Car accidents are one of the leading causes of personal injury cases in Phoenix and across the country. These types of accidents occur from a variety of causes and can result in injuries that affect any part of the body, ranging from mild to severe.
Possible Injuries Caused by Motor Vehicle Accidents
The injury potential in a car accident is a byproduct of the laws of physics. A vehicle in motion has kinetic energy. A collision that causes a sudden halting of that motion transitions the energy to the body and potentially causes injuries.
The Physics of Impact
Upon impact, the body initially continues at the speed the car was moving. The body won’t stop until it discharges the kinetic energy through contact with another object. In the best-case scenario, that object will be the seatbelt, but in more severe cases, it could mean an airbag, the car door, the dashboard, or even the windshield.
The violent change of energy experienced by your body creates opportunities for widely varying injuries to many parts of the body.
Head Trauma and Whiplash
In addition to the threat of hitting your head during an accident, your head and neck may be thrown back and forth in a whipping and rebounding motion. This movement can result in a very common injury, known as whiplash.
Whiplash is a soft tissue injury impacting the muscles, ligaments, and tendons and can lead to lasting injuries to the head, neck, and back. Suffering whiplash is most common when you’ve experienced a rear-end collision.
Arms and legs aren’t especially well-protected during a crash. The suddenness with which an impact occurs leaves just fractions of seconds to brace or shield yourself. Limbs may flail or stiffen in unpredictable ways during a force impact. Cuts, contusions, and fractures can all occur.
Upper Body, Back, and Spine Injuries
The seat belt lies across the front of the collarbone, a surprisingly fragile bone that can fracture as the seatbelt goes taut to hold the person in the car. Ribs may also crack during a collision, which leads to a greater potential for internal injuries.
The rib cage protectively encases the lungs. When ribs break, the possibility of a collapsed lung and resulting damage to the body’s respiratory system increases in likelihood. Chest trauma can lead to a heart contusion, resulting in blood loss or, in extreme cases, the disruption of the heart’s beating.
Herniated discs in the back and trauma in the spinal column can severely impact mobility and have some of the highest incidences of contributing to permanent injuries. Back injuries can lead to a lifetime of discomfort, diminished quality of life, and the need for medical care.
Hip and Pelvic Fractures
A displaced hip or fractured pelvis is a devastating outcome to experience in a car accident. The path to recovery is filled with surgical procedures and grueling rehabilitation. Like disc injuries in the back, a pelvis fracture or severe hip injury can have permanent ramifications on physical mobility and quality of life.
Digestive Organ Injuries
The stomach and intestines aren’t immune to the risk of damage during a motor vehicle collision. A ruptured intestine or damaged stomach can lead to bodily waste leaking within the body.
Internal Injury Threat
Several of the possible injuries referenced above are internal. While a first responder or even a layperson providing aid as a good Samaritan at the accident scene can likely spot a compound fracture or exterior bleeding, internal injuries require medical examination and treatment as soon as possible.
Internal bleeding or the leak of digestive wastes into the bloodstream can prove fatal before ever being discovered. These injuries could literally lay beneath the surface when there are few outward signs of trauma. Even after a seemingly minor accident, it’s important not to risk dismissing the need for medical care.
Emotional Impact of a Motor Vehicle Accident
Your brain has several near-instantaneous responses to trauma like motor vehicle accidents. A surge of adrenaline and pain-blocking endorphins swiftly takes hold. This can lead to altered decision-making capabilities and also could lead to a failure to recognize injuries. It’s common for new aches and pains to take hold in the hours and days after the accident as the body and mind come down from the emotions.
The physical injuries of an accident can have severe mental health consequences as well. The loss of sleep, temporary or permanent disabilities, and financial stress that are all common after an accident can easily foster depression and anxiety.
Seeking Compensation for Damages
If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident and the other driver is at fault, your medical expenses shouldn’t fall on you. Many times, the other driver’s insurance company will try to settle swiftly. The first offer is never the best offer and can be detrimental if your injuries prove to be long-lasting or permanent.
In addition to medical expenses, other damages you can seek include lost wages, as well as lost future wages. A traumatic car accident could keep you out of work temporarily or ruin your ability to work in certain careers. Damage to your vehicle and any other property is also the responsibility of the driver who caused the accident.
If the injuries incurred are particularly severe and have a lasting impact, pain and suffering could also be ordered as part of the damages. If a tragic and untimely death occurs as a part of the accident, wrongful death can also be compensated for.
Get an Attorney Who Can Help
Retain the services of an experienced Phoenix motor vehicle accident attorney to protect your interests and get the compensation you deserve. Luis P. Guerra, L.L.C., personal injury trial attorneys, bring nearly three decades of experience handling motor vehicle accident cases. We have the expertise to negotiate and litigate for the damages needed to ensure your medical care is properly covered.
If you or a loved one have been in a car accident, contact us today for a consultation.