July 8, 2022

Car Accident Injuries and How to Avoid Them

Car Accident Injuries and How to Avoid Them

Not only is California the most populous state in the country, but we also have the most registered vehicles on the road. While California’s driving laws are some of the most comprehensive in the nation our sheer number of residents makes it difficult to avoid car accidents entirely.

California is an at-fault state, meaning someone must take responsibility (or at least most of it) when a car accident occurs. Suppose you are in a California vehicle accident due to another driver’s negligence. In that case, you may be able to seek compensation from them for your losses.

Look to hire a Chain | Cohn | Clark California car accident lawyer for legal assistance.  

Car Accident Injuries We See in California

It is impossible to predict the exact outcome of a car accident; any part of you could be injured to varying degrees. However, given the nature of car accidents, some injuries are more likely than others. The following are some of the most common car accident injuries we see in California. 

Head and Brain Injuries

The head is one of the most critical areas to protect. Severe car accidents might result in cracked skulls, and brain bleeds, leading to hematomas. These severe car accident injuries can take several days to manifest, so it’s vital to seek medical attention immediately, even if you don’t feel anything. 

In addition to physical pain, an impact on the skull can cause internal brain damage. A blunt-force or piercing injury to the head can cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI) or concussion. The brain is highly complex and fragile, making it challenging to repair. When an individual suffers a TBI, it can result in an untreatable long-term disability or behavioral change. 

Neck Injuries

The neck’s freedom and flexibility make it susceptible to injury from abrupt direction changes. If your body jerks faster than you can move on your own, you may experience a mild or severe strain. This is a common car accident injury and is often called “whiplash.” It can occur even in very soft crashes. 

Shoulder Injuries

When you brace for impact, your arms and shoulders frequently lock. Absorbing most of the force on your shoulders can result in dislocations, fractures, or severe strain. 

Hand and Wrist Injuries

Our instinct is to protect ourselves with our hands. While this is better than a severe blow to the head or other internal organs, wrist and hand injuries can be excruciating. You may need surgery depending on how severe the fracture is. 

Spine Injuries

The spine is interconnected with your entire body’s nervous system. If you sustain a spinal cord injury, you may lose feeling or function in any of your peripheral limbs. Spine injuries from car accidents are most commonly associated with partial or total paralysis below the point of the damage. 

Knee Injuries

Depending on the type of car accident, the knees are particularly vulnerable. If you are in a head-on collision, they may be crushed, twisted, or hit in such a way that causes damage to the tendons and ligaments. Even if your car holds its shape, your knee is locked, or in a position to absorb most of the force, you may suffer from long-term knee strain due to that impact. 

Ankle and Foot Injuries

Whether you drive or ride in the passenger seat, your feet are likely the body’s closest part to the front of the vehicle. Your feet, like the knees, can be crushed, cut, fractured, or strained in a forceful collision.

Broken Bones

“Broken bones” can refer to a wide range of injuries in various places. Your skull, shoulders, spine, and feet can all be fractured or snapped in a collision. Other common broken bones from car accidents include the ribs, legs, arms, ankles, wrists, and pelvis. While some broken bones are minor and simple, others require surgery to repair. Compound fractures and severe breaks will need continuous medical care and long-term recovery. 

Limb Loss and Disablement

An injury can sometimes result in amputation or permanent loss of limb function. If you are disabled from a lost limb, you may be entitled to additional disability compensation. 

Internal Injuries

The force does not stop at the skin when a human body collides with another object. Even if there are no visible cuts or bruises, an individual’s internal organs may have been damaged, resulting in internal bleeding or other issues. These internal injuries need emergency medical treatment or may have serious consequences. 

Scars and Facial Disfigurement

Face injuries can result from shrapnel from a car crash, the explosion of an airbag, or impact with any hard surface. Whether functional or cosmetic, facial disfigurement might require surgical correction and leave a lasting scar. You may be able to recover additional compensation for facial scars or disfigurement after a car accident, in addition to compensation for the damage, due to the potential social/occupational ramifications. 

