Driving is inherently risky. We all do our best to stay safe, but some things are out of our control: roadway conditions, the weather, mechanical malfunctions and even other drivers. At some point in our driving careers, most of us will be in an accident. In the U.S, there are over 7 million crashes yearly.
Tough we do everything we can to prevent being in an accident, if that day does come, it’s important to know what to expect.
While car accidents are exceedingly common, thankfully only about half a percent of crashes result in fatalities. Nearly a third of traffic fatalities involved a drunk driver. Excessive speed, distracted driving, poor road conditions and failure to wear a seat belt are some other leading causes of motor-vehicle deaths.
Around half of all car crashes result in non-fatal injuries of varying severity. Injuries run the gamut: from simple nuisances like sprains and bruises to life altering conditions like paralysis. The following are some of the most common injuries seen after a car accident:
- Head injuries: Injuries to the head during a crash are common and can be serious. Head injuries range from scrapes, cuts and bruises to concussions and more. Head injuries can result in lifelong headaches, comas or even traumatic brain injuries.
- Soft-tissue injuries: Soft-tissue injuries occur when muscles, ligaments or tendons are damaged. Bruises and sprains fall into this category.
- Whiplash: One of the most well-known motor-vehicle injuries, whiplash, is a soft-tissue injury that happens when the neck moves back and forth with great force. Whiplash can lead to symptoms such as neck pain, loss of motion, fatigue, dizziness, depression and more.
- Chest and torso injuries: The impact of a car accident can cause blunt-force trauma to the chest and abdomen. The chest hitting the steering wheel can break rips, collapse lungs and cause internal bleeding.
- Injuries to the limbs: Depending on the severity and type of accident, injuries to the limbs can be common. Arms and legs can become tangled up in a wrecked vehicle and may result in fractures, cuts or even amputation.
- Emotional trauma: The emotional impact of a car accident can outlast physical injuries. A crash could lead to post-traumatic stress disorder, a fear of driving, anxiety and depression.
After an accident
If you or a loved one is injured in an accident, it’s important to seek help. While medical professionals can treat your wounds, you may want to seek legal counsel to determine if you’re owed damages for the pain and suffering you’ve been through.