Personal injury law is a leading practice area at OakTree Law, and all our Los Angeles personal injury attorneys are familiar with car accident injuries. Over 3 million people in the U.S. are injured every year due to car accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Some injuries heal with in days; others lead to life-long, disabling conditions. The type of injury depends on the accident and various other circumstances, but some of the most common injuries seen in car accident victims are:
1. Cuts and Scrapes
Sometimes the first objects a car accident victim contacts are airborne projectiles. A cell phone, dash-mounted GPS unit, book, or pair of eyeglasses can easily cut your skin or cause a bruise at high speeds. Although usually minor, this type of injury can be more serious and require stitches. Excessive bleeding and infection may be complications in more extreme cases.
2. Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries involve damage to muscles; tendons, which connect muscle to bone; and ligaments, which connect bone to bone or cartilage to cartilage. Connective tissue damage is quite common in car accidents. One well-known type is whiplash, which occurs when muscles and ligaments in the neck and upper back are stretched by sudden movements. Ligament damage, such as a torn ACL, is possible especially for a motorcyclist involved in a car accident.
3. Head Injuries
The most serious of car accident injuries, head injuries range from bruises and concussions to skull fractures, comas, and traumatic brain injuries. A victim may be left with hearing loss, vision problems, and lasting cognitive effects. Common triggers of head injuries include impacts with a side window, steering wheel, or dashboard. Brain injuries are often life changing and require a lifetime of medical care, therapy, and activity and home modifications.
4. Neck/Back/Chest Injuries
Injuries to the neck range from whiplash to generalized pain and swelling. Sometimes, temporary vocal cord paralysis affects car accident victims. A back injury may cause extreme pain or involve spinal cord damage, which can affect any body part and cause reduced sensation or permanent paralysis. Although less severe, a herniated disk can cause numbness and tingling, pain, and weakness and may require surgery.
Blunt force trauma to the chest area can cause broken ribs. During high-speed impacts, a broken rib can penetrate a lung, causing it to collapse. Traumatic cardiac arrest can occur in a person with a heart condition, while internal bleeding in the chest can do a great deal of damage.
5. Injuries to Extremities
Arms and legs are subject to sudden, unnatural movements during a car accident. They can be thrown into a door, while knees often hit the dashboard or seats in front of a passenger. Scrapes and bruises are common, but sprains, broken bones, crush injuries, and even amputations do occur. Hand and foot damage may require immediate medical treatment and significant recovery time as well.
Emotional injuries are also worth mentioning. It’s not uncommon for someone with a car accident injury, or those who witnessed one, to experience emotional distress or be diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. The psychological impact can be long-lasting.
A Los Angeles Personal Injury Attorney Who Fights for You
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, contact OakTree Law for personal injury services and a car accident attorney who stands for your rights. Our lawyers can fight for the compensation you deserve to cover medical bills, daily expenses, and more while you recover. Call or request a free evaluation today!