If you’re hurt in an accident, it can be extremely scary and overwhelming. When you’re injured, you may have to work with a personal injury attorney to get compensation for damages, which can include economic and non-economic losses.
If you’re hurt, and someone else is at fault for the accident, you’re entitled to reimbursement for any expenses you have due to your injuries and the accident.
To calculate economic damages, things that are considered include:
- The cost of your medical bills
- Whether you’ll require future medical treatment and how much that might cost
- If you had to stay out of work during your recovery
- When you’re expected to be able to return to work
- How much your time away from work could cost you as far as your wages and benefits
- If you’ll need ongoing rehabilitation, physical therapy, or care
- If your injuries are permanent
- Whether property damage occurred
For non-economic damages, which are harder to estimate, factors that go into valuing a case include:
- How long does your recovery take?
- Whether you’re dealing with emotional stress, anxiety, or PTSD
- The way your life changed since the accident
- Whether or not you can still do the activities you enjoyed before the accident
The most common causes for vehicle accidents and collisions include:
- Distracted driving: This is the number one accident cause. Distracted drivers aren’t paying attention fully to the road. A distracted driver can be doing any number of things, from texting to eating behind the wheel. A lot of drivers think they can safely multitask when in reality, it’s dangerous no matter what.
- Speeding: If someone is going over the speed limit, they’re going to have slower reaction times.
- Drunk driving: Driving when under the influence of drugs or alcohol can dull your cognitive functions, your senses, and your reactions. Your decision-making and judgment are also negatively affected.
- Reckless driving: This can include any number of driving behaviors, from tailgating to cutting off other drivers. Reckless drivers can put themselves and everyone around them at risk.
- Bad weather: Snow, weather, storms, and other weather factors can make driving more dangerous and put everyone at a higher risk of being in an accident.
- Inexperience: Younger drivers are inherently more dangerous simply because they don’t have a lot of experience behind the wheel.
- Night driving: Driving at night can nearly double the risk of being in an accident. It’s hard to see what’s coming, and you’re also more likely to be drowsy.
So with these things holding true, what are the most common injuries that people experience when they’re involved in an accident?
1. Soft Tissue Injuries
Any injury that affects the connective tissues of the body is considered a soft tissue injury. Connective tissues include muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Soft tissue injuries can include whiplash when the neck and upper back are injured. The muscles and ligaments may be stretched because of sudden movements of the head and neck during a crash.
Car accidents can also lead to mid and low-back injuries and sometimes serious back injuries.
2. Cuts and Scrapes
If you’re in an accident and there are loose items in your car, they might be thrown around the interior, and that can lead to cuts and scrapes. For example, a purse, coffee mug, or cell phone are examples of items that can become projectiles during an accident.
An airbag, if it deploys, can also cause cuts and scrapes.
3. Head Injuries
A head injury from a car accident can range from minor to very severe. When you’re in an accident, the vehicle you’re in stops suddenly or changes direction. That leads your head to move unnaturally and suddenly.
You can experience strains and sprains, but your actual head can also sustain injuries.
If you have a severe collision, your brain tissue and blood vessels can experience bruising and tearing. Most closed head injuries lead to concussions, and in severe instances, long-lasting brain damage can occur.
Traumatic brain injuries lead to around 50,000 deaths a year.
Car accidents can lead to being in contact with parts of the car you wouldn’t normally be. Hot engine parts, or liquids that are spraying, for example, can cause burns. The entire vehicle can catch on fire, too, leading to severe burns or death.
5. Facial Injuries
Facial injuries, aside from brain trauma, can affect many delicate areas like the eyes, nose, and mouth.
Facial bones can break, and if they aren’t able to properly heal, it can lead to disfigurement. Lacerations are deep cuts that need stitches and may lead to scars.
Eye injuries from debris or blunt force can threaten vision.
Tooth loss is also somewhat common in car accidents.
6. Broken Bones
Bone fractures or breaks can occur from a significant collision, and they may not be something you even notice immediately following an accident.
There are different types of bone fractures, some of which are more severe than others. For example, a displaced fracture is when your bone breaks into several pieces and moves. A partial fracture, by contrast, doesn’t go all the way through the bone.
7. Loss of Limbs
If someone’s in an accident, the force it creates can lead to the complete removal of the limb, or the damage to the limb can be so severe it requires full or partial removal. The loss of a limb can mean long-term rehabilitation and the need for prostheses and assistive devices.
When someone loses a limb, fully or partially, it significantly impacts their ability to do their daily activities.
There are around 1.7 million people living with limb loss in the United States, so that’s around one in every 200 people.
Any time you’re involved in an accident, even if you don’t think your injuries are severe, you should go see a medical provider. This is important because when adrenaline is high, you might not feel the pain of an injury. It can be weeks later before you fully realize that you’re hurt. Plus, if you do have an issue with insurance, going to the doctor right away starts to create a chain of proof that you sought treatment for your injuries.