Serious Car Crash Accidents
Serious car crash accidents are a leading cause of injuries. Over 5.6 million car accidents were reported in the United States in 2012. Of these, over 30,000 were fatal and another 1.6 million involved other injuries. The damage they leave behind can be devastating. The economic cost of car accidents is estimated to be $277 billion each year – or around $897 for every person living in the United States.
While car accident injuries can vary from person to person and from crash to crash, there are some fairly common ones. Below are some of the most common car accident injuries. More specific information for a particular case should always be obtained from a doctor.
Head and Back Injuries
Head injuries are among the most serious car accident injuries. Not wearing your seat belt can magnify the severity of the head or back injury. Seated drivers and passengers involved in high-speed collisions can strike their heads against steering wheels, dashboards, or windows. This can cause traumatic brain injuries, ranging from mild concussions to comas and lasting cognitive problems. Many times extensive medical treatment and long-term medical care are required after such injuries. Head injuries can also lead to skull fractures, hearing loss, and vision problems. MRI and CT Scans are high resonance tests used to measure the severity of these injuries.
Back injuries are also common. Back injuries can be to the lower or upper regions of the back area. Any damage to the spinal cord can cause significant nerve damage. Patients may experience reduced sensation and control over their arms, hands, legs, feet, and other body parts. More serious forms of spinal damage can leave patients permanently paralyzed. Another common car accident injury is a herniated disk or bulging disk. This tends to be less severe than spinal damage or head injuries, but can still cause significant problems. Patients often experience numb or tingling sensations, muscle weakness, and arm or leg pain.
Neck Injuries and Chest Injuries
After a car accident, it’s not always obvious that you’ve injured your neck. That can be owing to the surge of pain-masking adrenaline and endorphins that many people experience after an accident, but also because damage to the neck can manifest in other areas of the body, such as your arms and hands. Common symptoms of neck injuries include:
- pain in your neck
- pain in your shoulders, arms or hands
- reduced range of motion in your neck
- numbness, weakness and slower reflexes in your arms and hands, and
- muscle spasms in your neck.
Many serious injuries are related to trauma affecting the chest area. These may result when passengers are struck when the air bag deployed or from striking the steering wheel. Blunt force trauma from car accidents can cause broken ribs, a fractured nose, fat necrosis, and collapsed lungs. People with heart problems may suffer traumatic cardiac arrest from an accident. Internal bleeding in the chest area can be a serious problem following an accident. Damage to internal organs, the pelvis, and the abdomen can also occur. These kinds of injuries require immediate medical attention as they may lead to permanent injuries or in some cases death.
Injuries to the arms, legs, hands and feet can be common. Accidents involving pedestrians can see leg and foot damages in addition to all those mentioned above. Motorcyclists involved in car accidents can suffer significantly more serious and more numerous injuries. These can include broken bones, ligament damage such as a torn ACL, and even severed limbs. The fatality rate for motorcyclists is also significantly higher than that for drivers and passengers in cars.
Emotional distress following a car accident is also common. People most often drive or ride in a car with friends and family members. Serious car crashes can leave emotional scars on those who suffered serious injuries as well as those who witnessed them. Counseling and treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and similar psychological injuries is fairly common.
I. Types of Brain Injury
The brain is one of the most complex objects known to man and all are unique. An injury to the brain is just as complex and can be the result of many different circumstances depending on the type and amount of force exerted on the head.
While brain injuries vary from person to person and are fully dependent on outside circumstances, there are some fairly common ones. Below are some of the most common types of diagnosed brain injuries. More specific information for a particular case should always be obtained from a certified physician.
A. Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are one of the leading causes of death for persons under the age of 45. There are approximately 5 million Americans currently suffering from a TBI disability. In 2010, TBI contributed to 50,000 deaths in the United States, and among all age groups, 26% of those deaths being the result of motor vehicle accidents and 40% of deaths being the result of falls.
- 1. Concussion
A concussion is the most common form of TBI and is caused by a sudden trauma on the brain from an impact or sudden change that alters the brain function. Confusion, loss of consciousness, and feeling dazed are all symptoms of a concussion, but symptoms differ from person to person. Skull fractures, brain bleed and swelling may not always be noticeable even through CAT Scans and other image testing. Recovery time for a concussion can vary from a few months to years.
