Last year in Arizona, there were 98,778 reported auto accidents. Of these, 41,350 were serious enough to cause injuries to those involved. The specific injuries that resulted from these crashes are as varied as the circumstances of each collision, but some types of injuries are more common than others. Here, we’re highlighting the 5 most common auto accident injuries.
- Soft Tissue Injuries
A soft tissue injury is any injury sustained to the body’s connective tissues – like muscles and tendons. This is the most common type of injury sustained from auto accidents. The most common form of soft tissue injury is “whiplash.” Whiplash occurs when the muscles and ligaments in the head and neck are quickly stretched due to the immediate stopping of a car that has hit an obstacle. The same forces can cause soft tissue damage to other areas of the body, like the back or wrist joints.
- Head and Chest Injuries
Head injuries can range from minor to extremely severe and are common following an auto accident. While the sudden change in force and direction that happens when a vehicle hits an obstacle can cause the neck to be forcefully and unnaturally strained, as discussed above, the head itself can also be injured. Windows, windshields, and steering wheels are all positioned high enough in the vehicle that, when stopped or jolted after a crash, may collide with a person’s head. This could result in many injuries, including cuts, bruises, or more severe closed head injuries like concussions, and/or traumatic brain injury (TBI) = tissue damage following an auto accident.
Similarly, chest injuries are also common after car accidents. When a car stops suddenly, and the driver is propelled forward. The chest of the driver often collides with the steering column or dashboard.
- Arm and Leg Injuries
The same forces that cause soft tissue injuries can have a similar effect on limbs. If your car is hit from the side, the arm closest to the door may be forced into the side of the car. If you are involved in a head-on collision, your knees and legs may hit the dashboard or seat in front of you. If the crash is forceful enough, the airbags may be deployed, the intent of which is to keep you inside of the car, but the impact can force the legs into unnatural positions and cause fractures or other injuries.
- Crush Injuries
Crush injuries occur when any body part is stuck between two objects being pushed together under pressure. With auto accidents, when large vehicles collide, it is highly possible and common for various body parts to get trapped between two parts of the vehicle, which can cause minor cuts and bruises or serious injury.
- Lacerations, bruises, and “road rash.”
In an auto accident, any loose objects inside the vehicle become projectiles thrown around the inside of the car upon impact. These objects, even small ones like phones or glasses, can cause bruises when thrown around with high force. On top of this, broken glass, metal, and other materials from the car and the crash are likely to pierce the skin and cause cuts and lacerations to the individuals involved in the auto accident. Even the seat belt can cause bruising and lacerations.
Remember to take pictures of any bruising/lacerations or any injuries as they appear on your body. These traditionally heal over time, and without pictures, the at-fault driver’s insurance company will minimize them (without photographs documenting the same): a picture is worth a thousand words and preserves evidence of your injury/damages.
Protecting yourself after being injured in an auto accident
There are deadlines for filing an auto insurance claim, so it’s essential to meet with an attorney as soon as possible to evaluate your case. There are many ways that you could be injured in an accident. The medical bills, emotional toll, and loss of ability to work or maintain self-sufficiency that the collision and resulting injuries can cause are life-altering.
If you or someone you know has been injured in an auto accident, especially if another driver was at fault, seeking legal representation should be one of the first steps to recovery. You may be entitled to compensation for these injuries and the subsequent suffering. The legal proceedings after an auto accident can be complicated and confusing, and having your rights and options explained to you by an experienced professional is extremely helpful. Contact Jeff GOULD Law, The Attorney in YOUR Corner, if you have suffered any of the injuries on this list following an auto accident.
DISCLAIMER: The information on this blog/site is NOT, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. It is for general informational use only. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. Further, this information does not create an attorney-client relationship.