Common Injuries Resulting from Auto Accidents
Face lacerations (cuts), contusions (bruises), and abrasions (scrapes
Flying glass and shards of broken sharp metal and plastic can deeply cut the face. Airbags can cause scalp and facial burns.
Fractured legs, arms, wrists, and hands
The force of the impact can cave in the driver-side door. Depending on its location, the cave-in can easily fracture the driver’s legs, arms, wrists, and hands.
Sprained and torn muscles, ligaments, and tendons - the whiplash effect
Muscles, ligaments, and tendons can stretch well beyond their natural limit. More severe impacts can result in their tearing, especially in the neck and shoulder area. The unnatural jolting and stretching of the neck and shoulder from side to side and forward and backward is comparable to a whip effect. This injury is commonly known as whiplash.
Hip and shoulder displacement, fractured ribs and clavicles (collarbones)
The hip joint often takes the brunt of a mid-door impact. The joint is susceptible to socket dislocation and fracture. The impact can violently turn the shoulders well past their maximum intended radius.
Because the rib cage is located close to the outer part of the chest area, it’s highly vulnerable to hitting the door handle, steering column, and steering wheel. The clavicle bones between the neck and shoulder area are some of the weakest bones in the human body, so they easily fracture.
Herniated disks & spinal compression
Back injuries are quite common in driver-side impact collisions. The force of the impact can rupture the disks located in and around the spinal cord, and often results in disk herniation. The compression of the back downward into the seat exerts tremendous pressure on the spinal cord.
A collision can tear away the body’s internal organs from important blood vessels. Sharp objects like door handles and steering wheels can lacerate the spleen, liver, and kidneys.
When the car has no side airbags, a side impact can force the driver’s ear against the window and crush the outer flesh. When a side airbag deploys, it explodes outward against the driver’s face and ear. The magnitude of the force can puncture, burn, and lacerate the eardrum. Tinnitus (painful or annoying ringing in the ear) can also result from side airbag deployment.
Severed and bruised brain stem and spinal cord
The human spinal cord attaches to the brain stem. A violent impact can severely bruise them both. In some cases, when the impact is forceful enough, it severs the spinal cord, resulting in paralysis or death.
Brain concussions, skull fractures, and other severe brain damage
In a side impact, the driver’s head can strike the vehicle frame or window, causing the brain to hit the inside of the skull. Depending upon the force of the impact, the driver can suffer anything from a mild concussion to a skull fracture and brain damage.