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Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Common Disabling Automotive Injuries

Almost anyone who has been disabled in an automobile accident will tell you that it ultimately doesn’t matter how they became disabled, it only matters that they became disabled, and that their lives are forever changed. That being said, it’s still a good idea to understand the types of disabling injuries that can occur in an automobile accident to understand how the injury occurred, and the options for treatment.

It’s also a good idea to learn about these types of injuries to understand how they can be prevented in the future.

The Impact of Automotive Injuries

Whether or not the automotive injury results in a physical disability, it can still have a long-term physical and mental effect on a person’s life.

Accident survivors can often spend years, and thousands of dollars, recovering from an accident, and during that time, many people are unable to work or earn a living. If the injured party was not at fault for the accident, he might be able to get assistance from his insurance company, or even from the individual who was responsible for the accident. However, doing that often involves a lot of time and energy that someone recovering from an accident can’t necessarily afford.

For example, if someone is injured in an accident on the Dallas North Tollway, and the police find another driver at fault, that other driver's insurance could pay the medical costs. The thing is, no one is going to have the energy to deal with an insurance company while recovering from an accident. However, if the injured party hires a Dallas car wreck lawyer, the lawyer can focus on the insurance company, while the injured party focuses on getting well.

Automobile Accident Injuries

You can sustain almost any type of disabling injury in an automobile accident. However, there are certain disabling injuries that are more common to automotive accidents than others, specifically brain injuries; and neck, spinal cord and back injuries.

Brain injuries

Brain injuries are the most common type of disabling injury in automobile accidents. These injuries are usually the result of the head violently striking a solid object, such as the vehicle dashboard. Brain injuries can also happen to people outside the vehicle if they are hit by the vehicle or debris from the accident, or if they are thrown from the vehicle during the accident. Another type of brain injury occurs when the brain hits the interior of the skull, even if the exterior of the skull is undamaged. In some cases a brain injury could occur as a result of penetration – a piece of the vehicle pierces the skull.

The severity and long-term effects of head injuries can vary depending on several factors including:

•  The intensity of the impact;

•  The area of the brain or head that is injured;

•  The interval between injury and treatment, because the brain can swell, which can cause more damage than the initial impact.

Because the brain controls many different bodily functions, the type of disability caused by a brain injury depends greatly on the area of the brain that is damaged. For example, damage to the part of the brain that controls memory could result in difficulty learning or retaining new information. Damage to the motor center could result in a loss of fine motor skills in the hands or in the ability to walk. It is also possible to suffer damage in multiple areas.

Neck, spinal cord, and back injuries

The terms “neck injuries” and “back injuries” usually refers to damage to the muscles, bones and cartilage in the back and neck, with or without spinal cord damage;  the term “spinal cord injuries” refers only to damage of the spinal cord. These injuries could be the result of impact or penetration and, like brain injuries, the severity and long-term effects of the injury are determined by a variety of factors. Additionally, the type of disability depends on the location of the injury.

For example, a person who suffers broken vertebrae and bruising, or incomplete spinal cord damage, in the neck might have his neck bone surgically fused together, preventing him from turning his head, and might suffer numbness and mild loss of from the point of the spinal bruising down, but won’t be completely paralyzed.

Injuries are a major risk in any automotive accident, but there are ways to reduce your risk:

•  Always wear your seat belt, even for short trips;

•  Adjust the headrests to support your skull and prevent your head from snapping back; and,

•  Secure any loose items to prevent them from flying around during an accident.

This is a blog post by Nancy Evans.

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