You have probably heard someone tell you they got into a car accident and “walked away without a scratch.” Maybe you have even said this yourself following a fender bender. And while it is true that not everyone sustains a serious or life-threatening injury in an accident, even a seemingly “minor” accident can cause significant damage to the body, even if it is not immediately detectable.
Head and Neck Injuries
Most auto accidents are not spectacular, high-speed wrecks like the ones you see during a NASCAR race. Indeed, the most common kind of car crash is a low-speed, rear-end collision. These crashes, which are usually the result of improper tailgating by the rear vehicle, frequently produce whiplash as the people in front vehicle are suddenly jolted backwards and forward.
Unlike a broken bone, there is often no immediate outward indication of whiplash. The most common symptom is neck pain, and that may not manifest itself until a day or two following the accident. In more severe cases the victim will experience difficulty moving their neck or shoulders, which may indicate damage to the spinal cord itself.
The other major concern with a car accident is the possibility of a head injury. According to a study published by the government of the Australian state of New South Wales, about 39 percent of auto accident victims it surveyed sustained a head injury. About half of those injuries were classified as “severe,” and were usually the result of a side-impact or multi-impact crashes where the vehicle rolled over several times.
How the Type of Accident Can Determine the Scope of Your Injuries
Beside head and neck injuries, some of the other impacts that can affect you in a car accident include:
- In a side-impact (or T-bone) accident, you may experience chest, abdominal, and leg injuries, particularly if you were hit by a smashed door panel or even another passenger.
- If you are the driver in a head-on collision, you may suffer severe facial injuries if your head hits the steering wheel; passengers may suffer similar injuries if they hit the dashboard or the back of a seat.
- As noted above, multi-impact and rollover crashes can lead to a number of severe injuries to the head, face, and chest. In some cases you may be ejected from the vehicle during the roll-over, which means you may sustain damage from additional impacts with a door, sunroof, or window.
If you are truly able to walk away without a scratch following a car accident, consider yourself lucky. Because that is all it is: luck. The difference between a no injury and life-threatening injury in an auto accident is often literally a matter of degrees–i.e., the angle of the impact when your vehicle was hit.
And while many accidents are simply a case of bad luck, many others are the result of driver negligence. If you suffered a serious injury in a crash caused by another party, you have the right to seek compensation. Call the Austin personal injury attorneys at DC Law today if you need to speak with a lawyer right away following an accident, (512)-220-1800.