What are the Most Common Injuries in an Auto Accident?

More than 3 million people are injured in auto accidents each year in the US. And, that doesn’t account for the nearly 40,000 crash fatalities that happen each year. Car accidents can not only take a significant toll on human life, but they also are a significant economic drain, as well. In Florida alone, nearly 3,200 people lost their lives in auto accidents in 2018, and the financial cost of these accidents is estimated to be more than $4 billion.

whiplash injury from a car accident

Every injury sustained in an accident costs more than just the pain and suffering of the individual or their families. Many injuries have long-lasting consequences in both physical and monetary terms. So, what are the most common injuries that people suffer in an auto accident? They can include:

  • Soft tissue injuries
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Broken bones and injury to internal organs
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Burns and lacerations

However, not all injuries are immediately apparent right after an accident. Sometimes it can take days, weeks, or even months for symptoms of an injury to show. This is especially the case with soft tissue injuries when nerves can slip or become pinched. Additionally, broken bones may never heal properly and lead to life-long complications.

What are Soft Tissue Injuries?

It doesn’t take much pressure on soft tissues to cause significant damage that can last a lifetime. Soft tissue injuries such as whiplash can occur in crashes with speeds as low as 15 mph. Safety features such as a seatbelt or airbags don’t always protect against these types of injuries, making them the number one most common type of accident-related injuries. 

What is Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)?

Traumatic brain injury occurs when the brain hits the skull, resulting in bleeding or bruising in the brain. This type of injury can happen when there is a major blow to the head. During a crash, the head may hit the dashboard, steering wheel, windows, or even an airbag. As much as 36% of all mild traumatic brain injuries are the result of car accidents. 25% of TBI cases involve airbags, while almost 11% were from non-contact head injuries. 

How Can a Crash Cause Broken Bones and Injury to Internal Organs?

The crash’s impact can lead to broken bones, leading to internal injuries, such as a punctured lung from broken ribs. Broken ribs can result from seatbelts and airbags. Other common types of broken bones occur on our extremities, such as broken wrists, arms, legs, and feet. In the worst kinds of accidents, crushed metal can lead to severed limbs. 

Can I Get a Spinal Cord Injury in an Accident?

During a crash, the spinal cord can become twisted as the inertia from the impact causes our bodies to bend or as the seats and steering column warps. Our bodies are not made to withstand high impacts, and when it does happen, it can result in partial or complete paralysis of the body below the point of injury.

Are Burns and Lacerations Common in Car Accidents?

Burns and lacerations are prevalent in car accident injuries. Burns can occur if the car catches on fire or if the skin comes in contact with chemicals, electrical components, steam, or other hot components from the engine. Lacerations are usually the result of glass, loose objects, and metal. Another type of typical burn is “Road Rash,” which occurs when the skin is dragged across a hard surface like the pavement. 

How Can Safety Features Prevent Accident Injuries?

New safety features, including blind-spot monitors, collision warnings, lane departure warnings, and more, are becoming increasingly helpful in preventing accidents, thereby reducing auto accident-related injuries. If you’re looking to purchase a new vehicle, look for advanced safety features such as these warning systems, active head restraints, and advanced airbag systems. 

Florida is often well above the national average for auto accident injuries. Safety features in newer cars help prevent injuries and deaths resulting from auto accidents, but it will take time for these safety features to become more standard on the road. In the meantime, you can help prevent injuries and fatalities by practicing good defensive driving habits, staying alert, and always wearing your seatbelt. 

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and walking away from an accident with no injuries should be at the top of your priority list. But, if you’ve been involved in an auto accident, you need an attorney on your side to help you get the compensation you need to cover medical bills, property damage, and suffering. Contact us today online or call (813) 774-3341 for a free phone consultation to immediately discuss your case with an expert personal injury attorney serving the Tampa Area. 

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