There are many variables in a South Carolina auto accident that will determine what kinds of injuries result and how severe those injuries may be. For example, a larger vehicle colliding with a smaller vehicle could result in significant injuries in the smaller vehicle. Two large vehicles colliding could spell disaster for everyone involved. Variables in the weather, like ice, could affect the speed and impact of the collision. If neither driver attempts to avoid the accident, or if one or more over-correct so severely that they impact another object, then these issues factor in as well. Ultimately, there are some injuries that are much more common than others, and there are ways to prevent these injuries from occurring by taking precautions. When the injuries do occur, there are steps that the injured parties can take to ensure that the negligent driver is held accountable and that their expenses and losses are paid for.
What Are the Most Common Injuries Seen in South Carolina Car Accidents?
The most common injuries seen in South Carolina car accidents include head trauma and brain injuries, injuries to the spine and the neck, injuries to the chest, physical injuries that are superficial, and injuries that are classified as psychological or emotional due to the trauma of the event and the physical injuries.
Head trauma and brain injuries happen when an auto accident victim strikes their head on an object or part of the vehicle. This is common when the head strikes the steering wheel, the dashboard, or a window. It also happens when other objects enter the vehicle and strike the head. When this happens, the brain can swell and tissues can be damaged, sometimes irreparably.
Spinal injuries occur when the spinal cord or vertebrae are damaged. If the damage occurs in the spinal cord, then this can result in very serious conditions as the important messages between the body and brain are interrupted. This could cause the heart to stop beating, the lungs to stop breathing, and/or the muscles to stop moving. If the injury involves the bones of the spine (the vertebrae/discs), then the injury could still be quite severe, but is typically not as life threatening as the injuries to the spinal cord. Rather, the vertebrae can be herniated, fractured, or even completely crushed by the accident. These injuries cause terrible pain to the victims and can be very difficult to recover from.
Injuries to the neck include the extremely common whiplash, which occurs when the weight of the head is jerked forward and backward, straining the neck muscles and ligaments. Such injuries are not always immediately painful or symptomatic, but they can become the most painful of experiences for the victims who may take many weeks, months, or years to recover. Other injuries to the neck that are fairly common include nerve damage and vocal cord injuries that can interfere with the victim’s ability to talk, to breathe, or to swallow. It is important to seek a full medical evaluation after an accident to ensure that you did not suffer from a serious neck injury, even if you do not yet have symptoms.
Injuries to the chest can be extremely devastating, as the chest is where the ribs, lungs, and heart are located, and also one of the first body parts to experience the impact of a collision. You can injure your chest by hitting it on the steering wheel or the dashboard, for example, and broken ribs can cause further internal damage, including a punctured lung and/or internal bleeding. Even cardiac arrest can occur in those who have heart conditions, and this too can be fatal.
While superficial injuries are, by definition, far less severe than the preceding items on this list, they are also among the most common of injuries sustained by auto accident victims. They include the various cuts and bruises that are expected in a serious collision. These injuries can be caused by impacting parts of the vehicle or by broken glass. Depending on the different variables associated with the accident, there may be more or less risk of cuts from broken glass. While these injuries are termed ‘superficial,’ they can still require serious intervention, such as stitches, treatment of infection, or surgery.
Psychological trauma injuries can be far more serious than you might think at first glance. Motor vehicle collisions can be horrifying for those who are involved or who witness the injuries first hand. This is particularly relevant to those who lose a loved one and for children who witness the fear and the pain of a terrible accident. For some, these events will leave lasting psychological wounds and the effects of anxiety, depression, grief, and sleep disorders. You may need therapy or medication to address them.
Taking Precautions to Prevent Common Auto Accident Injuries
There are ways to prevent some of these most common of auto accident injuries. You may not always be able to avoid an accident, but you can take steps to minimize the effect if one should occur. For example, you should always wear your seatbelt and ensure that everyone in your vehicle does the same. Many tragedies are prevented by being properly buckled and having children in the appropriate restraints. You can also avoid distractions, turn off your phone, and always be on alert for the ever changing conditions of the road and the traffic. By never driving while intoxicated, you can prevent this from becoming a risk factor in your own vehicle. Beyond this, you should always obey the speed limits and traffic rules, and do everything you can to avoid collisions with other vehicles.
What To Do After Auto Accident Injuries Occur
Regardless of what steps you take to prevent an accident or to minimize the impact of one if it should occur, there is always the possibility that you won’t be able to stop a collision and that you will end up with serious injuries as a result. When this happens, you should contact a determined South Carolina auto accident attorney for advice in pursuing a claim for compensation. Contact David R. Price, Jr., P.A. to schedule a free consultation and get started on the process ahead.