Common Injuries In Motor Vehicle Collisions

Motor vehicle collision, no matter the severity of the collision, there are a number of injuries that are commonly sustained. The most traumatic injuries, such as compound bone fractures, are apparent directly after the collision. However, many other types of common injuries sometimes show no symptoms and cause no discomfort until hours or even days after the collision. The most common injuries typically sustained in a motor vehicle collision can include:


One of the most prevalent injuries caused by a motor vehicle collision is what is commonly known as whiplash. Whiplash is caused by the head being abruptly thrown forward or sideways and can occur during low or high speed collisions. The motion of the head strains the muscles and ligaments of the neck beyond their normal range of motion. While some neck injuries such as strains and sprains, may resolve within six months after a collision, neck injuries such as disc herniation or ligament tears can also lead to long lasting pain and suffering, sometimes requiring years of therapy or corrective surgery to resolve.


The force of impact resulting from a motor vehicle collision often causes a torqueing motion on the bodies of the passengers of the vehicle. This torqueing motion can result in injuries such as sprains, strains, fractures, disc injuries, radiculopathy, and spine injuries. Spinal injuries may result in the onset of mild to severe pain, loss of sensation, and limited mobility.


Typically, lacerations that are sustained in a motor vehicle collision are caused by broken glass, ripped sheet metal, or striking one’s face on the steering wheel or dashboard. While the majority of lacerations are relatively minor in nature and heal easily over time, there are some lacerations which are severe enough to result in permanent damage. This can include lacerations that are deep enough to require stiches, staples, or sutures. Permanent scarring may require plastic surgery to minimize; this is especially true if the lacerations occurred on the face.


Broken bones are one of the most serious injuries that can be sustained in a motor vehicle collision. The broken bones that result from a high impact collision often require expensive surgery to repair. Additionally, physical therapy may be required in order for the accident victim to regain mobility. An injury where the bone pierces the skin, known as a “compound fracture”, is especially dangerous, as there is a very significant risk of developing an infection around the fracture. This can lead to a long and painful recovery for the victim.


A brain injury is one of the most devastating injuries a person can endure. These injuries often have a lifelong impact on the injured victim and lead to a lifetime of pain and suffering. Even where there is no physical sign of trauma after a motor vehicle collision, the brain is at risk of being jostled inside the skull. The impact of sustaining even a mild concussion has been shown in recent studies to have a significant impact on the cognitive abilities of the injured person. Such a reduction in cognitive function can lead to decreased ability to work, socialize, and maintain the same standard of living as before the injury.


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