An estimated 4.8 million people were seriously injured in vehicle accidents in 2020, according to the National Safety Council, a marked increase from previous years and the highest levels seen since 2007. While every car accident is unique, with these staggering numbers, there is some commonality with the types of injuries that occur. In some cases, injuries can be severe and life-changing.
When two or more vehicles collide or a vehicle hits another object, the sheer force of the impact can cause soft tissue damage, head injuries, fractures and other internal injuries. The crash impact can also cause debris, glass and other objects to become airborne resulting in lacerations, bruises and road rash. Common car accident injuries include:
Whiplash and Neck Injuries
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries reported after a car accident, especially in front-end and rear-end collisions. It doesn’t take a lot of force to create a whiplash injury. In fact, many whiplash injuries from vehicle accidents occur at speeds as low as 5 or 10 mph, or even stopped vehicles.
The signs of a whiplash injury vary and cannot always be seen, like bruises or broken bones. That doesn’t mean the effects of whiplash aren’t painful or that they don’t require treatment or therapies to heal. Long-term whiplash injuries are especially common in victims of a serious car accident who may also experience other injuries to the neck and spine as well as those who may have a pre-existing condition in the neck.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Car accidents are one of the leading causes of brain injury. Victims of traumatic brain injury often require extensive care upon returning home such as round-the-clock home health care aides, therapists, and hospital equipment made for a home setting.
Common types of back injuries can range from strains to issues with herniated, ruptured or bulging discs which can cause painful conditions that may require surgery and extensive recovery time. In serious cases, a back injury can result in damage to the spinal cord leading to different forms of paralysis such as paraplegia and quadriplegia which require lifetime care.
Fractures and Broken Bones
The force of impact can crush the front-end or sides of a car resulting in broken bones and fractures for drivers and passengers. Broken legs, arms, ribs and wrists are all common car accident injuries. In New Jersey, fractures and broken bones fall into the ‘serious injury threshold’ which allows injured victims to file a claim outside the typical no-fault car insurance system.
Loss of Limbs
Serious vehicle accidents could cause so much damage to an arm, leg, finger or toe that an amputation is required. These types of injuries can have long lasting ramifications for the injured victim. He or she may not be able to return to the same job and require long-term rehabilitation and care.
Loss of an Unborn Child
Tragically, while estimates vary, about 2-14 fetuses a day die to injuries sustained during a car accident. In many states, including New Jersey and New York, the loss of an unborn child in a vehicle accident is considered a serious injury. Women may be able to file a claim against the at-fault driver to recover compensation.
PTSD and Emotional Trauma
According to a National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) study, more than 39% of car accident survivors develop emotional trauma, especially post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Though PTSD is most often associated with soldiers returning from combat, the condition can develop after any type of traumatizing event. Car accidents, especially extremely violent ones, can certainly be traumatizing for victims and can cause emotional and mental anguish.
Help with Your Car Accident Claim
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, we strongly advise you to contact our firm and speak with an experienced car accident attorney at once. It can be hard to determine if you have a case and what your options are without consulting with an attorney. Further, insurance companies -- even your own -- may devalue or deny your claim.
At Brandon J. Broderick, Attorney at Law, we believe in exceptional client care, empathy, and results. That’s what makes us one of the top-rated car accident law firms in the area. With offices in New Jersey, New York, and Connecticut, we’ve got you covered. We have decades of experience championing for our clients and succeeding, even when other attorneys say there is no case and insurance adjusters deny or devalue your claim. Contact us today for a free consultation.