Road Rash and Burns

During an accident, your skin may be damaged if it comes into contact with hot fluids, steam, chemicals, or surfaces. This contact may occur if something bursts, the vehicle catches fire, or due to road rash.

Road rash results from a driver being thrown from their vehicle and sliding across a rough surface. Regardless of the cause, severe burns may require surgery or skin grafting to be properly treated.

Crushing Injuries

More cars are manufactured with driver safety in mind, but crushing damage is still unavoidable in some situations. For example, when a vehicle is hit from the side, there is much less protection than when it is hit from the front. Crushing injuries are often severe, resulting in various broken bones and lacerations. 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Along with all these physical injuries, life-threatening injuries from car accidents can be highly traumatic for those involved. The suddenness and severity of car crashes can leave a lasting impression on the victims. Whether or not they are Injured, those involved in serious car accidents may develop PTSD. In many cases, those with PTSD from car accidents struggle to operate vehicles in the future. Individuals suffering from the condition may develop other mental or emotional issues if they do not seek treatment as soon as possible. 

As a result of a car accident, you are experiencing PTSD symptoms (flashbacks, extreme anxiety, and excessive stress in familiar situations). You may be able to receive compensation from the liable party.

Avoiding Car Accident Injuries

One of the most difficult aspects of driving is that you have no control over anything but yourself. On the road, you never know what another driver will do. However, the best way to protect yourself is to practice safe driving habits, which include but are not limited to: 

  • Seat belts save lives If you cannot avoid an accident, you should put yourself in the safest possible situation; wear your seatbelt at all times, even when you think there’s no risk. 
  • Speed limits are in place for a reason – The faster your vehicle moves, the more difficult it is to control. Speed limits are set based on the hazards a driver may encounter, do not ignore the risks. Additionally, they are designed for calm days and excellent weather conditions. The posted speed limit may still be dangerous if you are driving at night, on a holiday, or in a storm. 
  • You can’t maneuver through a malfunction – No matter how good of a driver you are, if your brakes give out on a packed highway, you will have nowhere to go. Maintain your car and keep it in working order. A vehicle is not a toy; it is a dangerous machine that can cause serious harm if it breaks at the wrong time. 
  •  Nobody is a perfect driver – Keep in mind that even if you are following the rules of the road, somebody else might not. Please do not assume that everyone will use their blinkers correctly or understand the lane-splitting rules. Stay calm on the road and give other drivers enough space to make a mistake. You will not get to your destination any faster by driving on their bumper. Still, it will put you in danger of a collision. 

Seek Medical Attention 

If you follow these rules and are still involved in a car accident, the best way to prevent serious injury is to seek immediate medical attention after a crash. Car accident injuries can take time to manifest, but if you seek treatment right away, you may be able to prevent them entirely. You should go for a professional evaluation even if you are not in pain.

In addition, seeking medical treatment will help document your injury for a car accident lawsuit. Suppose you have proof that you went to a doctor immediately after the accident. In that case, you will have a stronger compensation case. 

Recoverable Damages After a Car Accident Injury

A successful car accident lawsuit can result in both compensatory and non-compensatory damages. This includes monetary expenses–medical bills, lost wages, car repairs–and other more abstract costs–emotional pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and decreased quality of life. The defendant’s insurance company usually pays out these benefits. If the other driver is uninsured, the process becomes slightly more complex, but you can still recover damages. 

Some of the worst car accident injuries result in or lead to the victim losing their life. If you have a loved one who died from a car accident, you may be eligible to file a wrongful death claim

Hire a Chain | Cohn | Clark Bakersfield Attorney

Our team has decades of experience representing residents like you in Kern County and the surrounding area. If you are the victim of a car accident, reach out to us. We will help you prove the other party’s negligence and recover the damages you deserve.