Types of Car Accident Injuries

These are the most common injuries sustained in California car accidents.
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Types of Car Accident Injuries in California

Many car accidents are less dramatic than the ones we see on the local news channel. The same goes for injuries – some injuries are minor while other injuries are more drastic. The most traumatic injuries can tragically result in the car accident victim’s death.

No matter what type of car accident you get into, you are at risk of sustaining injuries. You should keep in mind that even minor injuries require time to rest and heal — just because you walk away without a scratch doesn’t mean that you don’t have any injuries. Common car accident injuries are not visible to the eye, and it may take a few days for you to start feeling the pain of those injuries. If you are questioning if you should seek medical care, see our recent post on seeking medical care after a car accident. The general answer to that question, is yes. Better to be safe than to be sorry!

When you are involved in a severe car accident, chances are you will be taken away from the scene in an ambulance to the nearest emergency room. Regardless of the severity of the accident, it is always a good idea to consult with a physician after an accident. Here are some of the most common types of injuries sustained in car accidents:

  • Whiplash. Whiplash is one of the most common injuries sustained in a car accident. It can happen in all types of accidents such as rear-end accidents, t-bone accidents, and more. Even if the impact of the other vehicle was minor, you are still at risk of sustaining whiplash. Whiplash occurs when your head is forcibly shaken from front to back or side to side. The ligaments in the neck are greatly strained during this movement, which is the actual cause of the pain you feel. Whiplash will heal over time, but it’s a slow process. Work closely with your physician to ensure that there isn’t a more serious underlying issue, such as a herniated disc.
  • Lower-body injuries. Injuries to the knees or legs are not commonly thought of when considering car accident injuries. However, they do happen when the area around the driver or passenger is crushed by another vehicle, pushing your own vehicle into your lower body. Some people experience knee injuries or even broken toes and ankles during a car crash. In some of the more severe accidents, a victim may lose a lower extremity altogether. The severity of a lower-body injury will often be determined by the force of the impact, the location of the impact (such as whether the at-fault driver struck your vehicle on the driver’s side or the passenger side), and whether you remained in the vehicle or were ejected.
  • Concussions. Concussions are another common injury sustained in car accidents. This can occur when the head hits the air bag, steering wheel, windshield or side window. Concussions are a bruising of the brain, caused by the brain internally jolting against the skull. Most concussions are resolved quickly with a lot of rest. But if you experience vomiting, disorientation or severe headaches, be sure to see your doctor again for a closer inspection. You may need to be hospitalized if the concussion is severe.
  • Traumatic brain injury. A concussion is technically a type of traumatic brain injury because it results from a trauma sustained to the head. However, the term “traumatic brain injury” is often used to describe a more serious injury to the brain. Concussions will often go away with time but a more serious brain injury sometimes won’t. Traumatic brain injuries could lead to permanent disability if left untreated. In some cases, these injuries are almost immediately detected. In others, a traumatic brain injury may take some time to show up. If you were involved in a car accident and your head struck anything, you should seek medical treatment immediately.
  • Spinal cord injury. Like whiplash, back injuries are very common in car accidents and are caused by the body contorting to absorb the crash. Sometimes, the spine may be injured by the sudden jarring and jerking movements common with car accidents. In other cases, a spinal cord injury can result from a blow to the back, such as if the driver is ejected from the vehicle and lands on their back. Minor back injuries result in strains or dislocated discs, but they still require medical care to ensure you heal quickly. More serious injuries to the spine can lead to pain while moving, which can become chronic. In a worst-case scenario, you could suffer from permanent disability if your spinal cord injury is left untreated.
  • Death. As harsh as it sounds, an all-too-common result of particularly serious car accidents is the death of a driver or passenger. More often than not, fatal car accidents involve an unrestrained driver or passenger, meaning that the driver or passenger was not wearing his or her seatbelt. Accidents where a vehicle is crushed, such as a roll-over accident or a high-impact collision, are also often fatal.

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If you suffered an injury in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you may have a personal injury case. Consult with the experienced car accident attorneys at The May Firm to see if you can hold the at-fault driver responsible for your injuries. We have extensive experience handling all kinds of car accident cases and have recovered significant compensation for clients who have suffered from an assortment of different injuries. Call us today for a free consultation.

Disclaimer: Information on this page is designed for general information purposes only and should not be interpreted as being legal advice or a legal opinion on specific facts or circumstances. You should always consult with an attorney before making a decision about your case. Pages are updated periodically but information provided on this page may not be up to date as circumstances may change over time. Please see our [LEGAL DISCLAIMERS] page for additional legal disclaimers.

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