Car accident injuries take many forms. All of them have the potential to cause severe physical, emotional, and financial pain. Let’s take a look at some common types of injuries car accident victims suffer, and how an experienced lawyer can help those victims secure the compensation they need to heal and return to their lives.
The Heavy Toll of Car Accident Injuries
In a recent year, more than 15,000 people suffered a serious injury on Texas roadways, according to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). That’s a devastating toll for our state, and its effects affect us in ways big and small.
On a broad level, TxDOT estimates that traffic accidents in the Lone Star State cause an annual economic loss of more than $39 billion. All of us bear some of that impact in the form of higher insurance rates, lost productivity, and tax dollars spent on accident response resources.
However, victims and their families bear the brunt of the pain, not just economic, but physical and emotional too. Any motor vehicle accident injury can disrupt lives, families, and careers. Injuries cause discomfort, disability, and anguish. They rob children of time with their parents, and victims of their independence. And they often inflict a heavy financial burden in the form of medical expenses, lost income, and countless other unexpected, unplanned-for costs.
Common Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents constitute a leading cause of unintentional injury nationwide, making them a major public health concern according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Here’s a rundown of common car accident injuries and the effects they can have on victims’ lives.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
In a car accident, it’s common for vehicle occupants to hit their heads or for their bodies to absorb a severe jolt. In either case, the force of the impact can cause the brain to deform, shift, or twist inside an accident victim’s skull, leading to bruising, bleeding, swelling, and chemical changes in the brain that impair its ability to function.
A traumatic brain injury of any type, from a concussion to a major hemorrhage, can cause lasting damage. In some cases, it may lead to a permanent loss of consciousness. In others, it may lead to lasting cognitive, emotional, or physical impairments that interfere with every aspect of a car accident victim’s life.
Spinal Cord Injury (SCI)
The impact of a car accident can also inflict damage to the vertebrae and discs of the spinal column, and in turn, to the spinal cord. This delicate bundle of nerves transmits messages from the brain to the body. A spinal cord injury happens when damage or pressure on the cord interrupts those signals, resulting in partial or total loss of sensation and function to affected parts of the body.
An SCI can leave a car accident victim paralyzed and reliant on a wheelchair to get around. It tends to disrupt every aspect of that person’s life, and unlike many injuries, rarely heals completely (if at all). SCIs also come with a major price tag: according to the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, the lifetime costs of living with a spinal cord injury routinely run into the millions of dollars.
Car accidents commonly cause vehicle occupants to suffer broken bones. Some of these injuries may heal with proper care. Others, however, may never properly mend, forcing victims to live with chronic pain and limited mobility. In the worst case, victims may lose a limb because the bone break and its associated injuries are so severe that they threaten a victim’s life.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Victims of car accidents almost always suffer some form of soft tissue injury to their head, neck, or shoulders. The force of collision tends to cause muscles, ligaments, and tendons to stretch suddenly and unnaturally, leading to tears and inflammation. Doctors sometimes refer to this constellation of injuries as “whiplash”, although that term has fallen out of favor because it tends to minimize the severity of the trauma victims often suffer. Soft tissue injuries can lead to long-term pain, limited mobility, and a host of other health complications that can linger for months or more.
Sometimes, car accidents cause severe trauma to victims’ internal organs, resulting in potentially life-threatening bleeding, infections, and organ failure. Internal injuries can also lead to lifelong health complications that affect every aspect of a victim’s life, from what foods they can eat to what activities they can enjoy. Organ injuries also frequently lead to large medical expenses.
Lacerations and Abrasions
The interior of a vehicle that crashes teems with sharp objects like broken glass and twisted metal. Crash victims routinely suffer deep cuts that cause dangerous bleeding, nerve damage, and potential infection. Oftentimes, those injuries leave behind disfiguring scars, forcing car accident victims to contend with emotional pain in addition to their physical trauma.
A Skilled Car Accident Injury Lawyer Can Help You
Victims of car accidents do not deserve to contend with the burdens and expenses of their injuries alone. If someone else’s wrongful actions caused a crash, then that party should pay victims for the harm they suffered.
Car accident injury lawyers represent victims in legal actions and insurance claims aimed at obtaining that much-needed compensation. A lawyer’s job, in the most basic sense, is to investigate the accident, figure out who should be held accountable for it, and pursue compensation from that individual, business, or organization to the fullest extent possible.
Car accident attorneys can’t guarantee that victims will receive money for crash-related injuries and losses. They can and do, however, give victims the best shot at securing the maximum compensation available in any given situation.
If you or a loved one suffered injuries in a car accident, whether or not you see those injuries described above, then chances are you have potentially valuable legal rights to payment from the at-fault parties. To learn more, contact a skilled local car accident lawyer today for a free consultation.