What Happens To Your Body In A Car Accident?
Car accidents occur quickly and unexpectedly. They can happen to even the most experienced or capable of drivers. Depending on the seriousness of the accident you are involved in, you could suffer severe and even life-threatening injuries. Even a minor accident can result in lingering, damaging effects.
At the Chicago law firm of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C., our experienced car accident lawyers understand the impact that any type of car accident can have on your ability to work or engage in daily activities and hobbies.
Distracted driving and other careless or reckless mistakes behind the wheel can lead to lifelong effects on the body that often could have been prevented. It is important to be aware of the true impact car accident injuries can have on your physical and emotional health, the types of driving behaviors most likely to result in accidents and the effects of car accidents on your insurance in the future.
Late-Appearing Car Accident Injuries
According to the online health information resource WebMD, car accident injuries occur on average once every 10 seconds in the U.S.
The effects of car accident injuries are not always immediately apparent, and even a minor accident could leave victims suffering with lingering injuries. For instance, WebMD cites research indicating that roughly one third of all people involved in car accidents suffer from psychological stress for as long as one year after an accident has occurred.
According to WebMD, common effects of car accidents include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), in which sights or sounds cause the victim to relive the accident
- Persistent feeling of anxiety or stress
- Depression and a lack of interest in friends or social activities in the aftermath of a car accident
- Phobias and fears regarding driving or riding in a car, which can be persistent and severe.
WebMD states that these problems can affect drivers as well as passengers. They can occur regardless of the severity of the accident.
The trauma associated with being in any type of accident, and the emotional pain after a car accident, can cause problems with your ability to work and affect your personal relationships.
Other common car accident injuries are soft tissue injuries such as muscle or tendon strains, sprains and tears.
According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons (AAOS), bumps, bruises, swelling or back pain after a car accident could end up as major injuries without the proper medical care. The AAOS states that these types of injuries often result in lingering discomfort and pain after a car accident. They may require months to heal completely.
Brain Injuries Caused by Car Accidents
The effects of car accidents such as erratic emotions and mood swings could be indicative of a more serious problem.
According to the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA), head injuries can occur any time there is a bump, blow or jolt to the head. While symptoms may not be immediately apparent, these injuries can cause permanent and potentially debilitating harm.
The BIAA lists several types of brain injuries, including:
- Concussions – When the head is suddenly and violently shaken, resulting in confusion, headaches and dizziness.
- Contusions – When there is a blow to the head, resulting in swelling, bruising and in possibly bleeding in the brain.
- Open head injuries – When the head suffers blunt force trauma such as a skull fracture that occurs when a person hits the windshield.
- Closed head injuries – While the skull is not fractured in these types of injuries, swelling in the brain can occur, resulting in severe and even permanent damage.
According to the BIAA, any of these types of car accident injuries can fall into the category of a traumatic brain injury, or TBI. This type of injury can lead to loss of motor skills and cognitive abilities and may involve loss of memory and the inability to communicate or to understand complex ideas.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that TBI is one of the most common forms of accidental injury. People suffering from TBI often experience depression, anxiety and mood swings. They are prone to fits of anger and irritability.
Car accidents resulting in TBI can have potentially serious and even deadly consequences. According to the CDC, car accidents are the third-leading cause of TBI in the U.S. as well as being the second-leading cause of TBI-related deaths.
Most Common Distractions that Cause Car Accidents
Reckless driving is responsible for an overwhelming number of car accidents that occur on the nation’s roads. Distracted driving alone is responsible for nearly 10 deaths and more than 1,000 injuries each day in the country, according to distracted driving statistics from the CDC.
Three main types of distractions which cause car accident injuries, according to the CDC, are:
- Visual distractions – Causing you to take your eyes off the road. These distractions include reading texts, looking at GPS devices and talking to passengers.
- Physical distractions – Causing you to take your hands of the wheel. These distractions include texting, dialing a cell phone or fumbling for items in your car while driving.
- Cognitive distractions – Causing your attention to wander from the road in front of you. The distractions can arise from driving while fatigued, drinking and driving and driving while under the influence of drugs, including prescription and certain over-the-counter medicines.
How Long Do Car Accidents Affect Insurance?
According to car accident facts from the CDC, car accidents can exact a heavy toll – not only in terms of injuries but also in terms of costs and expenses.
According to the CDC, these costs may continue for as long as 18 months after the actual accident. Whether your accident results in increased insurance premiums depends largely on whether you are determined to be at fault for the accident.
Before admitting liability or making any statements to an insurance company, you should contact an experienced car accident lawyer first.
Get Help Today from Our Chicago Car Accident Attorneys
If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident, contact the car accident lawyers of Salvi, Schostok & Pritchard P.C. We provide aggressive legal representation for people injured in car accidents. We can negotiate with the insurance company on your behalf and seek the compensation you deserve.
We serve clients throughout the Chicago and Waukegan areas and across Illinois. Call or contact us online today for a free review of your case.