Some of the most common serious car accident injuries we see in our Houston personal injury law firm are detailed below.
1. Head Trauma
Trauma to the head in an auto accident can result in traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). A TBI is caused by a blow or brutal jolt to the head or body. An object penetrating the head, shattering the skull, or puncturing the brain tissue can also lead to traumatic brain injuries.
Some TBI symptoms present instantly, while other injuries may not be apparent for days or weeks and can range from mild to severe. It is critical to seek expert medical help as quickly as possible so you can get a diagnosis and begin a treatment plan. This will be critical in the healing process for brain injuries.
Physical symptoms of head trauma may include:
- Headache or persistent headaches that worsen
- Dizziness and balance issues
- Loss of consciousness
- Weakness in extremities such as fingers and toes
- Continuous vomiting and nausea
Cognitive and behavioral symptoms of a brain injury can include:
- Memory issues
- Slurred speech
- Lack of focus
- Depressed and anxious states
- Mood fluctuations
- Agitation or combative behavior
- Coma and consciousness disorders
Even a mild brain injury is serious. Symptoms that appear days later should be documented and reported to a physician, even if they seem unrelated. A doctor can determine if these post-accident issues are a result of a TBI which is why you should go to the hospital after a car wreck. If you are involved in a car accident, even if your injuries appear mild at first, it is always best to seek medical treatment at the scene because some injuries may not be evident to your untrained eye.
2. Spinal Cord Injuries
The spine is composed of clusters of nerves that travel down the back, transmitting signals from the body to the brain. When the spine is damaged, those messages are interrupted. Seeking immediate medical attention can help in reducing the long-term effects of a spinal cord injury (SCI).
Your injuries may require surgeries and therapies. More advanced injuries may require the use of mobility devices for movement. Spinal cord injuries are classified as either complete or incomplete:
- Complete spinal cord injuries prevent the transmission of signals below the damaged area. This signal interruption leads to paralysis below the injury area.
- Incomplete spinal cord injuries leave the victim with some feeling and movement below the injury area.
Spinal cord injuries can lead to many health issues because the body can no longer properly send and receive messages up and down the spine. Bladder and bowel issues, depression, and pain management are a few complications caused by these injuries. And a person with a spinal cord injury is two to five times more likely to die a premature death directly related to the availability of timely, proper medical care at the time of the accident and the severity of the damage.
3. Organ Damage
Organ damage can be difficult to diagnose because it is invisible without imaging. Internal organs can suffer blunt trauma or other serious injuries that result from the force of the victim’s impact with a solid surface or object, such as a motor vehicle. Penetrating trauma results from penetration of the abdomen’s skin by an object that cuts, tears, or penetrates the organ and can potentially lead to internal bleeding due to blood vessel tears.
The kidneys and liver are the most likely organs to be damaged in a car accident. And car accident victims risk the potential of internal bleeding because any organ can be injured and they may not even know it.
4. Arm and Leg Injuries
Wearing a seatbelt will keep you somewhat stationary during a car accident, but your arms and legs are still vulnerable to the violent movements that occur in a crash. Arms and legs can be prone to compound fractures, crushing, and amputation in car accidents.
A compound fracture occurs when a broken bone pierces through the skin. Surgery is required to readjust the broken bone, and then it must be immobilized.
When the arms or legs become trapped between two heavy objects, crushing injuries can occur, resulting in compartment syndrome, which leads to traumatic injury to the blood vessels, muscles, nerves, and tissue. The extensive force of the crushing objects can cause amputation in worst-case scenarios.
One of the most difficult injuries to treat after a car accident is the psychological devastation that lingers long after a crash. A major contributing factor in developing PTSD after an accident is the victim’s perception and response to the accident. Stress disorders, like physical disorders, should be diagnosed and treated promptly so that recovery is possible.
Symptoms of PTSD
- Avoiding talking about the event and averting activities, places, and people that serve as reminders of the accident
- Recurrent or intrusive memories and nightmares, and disturbing dreams
- Feelings of hopelessness and personal despair, and negative feelings about others
- Lack of enjoyment in life
- Destructive behaviors
- Intense guilt and shame
- Suicidal thoughts
Car accident victims may struggle to get their lives back after a wreck. PTSD symptoms can and often do disrupt the victim’s daily life, job, personal relationships, and family. Treatment from a doctor or mental health professional can be ongoing and may require psychotherapy and prescription medication.
Sobering Car Accident Injury Statistics
The statistics are staggering but essential to understand when traveling by car in Texas. Recent reports from the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) confirm that over 244,000 individuals were injured in motor vehicle traffic accidents. In the same year, there were no deathless days on Texas roads; and, death rates averaged one person dying on Texas roadways every one hour and 57 minutes.
Serious car accidents occur daily in Texas, but becoming an accident victim can feel lonely and isolating. One of the main reasons you should hire an attorney after a car crash is so you never have to guess what your legal options may be or navigate the legal system alone. The experienced Houston car accident lawyers at Dax F. Garza, P.C. stand ready to help you. The financial compensation for your injuries becomes our priority the second we begin to represent you. Contact us today for a free consultation in English or Spanish.