Common Car Accident Injuries
Since the inception of motor vehicles into everyday life in the early twentieth century, our lives have become easier and faster. Unfortunately, along with the innovation, a new category of injuries comes with it - motor vehicle injuries. More than 2.5 million Americans went to the emergency department because of injuries sustained in car accidents in 2012.
1. Whiplash or Neck Injuries
Neck sprains and strains, which are commonly known as whiplash, are the no. 1 most frequently reported injuries in U.S. insurance claims, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. In 2012, whiplash injuries accounted for 26 percent of the total payout for crash injuries.
What is Whiplash?
Whiplash is a generic term used to describe a variety of neck injuries that usually occur in car crashes. These injuries include muscle strain, tearing of soft tissue, nerve damage or disc damage. Whiplash occurs when your head is forcefully thrown backward and then forward.
Symptoms of Whiplash
- Neck pain and stiffness;
- Loss of range of motion in neck;
- Fatigue; and
Causes of Whiplash
Whiplash occurs when your head is forcefully and quickly thrown backward and then forward. The motion can injure bones in the spine, discs between the bones, ligaments, muscles, nerves and other tissues of the neck, which can be serious injuries. Rear-end collisions are the most common cause of whiplash in vehicle accidents, but whiplash can also be caused by physical abuse and contact sports.
2. Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries occur when damage or trauma to the spinal cord results in loss or decrease of function in mobility or sensation. Spinal cord injuries can range in severity depending on what part of the spinal cord was affected.
What is a Spinal Cord Injury?
A spinal cord injury can be classified as either complete or incomplete. If all feeling and movement below the spinal cord injury is lost, then the injury is classified as complete. If you still have motor or sensory function below the injury, then the injury is incomplete. The symptoms of the injury largely depend on the place and the severity of the injury on your spinal cord.
- Loss of movement;
- Loss of bowel or bladder control;
- Pain caused by damage to the nerve fibers; and
- Impaired breathing.
Causes of Spinal Cord Injuries
The cause of spinal cord injuries largely depends on which specific injury is sustained. According to the Mayo Clinic, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injury and they account for nearly half of new cases every year.
Concussions are traumatic brain injuries that affect your brain function. They are usually caused by a blow to the head, but violent shaking of the head or upper body can also cause concussions.
What Are Concussions?
Because of the fragile nature of the brain, a violent blow to your head, neck or upper body can cause your brain to slide back and forth against the inner walls of your skull, resulting in injury to your brain. This sudden acceleration and deceleration of the head is often caused by events such as car crashes.
- Temporary loss of consciousness;
- Nausea and vomiting;
- Sleep disturbances; and
- Sensitivity to light and noise.
Causes of Concussions
Your brain is surrounded by fluids to protect it from your skull. These fluids act as a cushion, which is usually enough to protect your brain during everyday activities. When your head is hit or jostled hard enough, your brain can crash into the sides of the skull causing injury.
Contact a San Jose Car Accident Attorney
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, you may be experiencing these or other injuries which can be detrimental to both your physical and emotional health. A skilled San Jose car accident attorney can help you explore your options for compensation. The experienced lawyers at Janoff Law can help you receive the retribution you deserve. Call 408-286-2300 to schedule a consultation.