Car crashes send millions of people to the emergency room each year because of devastating injuries. In fact, in 2012, more than 2.5 million Americans were seen in emergency departments for crash-related injuries, and nearly 200,000 were hospitalized because of them, says research conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
In addition to causing pain to accident victims, crash-related injuries are also quite costly to diagnose, treat, and manage. According to the same report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, crash injuries in 2012 totaled $18 billion in lifetime medical costs, a majority of which are incurred in the first 18 months following the accident. Additionally, the lifetime work lost because of those crashes injuries will cost an estimated $33 billion.
Common Injuries Accident Victims Often Experience
Accident victims can suffer from a variety of different crash-related injuries in many common car crash scenarios, but some injuries are more common than others. Unfortunately, they can all cause a lifetime of pain and costly expenses.
The head frequently becomes injured in accidents as it is one of the most exposed and vulnerable parts of the body when in a vehicle. In less severe accidents, the head may experience an injury by simply coming into contact with the airbag. These injuries are typically superficial, and include lacerations and burns. The eyes and face may also become injured when the airbag deploys, as well.
Most serious injuries to the head occur when it comes in contact with the windshield, steering wheel, window, or dashboard during a collision. Traumatic brain injuries, such as bruising and bleeding of the brain, are quite common in accidents. Additionally, concussions and coup-contrecoup injuries can occur, as well as bone penetration of the brain—when the head comes in contact forcefully with another object and it penetrates the brain.
The neck is often moved around forcefully during a collision. This sudden and extreme motion can cause damage to the muscles, ligaments, and nerves in the area. Perhaps the most well-known neck injury that occurs as the result of an accident is whiplash, which is when the soft tissue in the neck moves beyond its general range of motion and becomes strained. Although commonly thought of as a mild injury, whiplash can actually cause long-lasting pain and impairment. Those who experience whiplash may also suffer from secondary injuries that are caused by whiplash, such as headaches, back pain, and brain injury.
The neck can also receive superficial cuts, scrapes, and burns from the seatbelt and other objects it may come into contact with. Additionally, the cervical spine can suffer from injuries such as disc damage and fractures.
Forceful movement and collision with other objects can cause the spine and back to become seriously injured. Any damage to the spinal cord can cause significant nerve damage, which can result in reduced sensation in and control over the arms, feet, hands, legs, and other body parts. Spinal fractures and other more severe injuries can even result in paralysis. Additionally, damage to the spinal discs can also occur and cause pain, numbness, and discomfort for accident victims.
The chest has the potential to come into contact with many different objects during a collision. For starters, a constricted seatbelt can cause superficial damage to the chest, as well as possibly fracture the ribs and other bones in the chest. Blunt force trauma from colliding with the steering wheel or other objects can cause fractures and lung damage. Bleeding in the chest can also occur—and those who suffer from heart problems may go into traumatic cardiac arrest from the stress of the accident.
When You’re Injured in an Accident
If you’re one of the many who were injured in a DC car accident this year, you may be entitled to receive financial compensation that can help pay for the medical bills you may incur. The legal team at Kennedy Hodges, LLP wants to help. Schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced attorneys by calling 855.947.0707 and find out if we can help.