Every time you get behind the wheel of a car, you are taking a real risk. The potential always exists for a collision or accident. Sometimes, a component in a vehicle fails, resulting a person losing control of the vehicle. Other times, a driver could be intoxicated or distracted, leading to poor decisions and a crash. No matter how safely you drive, other people on the road can still cause an accident that leaves you seriously injured and with a non-working vehicle.
In a best case scenario, you may suffer only mild injuries, like scrapes or bruising. Many times, however, people involved with car crashes can receive much more serious injuries.
The 5 most common kinds of injuries in car accidents
Other than minor injuries, there are certain kinds of physical damage that are more likely than others to occur in a car crash. They are:
- leg or knee injuries
- neck injuries
- broken bones
- back injuries
Neck injuries and broken bones are common
Whiplash, a muscular injury to the neck, is often considered the most common injury associated with serious car crashes. During a collision, a person's head can rapidly shake and turn, causing injury to the muscles and ligaments of the neck. The result can be reduced function and severe, lasting pain. While whiplash may improve over time, it can keep a person from working for some time and may require physical therapy and pain management in the meantime.
Broken bones can typically get set and heal well, provided there is adequate medical care and physical therapy for the injured party. In some cases, however, permanent damage can result if the person develops Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, a neuro-inflammatory condition that can persist for life. Leg and knee injuries may require casts, surgery or physical therapy for full recovery.
Back injuries and concussions can have lifelong impact
Back and spinal injuries are also common in crashes. Sprains and strains can result from the jolting or tumbling motion of a vehicle during a crash. People who get thrown from a vehicle or crushed against the steering column could experience temporary or permanent spinal and back injuries. In some cases, discs can shift, causing pain and limiting motor function by pinching nerves. In other situations, spinal injuries can result in permanent paralysis.
Most people think of concussions as minor, but they can result in traumatic brain injuries due to bleeding on or swelling of the brain. People with concussions may have a variety of persistent symptoms, such as memory issues, cognitive problems or even reduced motor function. It's critical that people who strikes their head or loses consciousness during a crash seek medical care to determine how serious the injury may be. Those who are seriously injured may need to explore their options for compensation other than car insurance.