Car accidents ranging from minor to severe make up a majority of personal injury cases in Arizona. Victims may face devastating physical consequences, often due to another party’s negligence. In addition, some of the most common injuries from car accidents have substantial financial and emotional repercussions. Thankfully, tort law creates a legal avenue for compensation.
What Are the Most Common Injuries From Car Accidents?
“Auto accident” is a broad term that encompasses various types of collisions, including car, commercial truck, bicycle, pedestrian, and motorcycle accidents. A variety of factors can contribute to the severity of an accident, and even a minor collision can result in serious injuries. The most common injuries range from cuts and bruises to pain and suffering.
1. Bruises and Contusions
Given the violent nature of a collision and the confined space in a vehicle, bruising is an expected outcome. In most cases, a bruise is harmless. However, if bruising occurs with other symptoms, it could indicate a more severe injury. For example, losing motion, feeling numbness, having headaches, or getting progressively worse are all signs that you should seek medical attention immediately.
2. Broken Bones
Fractures are common in accidents involving commercial vehicles, motorcycles, pedestrians, and bicyclists because these collisions involve parties significantly more vulnerable to injury. A non-displaced, partial, closed, or stress fracture can occur in any type of accident and generally does not require as much intervention and recovery time as other fractures. An open or displaced fracture may require extensive surgery and take significantly longer to heal.
Whiplash occurs when a collision’s force causes the head’s violent backward and forward motion. As a result, the muscles of the neck experience micro tears that result in swelling and stiffness, which can cause long-term side effects. Other common symptoms of whiplash include:
- Dizziness, tingling, and numbness
- Shoulder, arm, and upper back pain
- Blurry vision
Whiplash is common in rear-end and head-on collisions and is often seen in even minor fender benders.
4. Concussions and Traumatic Brain Injuries
Among the most severe common injuries from car accidents are traumatic brain injuries. Concussions are the mildest of TBIs but can still cause severe damage. Any bump or blow to the head from a car accident can potentially cause a brain injury. There are two types of TBI:
- Closed brain injuries are more common in car accidents. They result from a forceful blow to the head, usually when the head hits the window, windshield, or dashboard. Examples include concussions and hematomas.
- Open brain injuries are the result of an object penetrating the skull. This is less common in auto accidents, but the results are often deadly.
TBI symptoms can develop slowly, causing significant damage before you feel pain. For this reason, it is crucial to see a doctor for an evaluation immediately following a car accident.
5. Injuries to Extremities
High-speed collisions typically result in injuries to the wrists, hands, arms, legs, and feet. Using your hands to brace yourself before impact is a natural reaction. However, these areas of the body have many small, more fragile bones that can easily break or shatter from a forceful crash.
Severe injuries can result in amputation or multiple surgeries. In addition, resulting disabilities may affect a person’s earning capacity and significantly impact their financial status.
6. Back Injuries
Auto accidents commonly cause lower and upper back injuries. Soft-tissue injuries, such as muscle strains and sprains, typically affect the lower back and may not have immediate symptoms. More severe injuries include broken vertebrae, herniated discs, and spinal cord injuries. In the worst cases, spinal cord injuries may result in temporary or permanent paralysis or death.
7. Psychological Injuries
Common injuries from car accidents include more than bodily harm. In the aftermath of a severe crash, victims often experience anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress. Psychological injuries can be as debilitating as physical injuries. When someone else is at fault for the accident, victims can claim compensation for pain and suffering and other non-economic losses associated with the emotional effect of a severe car accident.
What Are the Recoverable Damages From a Car Accident?
Filing a claim or lawsuit in the aftermath of a car accident in Maricopa County, Arizona, allows you to access financial compensation for damages. The types of damages available to auto accident victims include:
- Medical expenses: You can claim the cost of emergency medical services, hospital stays, doctor visits, medications, surgeries, therapies, and medical devices.
- Lost income: Recovery time typically results in missed work. You can claim lost wages and loss of earning capacity if your injuries result in a permanent impairment.
- Property damage: Arizona is an at-fault state, meaning the driver responsible for the accident must also pay to repair or replace your vehicle and any other property damaged in the accident.
- Out-of-pocket expenses: Any expense directly related to your accident and injuries is recoverable. For example, you can claim the cost of household help, childcare, or transportation to and from medical treatment.
- Pain and suffering: The law allows you to calculate a monetary value for your non-economic losses, such as the physical and emotional pain and suffering caused by your injuries, mental anguish, and mental health-related disorders.
Calculating economic losses, such as medical expenses and lost income, is sometimes tedious but relatively simple. However, the process of calculating and proving non-economic damages is more complex. A personal injury attorney can ensure you adequately value your losses for maximum compensation.
When Do Common Injuries From Car Accidents Warrant a Lawsuit?
Were you recently involved in an auto accident caused by a negligent driver? You would likely benefit from speaking with a personal injury lawyer about your legal options. Unfortunately, the law cannot restore physical and psychological health. Still, it can ensure you receive financial compensation, hold the at-fault party responsible, and help you rebuild your life or adapt to a new one.
If you recently suffered any of these common injuries from car accidents in Maricopa County, contact the personal injury attorneys at Sargon Law Group for a free consultation.