Car accidents: What are catastrophic injuries?

Car accidents occur all the time, whether mild or severe. However, when the accident is severe, catastrophic injuries are likely to occur. Spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries are the two main types of catastrophic injuries that result from car crashes.

According to reports, there are around 17,000 spinal cord injuries each year. There were nearly three million emergency room visits in 2013 related to traumatic brain injuries. These injuries are catastrophic because of the life-long impact they can have on the victim.

Spinal Cord Injury

Car accidents are the leading cause of spinal cord injuries. Types of spinal cord injuries include: 

  • Complete injury: A complete spinal cord injury causes paralysis. A patient will lose motor and sensory function. Common types of complete injuries are paraplegia and tetraplegia, which paralyze victims.
  • Incomplete injury: An incomplete spinal cord injury means that a victim may have some but not all sensory or motor function in the affected areas.

Traumatic Brain Injury

  • Concussion: When the brain takes a hit, it can cause a concussion This is a common injury and can be dangerous as one may not know they have a concussion. When someone sustains a concussion, they can take a long time to heal, which can significantly alter an individual’s life.
  • Diffuse axonal: This type of injury is also common and occurs when the brain moves around in the head, which can happen during a car accident. This can cause swelling or other damage in the brain, which the victim may need long-term physical therapy to overcome.
  • Penetration: When an object penetrates the skull, there is no doubt that the injuries will be severe. In car accidents, glass or flying object can breach the skull, causing traumatic damage to the brain. A patient may or may not recover from this type of injury.

If you or a loved one are in a car accident, it is important to seek medical attention. Individuals sustain catastrophic injuries often, especially in the event of a car accident. These injuries can be devastating, which is why it is important to seek compensation. If the other driver is found negligent for the accident, you may be able to gain compensation for medical bills, as well as lost wages and pain and suffering.

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