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Common Injuries in Car Accidents

By: Anapol Weiss

Over three million people are injured in car accidents every year in the United States.

Each car accident has different variables that can impact the level of severity if an injury occurs. For example, was each person involved wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident? What angle and speed did one car hit another or hit an object?

These factors will weigh heavily into determining how severe an injury will be. Some injuries will heal over time without treatment and some injuries can be fatal or leave lifelong disabilities. If you have been seriously injured in an accident, speak to a car accident attorney today.

The number of deaths on the road in Pennsylvania jumped between the years of 2017 and 2018 due to an increase in pedestrians hit, impaired driving and elderly driver crashes. There was an increase of 34% of pedestrians struck and killed by a car in 2018 increasing the number of victims from 150 to 201.

The increase in fatalities amongst the elderly age group of 65 to 74-year-olds rose from 124 to 188. Out of all of the car accidents nationwide, each year over 2.3 million individuals are injured or disabled following their collision.

Impact vs. Penetrating Injuries

In a car collision, victims who are injured typically break their injuries down into two categories: impact injuries and penetrating injuries. An impact injury is defined as when a part of the body collides with a moving or stationary object.

For example, in a serious collision a driver’s head could collide with the steering wheel causing damage to the head and neck. A penetrating injury is when a victim’s body is impaled by an object typically causing cuts and scrapes in non-severe crashes. For example, if another vehicle collides with your vehicle and the windshield shatters and glass impales your leg causing an open wound, that would be a penetrating injury.

Injuries often depend on the type of car crash that occurred. There are seven different types of car crashes: non-collision, angle, head-on, rear-end, sideswipe, pedestrian hit and a hit fixed object. Depending on these different car crash types, the level of severity can range from fatal to personal injury to property damage.

Soft Tissue Injuries

A soft tissue injury is an injury that involves the muscles, tendons and ligaments in the body. For example, if you hit into a fixed object and the muscles in your neck are strained due to the impact, you might suffer whiplash. A soft tissue injury is the most common type of injury faced by car accident victims.

Cuts & Scrapes

In some car collisions, depending on the strength of impact, non-fixed objects in the car might fly into you and cause injury. For example, if you have your phone in a car phone-mount and you crash into another vehicle, your phone might become dislodged and hit you. Often times these injuries aren’t serious and will not require medical attention. Each car accident is different and will yield different outcomes to the victims.

Head Injuries

Depending on the severity of the accident, in an abrupt impact with another car or object your head may come in contact with the steering wheel or the window. In less severe cases, the driver could experience scrapes to the head or a concussion. In more severe cases, the victim could have bruising to the head caused by the tissue and fluid inside the skull being damaged by the collision.

Chest, Arm and Leg Injuries

Chest injuries are another common form of injury endured by the victim of a collision. There is not much room for movement when driving behind the steering wheel which can cause the body harm if pushed up against the wheel with serious impact.

In the event of a crash, the body might be flung into the steering wheel if the driver hits something head on. Depending on the level of impact the body had with the steering wheel, the victim could experience bruises or even broken ribs and further internal injuries. Additionally, the arms and legs might be flung against the door or steering wheel of a car causing cuts, bruises, broken bones or serious internal damage.

In many cases following a collision, you might not see serious injuries or feel symptoms right away. It is important to be examined by a medical professional following an accident to ensure you didn’t suffer internal injuries that may be lurking beneath your cuts or bruises.