Getting into a car accident can take a severe toll on the human body. The physical force of a collision can violently shake your body, leading to injuries and damage. Victims commonly suffer from whiplash, head injuries, spinal cord trauma, and limb injuries.
When you get behind the steering wheel, you trust yourself and other motorists to drive carefully and defensively to prevent collisions. Unfortunately, car crashes still happen, and it’s important to understand their impact on the body.
How Kinetic Energy Can Cause Traumatic Injuries in a Crash
When you’re driving, your body and the vehicle both have what’s called kinetic energy. When you wish to stop and press on the brakes, that energy transfers into the brakes, and you can stop easily.
However, when you get into a sudden, unexpected crash, your body absorbs the kinetic energy, which can lead to injuries.
Modern cars have been designed to better protect us during a collision by absorbing kinetic energy during impact. However, in most crashes, especially high-speed ones, your body will inevitably absorb some kinetic energy and risk injury.
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What Are the Most Common Car Accident Injuries?
The following injuries occur due to kinetic energy transfer in a collision. Varying degrees of injury severity can occur. Common injuries include:
- Head traumas
- Neck injuries
- Spinal trauma
- Upper body injuries
- Broken bones
- Psychological conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Sometimes, these injuries can lead to long-term disability and may even result in death. It is important to understand these injuries and to seek medical care and legal representation immediately following a collision.
Right after impact, your head and body keep moving at the same speed as before the crash, even though the vehicle has stopped or slowed down.
That speed is only stopped when your head comes into contact with another object, such as an airbag, car door, dashboard, windshield, or other items in the car.
Survivors may experience the following head injuries:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Skull fractures
- Intracranial hemorrhages
Neck Injuries and Whiplash
If the vehicle is in a rear-end collision, your neck can get thrown backward from the impact before rebounding forward.
This is known as whiplash, a condition that stretches the tendons and muscles in the neck. Whiplash is a soft-tissue injury that causes minor to major damage to the neck, back, and spine.
Spinal Injuries and Trauma
The discs between your spine can also experience trauma and disc herniation from whiplash and the impact of the car crash. A blow to the spinal cord can lead to broken vertebrae or crushed sensitive tissue.
While it is not common, some spinal cord injuries can lead to bleeding.
Upper Body Injuries
Your collarbone is one of the first parts of your upper body that can be harmed in a collision due to the seat belt in front of it.
The ribs can also break from the impact if it’s a high-speed crash. Since the ribs protect the lungs, the chances of a lung collapsing increase drastically.
Like your other organs, your stomach, intestines, and other contents of your abdomen will be forced forward at your vehicle’s speed during the crash, hitting the abdominal wall and absorbing the tension from the seat belt.
This can cause internal organs to rupture or bruise, possibly releasing waste products into the body or causing blood loss.
In addition, the heart is propelled forward with the rest of your torso and can hit the hall of the chest and ribs, bruising the heart. An injured heart can lead to large amounts of blood loss or even death.
Broken Bones and Fractures
Pelvic fractures are one of the most severe injuries you can sustain during a car crash, as treatment often requires surgery and extensive rehabilitation.
If you suffer a hip or pelvis fracture during a collision, you shouldn’t be left dealing with the financial costs associated with medical care. Injured Limbs
Arms and legs are typically less shielded from movement than other body parts during a crash. This means your limbs are likely to contact more interior surfaces, which can cause cuts, bruises, and fractures.
Psychological Impact (PTSD)
The effects of a car crash on the human body are far-reaching. Besides the physical injuries your body can experience, your brain responds to the traumatic event.
The brain will release adrenaline and endorphins to elevate mood and increase physical alertness, helping the body and mind handle the accident. Some victims may seem calm after a collision because these hormones help block pain and stress.
The psychological impact of a car crash can also be significant, especially if the victim suffered a great amount of pain, damage, loss, or death of a loved one. Survivors can experience anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other disorders.
How Can an Attorney Help if You Were Injured in a Crash?
A lawyer can help you gather the necessary documentation to prove the severity of your injuries and how these impact your life. This includes medical documentation from your doctor and proof of the damage to your car.
Additionally, a lawyer can help you calculate all the damages you are entitled to ensure nothing gets left out. You may have future treatment costs or lost wages due to missing work while you recover. An experienced lawyer can help you pursue these things and ensure you receive a fair settlement.
Types of Damages You Can Include in Your Claim
When filing a car accident claim as the injured party, you can seek reimbursement for various damages. Understanding the different types of damages available is crucial to ensure your car accident claim is properly evaluated and accurately compensated.
Economic damages refer to out-of-pocket expenses incurred directly or indirectly due to the vehicle collision, such as medical expenses and lost wages. You may also be entitled to property damage if your car was damaged in the crash.
Non-economic damages can include pain and suffering, while punitive damages aim to punish a wrongdoer who acted with malicious intent or gross negligence.
Consult a car accident lawyer who can help you determine which types of damages apply to your situation.
Dying on Impact in a Car Accident
In a collision during which a person dies on impact, the death is usually caused by severe trauma to vital organs, such as the brain and the heart. This impact is often caused when a car slams into an immovable object at high speed, like a wall or tree.
When cars collide, their impact force depends on their respective speeds, masses, and trajectories. Based on these factors, one may experience sudden and instant death due to massive impact energies, known as dying on impact.
If someone has died due to another person’s negligent, reckless, or intentional act in a crash, the deceased’s family may file a wrongful death claim against the responsible party.
Claimants can seek compensation for funeral costs, medical expenses related to the accident, and other damages, such as loss of financial support from the deceased.
For a free legal consultation, call 404-400-4000
A Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You Recover
At John Foy & Associates, we have 20-plus years of experience working with personal injury victims and helping them recover financial damages resulting from a car crash.
Our personal injury attorneys are here to listen and advocate for you during this overwhelming process. And we NEVER take the side of the insurance companies.
For a free consultation to discuss your case and how we can help, contact us today or complete the form to the right to get started.
Call or text 404-400-4000 or complete a Free Case Evaluation form