and legs (extremities) also move about. Your arms and legs are vulnerable to impact and strain injuries. Cuts, scrapes, broken bones, soft tissue injuries, crush injuries, and amputations are all common in car accidents.
During a car accident, it is not uncommon for your body to thrust forward and your chest to hit the steering wheel. For drivers and passengers, airbags deploying can also impact the chest, which can cause injuries. The most common chest injuries are broken ribs, abrasions, bruising, and internal injuries.
What to Do After a Car Accident
If you have been involved in a car accident, it is a good idea to get medical help, even if you don’t have a seemingly catastrophic injury. Sometimes your adrenaline is too high for you to feel the full effect of an injury. Furthermore, some injuries – such as head injuries or internal injuries – may not be immediately apparent. Getting medical treatment immediately can help prevent more serious or long-term damage.
While the injuries discussed above are among the most common, there is really no limit to the type of injuries – physical and mental – that can occur in a car accident. Be aware of the risks and do your part to drive safely and make our roadways a little safer.