Countless factors can impact the types of injuries vehicle occupants suffer during a serious collision. From the types of vehicles involved and the speeds at which they were traveling to the occupant’s position within the vehicle, collisions could ultimately mean a range from soft tissue damage to fatality. While every situation is unique, though, there are several categories of serious injuries that vehicle occupants might experience, including:
- Brain damage: Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) can range from closed head to open wound trauma. Additionally, the brain can suffer structural or functional damage – often both at the same time. TBIs can result in physical symptoms like loss of balance, cognitive symptoms like memory impairment, and emotional symptoms like anxiety and depression.
- Paralysis: While medical science has improved by leaps and bounds in recent decades, there is still much mystery surrounding spinal cord trauma. Depending on the type of damage, paralysis can be partial or complete, temporary or permanent. Spinal cord trauma can lead to the loss of movement or sensation in the arms or legs. Spinal cord damage, depending on its position along the back, can also impact the internal organs.
- Amputation and crush injuries: Depending on the angle of the collision and the size disparity of the vehicles involved, numerous zones can crumple in against an occupant’s body. These collisions can crush a body part beyond repair or shear the limb off.
Additionally, serious collisions can result in the death of vehicle occupants.
After a motor vehicle accident, it is important that all injured vehicle occupants seek a thorough medical evaluation. Certain injuries such as soft tissue damage and functional brain trauma can take hours or days to become fully apparent.