Every year, close to six million car accidents occur throughout the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 30,000 of these collisions are fatal, while an additional two to four million result in a wide range of injuries.
Unfortunately, since accidents are unpredictable, precise risks are hard to determine. However, considering how even minor fender-benders can cause intense muscle strain and bruising, it is safe to say that car accidents pose a substantial threat to the wellbeing of your family. Although it’s impossible to know when an accident will occur or how severe it may be, by learning your potential risks you can take proper precautions to reduce your family’s chances of suffering catastrophic injuries.
Limiting Injuries by Knowing Your Risk
Although cars have come a long way with safety standards and equipment, car accidents still remain one of the leading causes of severe injuries in the United States. A car’s ability to run at high speeds and exert a tremendous amount of force can turn it into a weapon when placed in the distracted and careless hands of a reckless driver. As a result, a care-free ride with your family can quickly become a horrendous nightmare of injuries, agonizing pain, and long-term suffering. This is why it is important for you to know your risks so that you can properly safeguard against them.
Common injuries (from minor to severe) that could potentially put your family in jeopardy include the following:
- Bruises and swelling. Two factors are in play here: the sudden deceleration of a vehicle and the secondary impacts of being knocked around within the car itself. Together these can cause massive bruising, swelling, and muscle soreness throughout the body—especially at contact points like the chest (from seat belts), knees, and head (airbag and dashboard).
- Cuts, lacerations, and open wounds. Shattered glass, metal shards, and flying debris can cause severe lacerations and gouges in your skin. These cuts can cause a great deal of blood loss as well as nerve or muscle damage.
- Fractures. The force of an impact can easily cause delicate bones in the wrist and joints to crack, while crushing forces can snap bones in the hips, legs, arms, and back. The most common car wreck fracture centers around the pelvic region (hips).
- Burns. Gasoline leaks and compromised engines can easily cause an ignition, setting the vehicle on fire and rapidly heating surrounding metal. If the fire itself doesn’t cause skin to burn, the hot metal can scorch skin, leaving excruciating and permanent scars. Smoke inhalation is another significant risk, with many vehicle components producing toxic smoke when burned.
- Head injuries. Severe impacts can cause extreme trauma to the head. Depending on the severity of the injury, brain damage such as hemorrhaging, blood clots, and dangerous swelling could result.
- Spinal cord damage. Spinal trauma usually occurs as a result of a rear-end collision as the force of the impact is directed at passengers’ backs. However, any type of wreck could potentially put severe strain on the spine and even crack the vertebrae or sever the chord altogether, leading to partial or complete paralysis.
Need more information on car accident injuries or how to pursue an accident claim? Feel free to call us at 210-880-9395 or come visit us at our San Antonio office today. We’re here t make sure that you get the help that you and your family deserve.