Even with increased safety features in our vehicles, traffic accidents continue to pose a major problem. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes that there were over 6.5 million police-reported traffic crashes in 2019 alone. These accidents led to over 39,000 fatalities and more than 2.7 million injuries. Upon review of the most recent 10-year trends, the NHTSA states the problem is not getting better. In fact, traffic accidents have increased by almost 10%.
The injuries reported from these accidents can range from relatively minor soft tissue damage or whiplash, to very severe and even fatal harm. Medical professionals note that any injury that requires surgery qualifies as severe. Other common severe injuries they often treat due to car accidents include:
- Brain injuries. These are particularly difficult because the effect on the victim’s life can last long into the future.
- Spine and back injuries. Herniated discs and spinal injuries can cause confusion for victims because they may appear to heal if the pain dissipates. But physicians explain that this does not necessarily mean the injury has healed. Instead, the injury can result in degeneration and future problems.
- Broken bones. These are particularly concerning if the broken bone is in the rib cage or legs.
It is important to note that although some injuries are obvious shortly after the accident, others can take days or even weeks to present themselves. Victims can help to identify these harder to diagnose injuries by watching for headaches or back pain shortly after an accident.
These injuries take more than just a physical and emotional cost — they also take an economic toll. In addition to medical expenses, victims and their families may suffer from lost productivity, wages, increased insurance rates and the cost to replace or repair their vehicle. Victims can hold the driver that caused the accident responsible for these expenses through a personal injury lawsuit. An attorney can review the scenario of the accident and discuss your options.