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The 8 Most Common Injuries Resulting From Motor Vehicle Accidents

Motor vehicle accidents, unfortunately, are very common in the United States — with the South (including Texas and Louisiana) having the highest percentage of all other regions. Car accidents can range in severity from minor vehicle damage and soreness to total vehicle loss, and life-changing, and life-threatening injuries. Here’s a look at the eight most common types of injuries that result from motor vehicle accidents.

1. Amputations/Limb Loss

Serious car accidents can be so dangerous that those involved lose a limb because of the impact. Although this is rare, it isn’t impossible for fingers, toes, and even legs or arms to become severed in a severe enough crash. More common than severed appendages are appendages that are crushed by heavy debris and then require amputation because of severe damage. So the loss of limb(s) can happen in more than one way in a severe motor vehicle accident.

2. Back, Neck, And Shoulder Injuries

Back, neck, and shoulder injuries are probably the most common injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident because, like these accidents, they can range in severity. The most common neck injury is whiplash, which is when the head and neck move back and forth rapidly upon a crash. Whiplash can range in severity from stiffness and decreased range of motion to intense pain and sleep disturbances. Whiplash, shoulder injuries, and back injuries may also not be apparent immediately after a wreck, but instead, show up later.

3. Burns

Burns are injuries that may not always be associated with car wrecks, but they happen when a vehicle bursts into flames— which is possible with some car wrecks. Burns can also occur if hot surfaces, liquids, chemicals, or steam are involved and a person comes into contact with one or more of these substances in a wreck. In this case, all emergency vehicles (including fire trucks) should be called to the scene of the accident.

4. Fractures And Broken Bones

Fractures and broken bones are also fairly common in motor vehicle accidents. As mentioned above, appendages can become trapped between and even crushed by huge pieces of material, and if it’s not severe enough to require an amputation, bones may be broken or fractured. Broken ribs, wrists, ankles, legs, and arms are the most common in car wrecks, but a broken pelvis is also possible— especially when motorcyclists get into a wreck.

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5. Internal Injuries

Damage to internal organs is also likely to occur in some motor vehicle accidents, and they can also be hard to detect initially. Internal injuries can result from two types of trauma: blunt trauma (which is the most common) and penetrating trauma. Blunt trauma occurs when something collides with the body at a high speed, whereas penetrating trauma occurs when an object penetrates the body. Both types can cause blood vessels to tear, which also results in internal bleeding.

6. Lacerations And Bruises

Even if internal organs aren’t damaged, there can be obvious injuries that appear on the outside of the body after a car accident. Lacerations (cuts) and bruises are very common injuries suffered in a motor vehicle accident, both minor and major. Broken glass from windshields and other flying objects can cause lacerations, while bruises are caused by blunt trauma. Bruises may or may not be an indication of internal organ damage or bleeding, so it’s important to visit a medical professional after an accident.

7. PTSD And Death

Car accidents (no matter their severity) can leave not only physical impacts but psychological ones as well. A person can develop PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) after a motor vehicle accident, especially if the accident resulted in the death of another. The good news is that some people can overcome this type of PTSD on their own (particularly with minor car accidents), but others may need to seek extra help from a therapist.

8. Soft Tissue Injuries

One last type of injury sustained in a motor vehicle accident is a soft tissue injury. This is the bruising, sprain, or strain of a ligament, muscle, or tendon. Like organ damage and internal bleeding, these injuries may not be visible from the outside (unless there’s bruising), so again, visit a doctor if you’ve been in a car accident. It’s also helpful to contact a car accident attorney if you’ve been in a wreck.

The good news is that motor vehicle accidents can be prevented, but this effort had to be made on every driver’s part for this to be effective. All drivers should pay attention to the road and not drive while texting or intoxicated (alcohol, prescription, non-prescription drugs, etc.). It’s also important to follow all traffic laws, including speed limit signs. Finally, all drivers must exercise caution when driving through inclement weather and when sharing the road with motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.

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