Body Movement in Automobile Crashes — How Do Injuries Occur in a Maryland Auto Accident?
Even with the technological advances that make automobiles safer today than ever before, people who are involved in an accident often suffer bodily injuries. In some cases, it is the safety features, such as seatbelts and airbags, which contribute to the injuries suffered in a car crash. Understanding what happens to our bodies during a car crash can help us understand why we are injured in a car crash. The Maryland personal injury lawyers of Pinder Plotkin, LLC represent accident victims who have been injured because of the negligence of another driver. Call 410-525-5337 for a free consultation and no-obligation case evaluation. [elementor-template id="296902"]
What Happens During the Initial Impact?Most people assume that an automobile accident involves only one impact — the vehicle with another object. However, the vehicle impact is only the first impact that occurs during a car crash. Because of the force of the collision, your body can collide with something in the vehicle, such as the steering wheel, windshield, or dashboard. In addition, the airbags, seatbelt, and objects in the car are also potential sources of impact for your body. Also, upon the vehicle’s impact, your organs can shift and collide with the supporting structure of your body. For instance, your brain can move within your skull colliding with the hard bone structure. Your internal organs within your torso can collide with your ribs, pelvis, spine, or sternum. As soft tissue collides with harder surfaces, injuries can occur. Therefore, as the impact of the collision causes your body to move within the vehicle, several injuries can occur. The type of accident can influence how your body moves within the vehicle and the injuries that result from the crash.
Rear-End CrashesRear-end crashes commonly cause injuries to the neck, chest, head, and spine. The whiplash effect of your head and upper body being jerked forward and backward violently from the rear impact crash causes hyperextension of soft tissues in the neck. Whiplash is one of the most common injuries in a rear-end collision. Even though insurance companies play down the long-term effects of whiplash, this type of car accident injury can cause chronic pain and limited mobility making it difficult to work and perform other tasks. In some cases, a permanent disability may result from whiplash.
Head-On or Front-End CrashesWhen your vehicle is hit from the front, you can also suffer whiplash from the motion of being jerked forward and backward violently. However, most injuries from front-end crashes occur from your body’s impact with objects in the car, such as the steering wheel, dashboard, or windshield. In addition, the impact of being struck can cause the vehicle to crumple and crush the person’s torso and lower extremities. Occupants wearing seatbelts can suffer internal injuries from being restrained in a head-on collision. However, occupants who are not wearing a seatbelt often suffer severe head and facial injuries from colliding with objects in the vehicle. Common injuries in head-on crashes include:
- Lacerations and abrasions
- Head and facial injuries
- Fractured sternum
- Intraabdominal injuries (liver, spleen, bowels)
- Knee injuries
- Broken legs, hips, and pelvis
- Spine and back injuries
Side-Impact Crashes or T-Bone CrashesWhen another vehicle crashes into the side of your car, the impact can cause some of the same injuries because your body is violently thrown to the side and jerked backward. However, there is also the threat that the collision will cause the intrusion of parts of the car into the passenger area. When parts of the vehicle intrude into the occupant’s space, those parts can cause injuries as well. Therefore, you can suffer some of the same injuries in a side-impact crash as you would in a head-on or rear-end crash from hitting your head on the window or door frame. You may also suffer neck injuries from being jerked from side-to-side violently. However, you can also suffer a variety of other injuries in a T-bone crash including:
- Broken bones and cuts to your upper arm, shoulder, and leg on the side of the impact
- Hip and pelvic injuries on the side of the impact
- Cervical spine injuries from the rotation and flexion of the spine caused by the lateral impact
- Abdominal and chest injuries on the side of the impact