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Understanding Common Car Accident Injuries And Their Causes

Jan 23, 2024 | Personal Injury

Car accidents are distressing experiences that can lead to a variety of physical and emotional challenges. On top of the damages to their vehicle, the victim’s injuries may be extensive enough to warrant an extended stay in the hospital, surgeries, physical therapy, psychotherapy, and more. They may also be forced to miss a significant amount of work, or even have their job put in jeopardy, all because of the time it took to heal and recover. 

This can cause a significant financial strain to be put on the victim, as well as their family. While they may attempt to file a claim with the insurance company to recover those damages, there is a slim chance that they will receive a full and fair compensation; insurance companies are notorious for denying the claims of victims or only agreeing to pay an amount that is insignificant when compared to the actual expenses they have been forced to pay.

In this blog, we’ll be taking an in-depth look at some of the most common injuries caused by car accidents, as well as why they occur and the long-term implications they could have on the victim. Then, we’ll tell you what to do if you were a victim of an accident where a negligent driver caused you to suffer injuries which disrupted your life and threatened your health and financial stability. 

What Are The Most Common Injuries Resulting From Car Accidents?

Back and Neck Injuries

When a car accident happens, the passengers’ necks usually take the brunt of the force because their body is restrained by the seat belt, causing them to suddenly jerk forward and backward. It is also common for people to tense up their muscles when they realize they are about to be involved in an accident, so the risk of muscle strain in the neck increases and could result in damaged ligaments, muscles, discs, nerves, joints, tendons, or bones. These same violent motions could also result in spinal injuries.

Whiplash is the most common neck injury resulting from a car accident. The sudden and abrupt back-and-forth movement of the cervical vertebrae results in ligament strains, which we commonly refer to as whiplash. Other common back and neck injuries include:

  • Cervical spondylolisthesis
  • Slipped or herniated disc
  • Lumbar or thoracic vertebrae fractures
  • Neck/back sprain or strain
  • Pinched nerve
  • Degenerative spinal disorders
  • Stiff muscles and tendons
  • Facet joint injury
  • Neck fracture or compression
  • Cuts and lacerations, and
  • Muscle spasms. 

Head Injuries 

Car accidents are one of the leading causes of brain injuries, as many victims suffer hard jolts, blows, or bumps to the head. The most common head injuries are:

  • Concussion
  • Brain contusion
  • Skull fracture
  • Acquired brain injury (or secondary brain injury)
  • Coup-contrecoup
  • Brain penetration
  • Traumatic brain injury

Broken Bones and Fractures

The most common ways that car accident victims end up with broken bones or fractures is because they were ejected from the vehicle, they reached forward to brace for impact or to protect their face, they were struck by the airbag or other loose items tossed around the car, or they slammed forward into the seat belt. Victims most frequently suffer broken or fractured:

  • Spinal vertebrae of the back or neck
  • Clavicle
  • Pelvic bone
  • Fibula
  • Cranial
  • Facial bones
  • Sternum

How Are These Injuries Typically Caused?

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is the number one cause of car accidents in the United States. Drivers who don’t have their full attention on the road – usually because they are using their phone, eating or drinking, or adjusting the radio – is considered a distracted driver. 

Speeding

You’ve probably heard the common saying, “speed kills,” because it’s true. When drivers ignore the speed limit and drive 10, 20, or even 30 mph over the speed limit, they make it harder to react fast to changes in traffic. Subsequently, the injuries caused in accidents caused by a speeding driver are typically much more severe, as the impact on the body is uncompromising.

Drunk Driving

As regrettable as it is to say, nearly everyone can name a person they know who was the victim of a drunk driving accident, and either suffered severe injuries or lost their life. It is never okay to drink and drive, but unfortunately, far too many people make this mistake and end up causing tragedies to occur. 

Alcohol is a depressant which disrupts the chemical processes in the consumer’s brain. When under the influence, they have warped vision, unsteady movements, distorted judgements, and a significantly slow reaction time. All of these effects make it extremely difficult to operate a vehicle safely, which is why there are strict DUI laws in America – and especially in Arizona. Anyone impaired “to the slightest degree” while driving in Arizona is considered to be driving under the influence, and is liable to be charged with a DUI. 

Reckless Driving

Doing things like speeding, changing lanes rapidly, or tailgating is all considered reckless driving, and make the chances of causing an accident much higher. 

Why Should A Car Accident Victim Seek Legal Assistance?

In the aftermath of a car accident, especially one that was caused by a negligent driver, dealing with insurance companies and navigating the legal maze can feel like an uphill battle. To have the best chance at securing a full and fair compensation – not just what the insurance companies say your suffering is worth – it is crucial that you secure seasoned legal representation. 

A personal injury attorney can be an advocate which makes the insurance companies take you more seriously. They can help you have a better understanding of the claims process and of negotiations, in addition to navigating you through complex paperwork and dealing with tricky insurance tactics. You don’t have to face the aftermath alone – a legal ally can fight for what you deserve while you focus on healing and moving forward. 

How Can Ortega Law Group Help You Through This Difficult Time?

Our lead attorney, Isaac Ortega, can be the legal ally you need to go up against the insurance company. Together, we can hold the party responsible for your pain and suffering accountable. Call today to schedule your free initial consultation and learn more about the advantages of working with our team!

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