The most serious injuries that a side-impact accident can cause are those that result from blunt force trauma, including chest, head, lower body, and spine injuries. According to StatPearls, trauma ranks first among the causes of morbidity and mortality in victims under 35 years of age, and most serious trauma occurs because of motor vehicle and pedestrian accidents. The severity of the injury depends on how it takes place and the health of the victim prior to the collision.
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Chest and Abdominal Injuries
An article in Journal of Passenger Cars: Mechanical Systems Journal reported that nearly half of all side-impact motor vehicle collisions that led to injuries caused trauma to the chest and abdomen. The thoracic aorta is often affected, as the study reveals that aortic injury occurs in 1 in 5 chest and abdominal injuries, and the victims who most commonly suffer these injuries include women and older adults. The Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine (AAAM) found that rib fractures, which are often considered relatively minor injuries for younger victims in car accidents, also carry a high risk of complications and mortality for adults aged 60 and older.
Another study by the AAAM found that head injuries occurred in nearly one-quarter of all side-impact collision cases examined, and many proved fatal. Motor vehicle accidents often lead to a sudden impact or jolt to the head, which can cause a traumatic brain injury (TBI). A TBI can range from mild to severe and may include symptoms such as:
- Loss of consciousness
- Persistent headache
- Numbness throughout the body
Some cases of TBI resolve after a short time, while others have long-term effects.
Pelvic and Lower Extremity Injuries
Victims of car accidents frequently suffer injuries to the pelvis and lower limbs, and those caused by a side-impact collision carry a doubled risk of mortality. A study in the Medical Science Monitor found that upper leg fractures more commonly affected drivers, while victims who suffered a broken pelvis were typically passengers. Male victims in the study had a higher risk of suffering pelvic fractures, which often require long recovery times and can lead to a disability.
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While not as typical in side-impact collisions, injuries to the neck and spine took place at a rate of approximately 1 in 20 victims. Severe spinal fractures can cause debilitating conditions, such as paralysis or even death, and even moderate injuries may develop into chronic conditions. Whiplash, for example, may go away on its own after a few weeks, but some cases cause severe neck pain and limited range of motion for months or years after the accident.
A Lawyer Can Help You with Your Side-Impact Car Accident Case
If you or someone you love suffered one of the most serious injuries that a side-impact accident can cause and it resulted in significant financial losses, a Fort Lauderdale lawyer can help you determine if you have a case. Contact the legal team at the Law Offices of Anidjar & Levine today at (954) 525-0050 for a free consultation.