Types of Car Accident Injuries

Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of injuries in the United States; about 3 million people suffer non-fatal injuries in auto accidents each year. The costs associated with car crash injuries can be incredibly high. Not only must car accident victims contend with injuries that may serious impact their daily lives but they may also be drastically impacted financially. In 2017, the CDC reported that medical costs and productivity losses associated with car accident injuries and deaths exceeded $75 million nationwide.

Data shows that majority of accidents resulting in injury are more common in urban areas where there are more motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists on the road. In New York City alone, over 46,000 people were injured in auto accidents in 2019. Tragically, more than 200 were killed. The victims include drivers, passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists whose lives are irrevocably changed after a devastating accident.

A number of scenarios can lead to collisions that result in serious injuries, including: driver negligence, van rollovers caused by poor vehicle design, tractor-trailer accidents involving improper maintenance, motorcycle crashes due to distracted driving, and much more.

If you were hurt in a car accident because of another party's negligence, there are certain laws that protect motorists, pedestrians, cyclists, and others on the road. Call 212-736-5300 or complete our online form to speak with a qualified auto injury attorney today.

The types of injuries suffered in auto accidents vary greatly. Generally, the type and severity of the injuries suffered will depend on the circumstances of the accident, such as:

  • Whether or not vehicle occupants were wearing seat belts
  • Where the vehicle was impacted (front, side, or rear)
  • Which direction passengers were facing at the time of the impact
  • The speed at which the vehicle was travelling at the moment of impact
  • The deployment of airbags

If you have suffered an injury as a result of a car accident, it is important that you seek medical attention as soon as possible. Some injuries may take time to develop following the accident and may require a full examination to find. Additionally, if you eventually choose to pursue legal action, medical records documenting your injuries can be valuable evidence for your case.

Although there is a wide variety of injuries that can result from auto accidents, some injuries are more common than others. For more information on specific car crash injuries, visit a medical professional for a physical examination.

Head Injuries

Head injuries suffered in car accidents can be as minor as a mild concussion or as severe as a traumatic brain injury (TBI). While travelling at a high speed, passengers have a higher chance of suffering severe injuries by hitting their head against windows, the dashboard, the steering wheel, or other objects. Severe head injuries can result in permanent damage to the brain that may diminish cognitive, sensory, or motor abilities. Symptoms of serious injury are not always immediately obvious; some brain injuries can take weeks to show symptoms. For this reason, it is crucial that victims seek medical treatment as soon as possible following an accident.

Back Injuries

Injuries affecting the back can be some of the most severe. When a car crash occurs, the sudden force of the collision can abruptly shift vehicle occupants' positions, resulting in possible injuries to their vertebrae and surrounding tissues. Possible injuries include herniated discs, bulging discs, fractured vertebrae, and nerve damage.

Those suffering from injuries to their back may experience symptoms including, but not limited to:

  • Pain in the back that radiates to other areas
  • Numbness or tingling that may radiate to other areas
  • Muscle weakness
  • Burning sensations

Neck and Chest Injuries

One of the most widely known car accident injuries is whiplash, also known as a neck strain or sprain. Every year, more than two million Americans suffer whiplash, which occurs when the neck is snapped forward then backward. The sudden movement of a car crash can overstretch the joints, ligaments, and muscles in the neck resulting in injury. As with other car accident injuries, the speed at which an accident victim's vehicle is travelling can affect the severity of the injury.

Chest injuries are also common in car accidents, especially for the driver whose chest is generally a short distance from the steering wheel. The blunt force of the steering wheel, seat belt, airbag, or other objects coming into contact with the chest can result in injuries including broken ribs, collapsed lungs, or damage to internal organs. These types of injuries require immediate medical attention.

Broken Bones

Bones are broken, or fractured, when more force is applied to them than can be absorbed. This injury is fairly common in motor vehicle accidents. The way in which bones break in an accident depends on the circumstances of the accident as well as the strength of the bones. An older person is more likely to suffer a broken bone than a younger person because of how bones naturally weaken with age. Usually, broken bones are an obvious injury. However, accident victims may not immediately notice the injury due to the adrenaline they experience during the accident. Doctors will use an x-ray test to determine if patients have any broken bones.

Scrapes and Cuts

Loose items in the car can become dangerous if they go flying during a collision. Miscellaneous objects, broken glass, and broken off car parts can cause minor scrapes and cuts or even serious lacerations that require stitches in a car accident. Additionally, the release of the airbag can result in cuts or bruises.

Injuries resulting from car crashes can have serious consequences on the lives of accident victims. Damages resulting from an auto accident may include medical bills, property damage, time away from work, and pain and suffering, among other losses. If you have been injured in an accident that occurred as a result of another person's negligent actions, you have options moving forward. An attorney with experience in handling auto accident lawsuits can investigate the details of your accident and create a strong case to receive compensation for your losses.

Advocating for the Auto Accident Victims

Filing an auto injury lawsuit can seem like a daunting process. Many people are unsure of the first steps to take following their accident. It is important to know that there is a statute of limitations, or time period in which you can file a lawsuit, for most car accident cases. Victims generally have three years from the date of their accident to file. However, if you are suing a government agency such as the MTA, you must file a notice of claim within 90 days of your injury. The agency you are attempting to sue then has 30 days to request a pre-suit hearing or begin negotiating a settlement. If you choose to proceed, you then have one year and 90 days to file a lawsuit from the date of the injury.

If you are injured in an accident, you should contact a qualified car accident lawyer as soon as possible to start gathering evidence for your case. An experienced lawyer will be able to properly guide you through the legal process and fight for you to receive the compensation you deserve.

The attorneys at Block O'Toole & Murphy have one of the best records in litigating auto accident cases in the State of New York. To date, we recovered over 100 auto accident verdicts and settlements exceeding $1,000,000 each. In 2019 alone, the firm recovered the number one verdict and second and third highest settlements in New York State.

Notable results* include:

  • $32,756,156 Jury Verdict for a Vietnam veteran who was catastrophically wounded by a driver impaired on drugs
  • $22,500,000 Settlement for a driver who was seriously hurt after a head-on collision
  • $20,181,484 Verdict for a man who suffered severe elbow injuries in a collision caused by icy road conditions
  • $14,000,000 Verdict for a motorcyclist who had to sustain a below-the-knee leg amputation after he was hit by a truck
  • $13,500,000 Settlement for a woman who was struck by a car while she was walking home at night
  • $12,000,000 Recovery for a child who was hit by a vehicle while he was standing on a sidewalk
  • $9,950,000 Settlement for a woman who was suddenly struck from behind by a speeding van as she loaded groceries into her car
  • $9,263,326 Jury Verdict for a NYC taxi passenger who suffered spinal nerve damage after the cab he was riding in was involved in a multi-vehicle rear-end collision
  • $8,800,000 Settlement for a 53-year-old woman who suffered brain damage after two vans collided, causing one to jump the sidewalk and hit her
  • $8,000,000 Jury Verdict for a musician who required a total knee replacement after his band's van was rear-ended by another vehicle

If you or a loved one suffered serious or catastrophic injuries in any type of negligence-related motor vehicle accident, schedule a FREE initial consultation with the New York City personal injury lawyers at Block O'Toole & Murphy today. Call 212-736-5300, or contact us online.

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*Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.