Car crashes happen at a variety of speeds and cause a wide range of injuries. High impact car accidents are often the result of vehicles crashing at high speeds. When two vehicles collide at high speed, or a stopped vehicle is hit by a vehicle traveling at high speed, the injuries are often incredibly severe or fatal. The human body is not meant to handle a high impact crash, as kinetic energy does not dissipate through the body easily. Because your body does not have brakes like a car does, the kinetic energy of a crash will keep your body moving even if the car is forced to stop suddenly. The reason your body is able to slow down in most cases is because of your seatbelt. If you are not wearing a seatbelt during a crash, your body will continue moving until something stops it like the dashboard, windshield, window, back seat, or even the road. Because your body will absorb the impact of the collision along with your vehicle, the injuries sustained in a high impact car accident will be severe.
The following are common types of high impact car accident injuries:
Airbag and Seatbelt Injuries
Vehicle airbags and seatbelts are required by law and reduce the risk of serious injury or death in a car accident. While these safety features are lifesaving, they can still cause serious injuries in a high impact accident. Airbags violently deploy when a vehicle is hit at high speeds and can hit a driver in the face, side of the body, and even cause them to lose consciousness. Airbag deployment can also cause burns, abrasions, eye injuries, broken noses, and even asthma attacks. When an airbag is deployed, a chemical is released in powder form that can quickly irritate airways and trigger an asthma attack. Seatbelts, while keeping you safely in your vehicle, can also cause injuries in a high impact accident. The seatbelt can bruise your chest, fracture your ribs, cause burns and abrasions, and cut into your skin. Fractured ribs are a serious medical emergency as there is danger your lungs could become punctured by your ribs. Immediate emergency attention is required to prevent death.
Depending on the angle at which a vehicle is hit during a high impact car accident, the driver will experience forces that can push them into their seatbelt, side window, dashboard, and console. This means that the body will be traveling at a high speed and can hit many hard surfaces that can cause bones to break. The most common bones that break during high impact accidents are the ribs, skull, arms, wrists, clavicles, hips, and legs. Breaking a bone is incredibly painful and can lead to surgery, hospitalization, physical therapy, missed work, lost wages, and potentially permanent disability.
Head, Neck, and Brain Injuries
High impact accidents often lead to head, neck, spine, and brain injuries, which can range from minor to incredibly severe and debilitating. The extreme force the head, neck, and spine are put under during a high impact accident causes them to move in ways that are not natural and can cause damage that is incredibly painful or even deadly. Concussions, whiplash, traumatic brain injuries, brain swelling and bleeding, herniated or bulging discs in the spine, nerve damage, paralysis, and death are sadly common high impact accident injuries.
The force of a high impact accident can cause swelling or bruising to your heart and lungs. The force of the crash can push your internal organs against your spine, ribs, chest wall, and other hard bones. This can cause bleeding and bruising internally. The spleen, liver, kidneys, and lungs are often injured in high-speed accidents. There is also the potential for severe penetrating injuries that can damage your internal organs. If something penetrates your skin during the crash, it can easily hit an internal organ. Rupturing of the bowels is a common injury seen in high impact accidents; and, if any bile or waste leaks into your torso, you will be at risk for sepsis which can quickly lead to death.
Other Soft Tissue Injuries
When accidents occur at high speeds, the body can become stretched beyond its capabilities which can cause ligament, tendon, and muscle tears. These types of injuries are extremely painful and can require surgery to fix. If the ligaments, tendons, or muscles are already in a deteriorated state from previous injuries or use (sports injury, arthritis, etc.) the accident will further aggravate those injuries. Severe bruising may also occur that can result in a painful and long recovery. Lacerations are common in high impact car accidents as glass breaks and can quickly cut the driver’s skin.
Injuries Are Not Always Easy to Identify
In the moments following a car accident, the body is pumping adrenaline to try and keep you stable. The body tends to go into a state of shock following an accident and will hide any injuries you may have sustained. Many people say they feel fine moments after a collision and will deny medical attention at the scene of the accident, but the next day they are in severe pain. Their muscles will stiffen, injuries will start to appear, and the pain will be intense. These injuries were present after the motor vehicle accident, but the body was not able to process them until it was out of a state of shock. If you are in a car accident, do not deny medical attention no matter how you feel. You may be injured and not know it. It is critical for you to be seen by a medical professional to be evaluated as soon as possible.
Houston Car Accident Attorneys
High impact car accidents are terrifying and can leave you with serious injuries or can even cause a roadway fatality. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or killed in a high-speed or high impact crash, you may be entitled to financial compensation. Contact the personal injury trial attorneys at Adame Garza for a free consultation today. There is limited time to act following a Texas car accident, so don’t delay.