Auto Accident Injuries—and the Long-Term Effects

There are many common auto accident injuries, all of which we hope to avoid through defensive driving. Do you ever reach your destination, get out of the car though, and then realize you have no memory of driving there? Many of us are so used to driving to the same places every day that we tend to travel along as if on autopilot. It is easy to fall into that habit, but with increasing numbers of distracted drivers on the road today we must all be even more alert, following all the rules of the road along with serious, defensive driving. As the United States Department of Transportation points out, we have one job as drivers, and that is to drive safely. We would all prefer the job were just that simple, but still thousands of people die on the roads each year—or are seriously injured—due to the negligence of others.

Even a mild fender bender can ruin your day and jangle the nerves. A more serious accident, however, can cause long-term damage and even death. While most of us will be in at least one car wreck in our lives—the hope is that it is not a serious one.

You probably have one or more friends or relatives whose lives have been significantly affected by a car accident. Those responsible for negligence may have been under the influence, distracted, tired, inexperienced, or more. And while car accident injuries are very serious, they are all too common, including:

  • Whiplash – this is one of the most common injuries, caused as the driver or passenger abruptly moves or turns the head or neck on impact. The most classic whiplash injuries occur when the victim is rear-ended by another car. Long-term effects may include lasting neck pain, difficulty in turning the head, and ongoing stiffness.
  • Concussions and traumatic brain injury – head injuries may be classified from mild to severe. Even a mild concussion could leave the car accident victim hospitalized, usually with accompanying contusions. They may experience a lack of consciousness, headaches, vomiting, and short-term amnesia. Traumatic brain injuries may not be apparent at first, but can cause serious long-term damage. Symptoms include confusion, headache, lack of coordination, agitated behavior, nausea and vomiting, and more, depending on the severity. Long-term effects may include cognitive deficiencies, difficulty with attention span, as well as challenges with coordination, speech, and more.
  • Broken bones – while the upper body is most commonly affected, the legs and knees can be seriously injured too when abruptly pushed into hard surfaces of the car. Surgery may be required in some cases, and long-term symptoms vary.
  • Spinal injuries – whether ‘incomplete’ or ‘complete,’ these types of injuries can cause long-term disability, and even paralysis.

To be a skilled, defensive driver, always be prepared for the unexpected when on the road—whether on a highway or side street. While other drivers usually present reason for worry, wildlife are responsible for many accidents too. If you have a lot of deer in your area, practice caution—along with looking for other wild animals and stray dogs and cats who have no sense of road safety. Always follow the speed limit and avoid tailgating other drivers. Take extra care in bad weather, and avoid distractions while driving whether from the phone or other passengers.

If you have been injured in a car accident due to the negligence of others, seeking medical attention is priority. If you or someone at the scene can take photographs of the scene for evidence, this could be crucial to your case—as well as contacting an experienced car accident law firm like Heintz & Becker as soon as possible.

Our attorneys have been helping clients in the Bradenton-Sarasota area for over 30 years with car, truck and motorcycle injury accidents, as well as cases involving other forms of negligence. Call us for a free consultation now at 941-748-2916 or contact us online. We are here to help!

All blogs are written on behalf of Heintz & Becker for informational purposes. These articles should not, however, be considered legal advice, or in any way responsible for creating an attorney/client relationship.