Vehicle collisions are, unfortunately, a common occurrence in New York State. According to the New York State Department of Health, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of injury-related death for New Yorkers. Every year, on average, there are about 12,100 hospitalizations for people with crash-related injuries.
These are the most obvious car accident-related injuries, but these numbers don’t tell the story of how many other injuries occur.
"The problem with serious car accident injuries is you don’t always know right away if there will be ongoing health or injury issues because some injuries take longer to emerge." — Howard Raphaelson, partner at Raphaelson & Levine
For instance, your neck or back might start to hurt weeks later or you may have suffered a head injury and not know it in the immediate aftermath of the accident. Over time, symptoms may worsen or new ones may appear for either of these types of injuries.
Generally, there are a few types of common injuries people suffer from after being involved in a motor vehicle collision.
A head injury is often one of the most difficult diagnoses because it is common for new symptoms to emerge later on. A brain injury can be a concussion, internal bleeding (hematoma), skull fracture, or shearing (tearing of brain tissues), to name a few types of brain injuries. All of these can have an ongoing or permanent effect on a car accident victim and are sometimes hard to detect.
Depending on the nature of the accident, a victim can suffer a burn from a car fire, electrocution, exposure to hot steam or metal, or contact with spilled chemicals.
It’s common in car accidents for a body to be injured by external forces, such as being crushed, forced into an object, or hit by flying debris. When this happens, internal injuries may have occurred. If so, this is an emergency situation.
It’s common for people to break bones, tear muscles (or extreme stretching that leads to injury) from a car accident.
Victims of a car crash often find they’ve suffered serious damage to these areas, including fractures, torn cartilage, or being severed.
Symptoms may appear immediately or they may start to radiate and worsen in the periods after an accident. No symptom of any type should be ignored after an accident, even if you think it might go away because you don’t want to ignore a potentially serious injury that needs treatment.
The type of car accident that has occurred often sets the conditions for certain types of personal injuries. Factors such as speed, type of vehicle, size of a vehicle, and angle of the crash will have an impact on what kinds of injuries are suffered.
Whiplash is often the result of a rear-end crash, especially if the victim’s car was in a stationary position at the time of impact (i.e. red light). Other injuries commonly associated with rear-end crashes include injuries to the head, brain, back, or spinal cord. Other injuries, such as broken bones, severed limbs, or lacerations, are also common.
Head-on collisions are often very serious and contribute to motor vehicle-related death rates. People who are involved in these collisions often suffer from injuries to the head, brain, back, spinal cord, along with broken bones, severed limbs, lacerations, soft tissue injuries, and whiplash.
Side-impact crashes can also be serious. Common injuries associated with these types of accidents include injuries to the abdomen, pelvis, chest, back, neck, head, and brain. Limbs and soft tissues are also frequently injured in a side-impact accident.
SUVs are more prone than other types of vehicles to rollover. Serious injuries to any area of the body frequently occur with this kind of accident.
If a large motor vehicle collides with a smaller car, the results can be devastating. If the truck is carrying hazardous materials, this further can contribute to serious injury.
Any kind of crash, even ones that might seem minor, can have long-lasting or permanent effects on an accident victim. Always take any crash seriously.
Anytime you are involved in a car accident, be sure to remain on the scene of the accident until authorities arrive. If it appears the car crash is serious with obvious injuries, call 911. Even if the accident doesn’t appear to be serious, you should still take precautions.
Even if you have little to no pain, it’s always a good idea to obtain a legal consultation so you know your rights in the event you find you did sustain a serious or permanent injury.
The time frame after a car accident is usually stressful and can be overwhelming. Once you’ve dealt with the initial aftermath, you might be wondering about any long-term consequences or if it’s worth the effort to pursue a claim. It is often hard to quantify an injury in the aftermath of a car accident. Be sure you take proactive steps to protect yourself.
If you, or a loved one, have been involved in a serious car accident, you deserve justice. At Raphaelson & Levine, we understand the complications that often occur with car crashes. Our knowledgeable and compassionate attorneys will ensure you receive fair treatment. To learn more about car accidents or to receive a free legal consultation, please call us at 212-268-3222.