Broken Bones and Bruises: The Most Common Injuries Sustained in Accidents
At the personal injury law firm of Wettermark Keith, we handle many kinds of accidents, fighting the insurance companies for adequate compensation for short, medium, and long term medical treatment, pain, disability, and disruption of life resulting from someone else’s negligent, careless, or deliberately wrongful act, or in some cases, failure to act in a reasonable manner. We take accident injuries personally because we know the effects they can have on people's lives.
Here we identify some of the most common types of accident injuries that we see in our practice.
Back, Neck, and Spinal Cord Injuries
Back and neck injuries are extremely common in motor vehicle accidents. They include soft tissue injuries such as sprains and strains, spinal cord damage, nerve damage, and fractures. The injuries may affect any of the tissues in and around the spine, including:
- The spinal cord
- Intervertebral discs
Spinal cord damage is a catastrophic injury that generally causes paralysis below the damaged part of the spine. Injury to the lumbar or thoracic spine typically causes paraplegia, paralysis of the lower body. Damage to the cervical spine or neck area often results in tetraplegia, which is paralysis of all four limbs and often of the diaphragm, necessitating the use of a respirator.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
Injuries to the brain run the gamut from mild concussions to death. Below is a partial list of some of the brain injuries that can occur in an accident:
- Diffuse axonal injuries are the most serious type of brain injury, damaging the axon of the neuron; this causes the victim to lapse into a coma and frequently results in a permanent vegetative state or death. Survivors will have permanent brain damage.
- Intracranial hematomas are areas of pooled blood from a bleeding brain. The accumulated blood creates pressure on the surrounding area, which can be fatal. Depending on the location of the bleed, these may be called subdural hematoma (between your brain and the outer membrane covering your brain in the space between the dura and arachnoid mater; epidural hematoma (between the outer surface of the dura mater and the skull), and intraparenchymal hematoma, also called intracerebral hematoma, when blood pools within the brain.
- A concussion is a type of head injury that occurs as a result of an impact that temporarily disrupts your normal brain function. Repeated concussions can cause permanent brain damage.
- A brain contusion is a bruise on your brain, often causing swelling and pressure. Mild contusions usually heal by themselves. Symptoms vary depending on the part of the brain that was injured.
Bones can easily be fractured by the impact of a car accident, slip and fall accidents and many other scenarios. Fractures can be painful and may keep you from work and activities for weeks or months while they heal. Serious displaced fractures usually require surgery if they are to heal properly. Fractures of the hip, pelvis, and vertebrae are extremely serious and often life-threatening. Broken ribs sometimes can puncture a lung, another organ, or a blood vessel. Serious complications include infection, nerve damage, and blood clots.
Facial and Injuries
Facial injuries include broken jaw, broken teeth, broken nose, broken cheekbone, bruises, and lacerations that cause scarring. Eye injuries and blindness sometimes occur. A mandibular fracture (broken jaw) can make eating and speaking a problem.
Blood vessel damage may cause internal bleeding, which can result in other health problems including, dizziness, excessive fatigue, thirst, anemia, and paleness.
An abdominal aorta aneurysm is a rupture of the largest artery in the abdominal region. A rupture of the abdominal aorta is nearly always a fatal injury.
Internal Organ Injury
It is not uncommon for one or more of the internal organs to be damaged in a car accident impact, resulting in bleeding or loss of function of the organ.
Pneumothorax is a serious injury usually caused by a fractured rib puncturing the lung, causing it to collapse and allowing air to leak into the chest cavity.
A ruptured spleen is a painful injury that often causes serious internal bleeding, requiring surgery. In cases of severe damage, it may be necessary to remove the spleen entirely.
Kidney damage from the impact of a car accident can be relatively minor bruising or may cause the kidney’s complete destruction.
Liver injuries are the most common type of abdominal injury. Depending on the severity of the injury, it may require surgery to repair.
Burn injuries often occur in car accidents where leaking fluids burst into flame. Burns are excruciatingly painful and often life-threatening, especially when complicated by infection, which is common. Disfigurement may result in social isolation and psychological damage. Serious burns cause deforming scars and contractures that may make it difficult for the victim to engage in social or business activities.
Amputation accidents— loss of arms, hands, legs, feet, fingers or other body parts—may occur in serious accidents. Loss of a body part can affect your ability to perform certain kinds of work and often make it impossible to participate in many sports and other activities you enjoy. Amputation injuries typically require surgery, prostheses, and painful rehabilitative therapy, and many amputees experience phantom limb pain, a hard-to-treat condition causing pain that feels as if it is coming from the missing limb.
Occasionally accident victims are left with unrelenting chronic pain that goes on for years. Sometimes the cause can be determined and treated, but a condition known as complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS) can develop from even a minor accident. This is a kind of pain that is disproportionate to the severity of the injury. It usually starts at the injury site and spreads from there, making sleep nearly impossible and limiting the ability to work or enjoy life.
Traffic accidents not only cause physical damage; many accident victims suffer from serious psychological problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety disorders, depression, and phobias.
Getting Compensation for Your Injuries
At the law offices of Wettermark Keith, we have many years of experience helping accident injury victims. We understand how serious accidents can damage lives and diminish your quality of life while emptying your pocketbook. If your injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence, justice demands that you receive enough monetary compensation for what you’ve lost. We have a 95 percent rate of success in getting our clients the money they need and deserve. When an accident has affected your life for the worse, call us. We have recovered over $750 million for our clients since 2003. Come in for a free, no-obligation consultation to discover how we can help. Call today!
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If you or a loved one have been injured and think you might have a case, call us now for a free consultation.