- 2. Contusion
A contusion is a bruise on the brain caused by a direct impact to the head. Severe contusions can cause the brain to swell, which could lead to additional brain damage such as coma. Contusions occur in 20-30% of severe head injuries. Some symptoms of a contusion are: memory loss, numbness, difficulty with motor coordination, and loss of ability to understand and express speech.
II. Levels of Brain Injury
- A. Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
- B. Moderate Traumatic Brain Injury
- C. Severe Brain Injury
Most people that sustain a brain injury suffer from mild to moderate traumatic brain injuries. The injuries in the mild to moderate range are usually injuries that are a result of a sudden impact and non-penetrating exertion on a person’s head. Most of the people with these injuries recover without any long-standing impairments or apparent consequences.
On the other hand people who suffer from severe brain injuries are people who sustained penetrating and extreme exertion of force to their heads such as serious skull fractures. Most severe brain injuries will have lifelong consequences and a person is not likely to return to pre-injury condition.
I. Common Types of Truck Accident Injuries
Truck accidents can be extremely detrimental to all drivers involved. Trucks are generally much bigger and more powerful than cars and accidents between them usually leave someone injured. Below are some of the most common types of injuries sustained by people involved in truck accidents. More specific information for a particular case should always be obtained from a certified physician.
- A. Back and Neck Injuries
Back and neck injuries can range from minor neck pain to paralysis. Most people who suffer injuries of the neck and back have a longer recovery time and are often times prevented from everyday activities such as working. The severity of back and neck injuries differ from person to person and should be addressed with a certified physician soon after the injury is sustained.
- B. Head Injuries
Head or brain injuries result from a force exerted on a person’s head and also vary in severity. People who suffer from mild to moderate brain injuries are likely to recover in a short amount of time with no life-long consequences. People who suffer from severe brain injuries are more likely to experience life-long consequences from the trauma. Brain and head injuries do not necessarily have to be from a direct impact. Forces from truck accidents, such as whiplash, is a common cause of head or brain injuries.
- C. Broken Bones
Trucks are much bigger than cars and accidents with them can cause significantly more damage. Broken bones are a very common outcome of a truck collision and should be addressed with a certified physician soon after injury is sustained.
- D. Internal Injuries
Internal injuries such as bleeding organs is a very serious injury and left untreated could lead to additional damage and/or death.
Other injuries from truck accidents include: seat belt injuries, lacerations,paralysis, and even death. Each accident whether with a truck or any other motor vehicle is different for each person and medical treatment should be sought soon after injuries occur to prevent additional injuries due to failure to seek treatment.
Semi-trucks or commercial vehicles are five times more likely to cause serious injuries and death than a passenger car (e.g. a car, pick-up truck or motorcycle). This is owed in large part to the size and mass of the vehicle, the greater amount of time needed for the vehicle to come to a stop and the demanding schedules truck drivers have to deliver cargo.
Types of Commercial Vehicles
- 18 wheelers
- Road trains
- Cab over designs
- Flat bed
- Parcel delivery vehicles (UPS / FEDEX / USPS)
- Fire Trucks
- Wide load / Out of gauge haulers
- Personal effects carrier
- s (U-Haul)
- Waste disposal / Collection vehicles (dump trucks)
- Passenger buses
- Armored currency transportation vehicles
- Garbage trucks
There a very few situations where an object can withstand the force of a semi-truck colliding with it at speed. Some common injuries caused by semi-truck accidents include but are not limited to:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal damage
- Broken bones
- Mental scarring
- Internal injuries
Often times, an injury will go unnoticed until a few days after it has occurred. Therefore, it is important that injury victims receive proper medical attention as soon as possible.
Commercial Insurance Policies
Semi-trucks are covered by commercial insurance policies which are mandated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This gives them an entire different set of policy guidelines than the insurance policies which cover passenger-style accidents. Insurance carriers and their attorneys work to limit their financial exposure. This puts accident victims at a disadvantage unless they also have an experienced personal injury attorney working to find and preserve evidence that supports their side of the case.
The most common form of semi-truck collision is the side impact collision. However for smaller vehicles or motorcycles there are a wide variety of other collisions that can result in serious bodily injury and property damage.
- Rear end crashes
- Under ride collisions
- Hazardous material spills
- Frontal accidents