Out of the 50 states, Texas is at or near the top of the nation every year on the number of car accidents. According to the Texas Department of Transportation’s most recent ascertainable numbers, 3,639 people died in traffic accidents in the state in 2018. Nearly 15,000 others suffered serious incapacitating injuries, while almost 250,000 people suffered less serious injuries. One person was killed about every 180 minutes, and a person was injured about every two minutes. Here are some of the most common car accident injuries suffered in Texas.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
These can be closed or open. With a closed TBI there is no broken skin or bleeding. These TBIs are the result of the brain being thrust against the front and back or sides of the skull. TBIs are commonly known as concussions, and they’re graded in severity. from mild to severe. With an open TBI, the skull and brain are penetrated by a foreign object, or the brain is penetrated by bone from the skull.
Spinal Cord Injuries
A car accident victim stands a good chance of achieving a full recovery from a bruised spinal cord, but if it is torn, permanent damage will result. A partially torn spinal cord will result in paraplegia. A complete tear will result in quadriplegia.
Injuries to Spinal Discs
Between the vertebrae in the spine are spinal discs that are made from bands of cartilage with a jelly-like substance inside of them. These act as shock absorbers when we walk, run, jump or twist. Trauma can cause a spinal disc to become displaced and put pressure on a spinal nerve root. It can also cause a disc to herniate. That causes the jelly-like substance inside of the disc to leak out. This also results in pressure on a nerve root. Displaced or herniated discs can cause considerable pain and discomfort.
Fractured ankles, legs, ribs and arms are often suffered by car accident victims. Some fractures only require immobilization for six weeks to two months. Others require surgery with internal fixation.
Knee and shoulder cartilage can be torn as a result of the sudden force and twisting caused by an impact. Kneecap fractures and patellar tendon tears also result from a person’s knee hitting the dashboard. Painful shoulder cartilage damage can result from a driver’s hands being on the steering wheel when the shoulders absorb an impact. Knees and shoulders often require arthroscopic surgery after auto accidents.
Foot and Ankle Injuries
A car accident victim’s feet and ankles aren’t restrained in a car crash, and there is no protection from an air bag down on the floor of the vehicle either. With 26 bones in the foot, there are plenty of things that can go wrong in an accident. Feet and ankles are commonly fractured in high impact car crashes. A driver or front seat passenger can even suffer a traumatic amputation of a toe or part of a foot in an auto accident. We walk on our feed every day. Foot injuries must be attended to right away.
Hand and Wrist Injuries
Trauma and contact with the interior of a car can cause hand and wrist fractures, dislocations, tendon and ligament damage. Some hand and wrist injuries and fractures can be immobilized for six to eight weeks. Others might require surgery. An injury to the dominant hand can be particularly uncomfortable.
Internal Organ Damage
Trauma can damage internal organs and cause them to bleed, especially if one or more ribs are fractured. In the event of internal bleeding, surgery will likely be required.
Scarring and Disfigurement
There are different types of scarring and disfigurement. If it’s visible, it’s more compensable than if it can be covered by clothing especially with women. A person can suffer hypertrophic, atrophic or keloid scarring from lacerations. Contracture scars often result from burns. Scarring from burns can remain particularly noticeable, even after plastic surgery. Scarring might be so severe that it impairs the range of motion of a joint.
A person can suffer a traumatic amputation from an impact that occurs at a high speed. A severe crush injury might require surgical amputation. In either case, amputations are highly compensable.
This is probably the most common injury that is suffered in car accidents. It’s also known as an acceleration-deceleration injury that results from rapid forward and backward movement of the head and neck. This injury must be taken seriously. Without proper care and treatment, the injury could become permanent. Symptoms of whiplash include neck pain and discomfort, loss of range of motion, shoulder pain and visual disturbances.
The two temporomandibular joints attach the lower jaw to the skull next to each ear. Injury to one or both of the joints is often accompanied by a whiplash injury. An impact in a car crash can force a person’s jaw to forcefully and suddenly open and shut. Because of this, the head and the jaw experience opposite forces, and the victim suffers a TMJ injury.
After suffering injuries in a car accident that was caused by the carelessness and negligence of somebody else, don’t provide any type of a written or recorded statement to the opposing insurer. Texas law doesn’t require you to do that, and your own words will likely be used against you in the future to attack your credibility. Nearly all Texas car accident attorneys offer free consultations and case reviews. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll need to pay a single penny to retain such an attorney to represent you. That’s because nearly all of such attorneys work on a contingency fee basis when no legal fees are even due unless a settlement or award is obtained on your behalf. Retain a quality Texas car accident lawyer right away after being injured in a car accident that was caused by somebody else.
Thank you to our friends from Glen Larson Law for their insight into car accidents.