Some of the most serious and common car accident injuries include soft tissue trauma, psychological injuries and damage to the spine or brain.
Car accidents represent an incredibly common cause of injuries in Chicago and other parts of Illinois. Per the Illinois Department of Transportation, in 2014, over one-fifth of all car crashes reported in the state led to injuries, and over 82,000 injuries were recorded in total. Sadly, in many cases, the victims of these accidents may be left facing life-changing and debilitating physical or psychological ailments.
1. Brain and spine injuries
Car accidents are the third most common cause of traumatic brain injuries, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. These injuries have potential to cause changes in a person’s moods, behavior, cognition and sensory perceptions. The severity and long-term impacts of each brain injury is unique, however. Determining a prognosis can be difficult, since some side effects of a brain injury might never improve, while others may lessen with time.
Currently, motor vehicle accidents are also the leading cause of spinal cord injuries, accounting for over one-third of them, as the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center reports. The complications associated with a spinal cord injury can be severe and include loss of feeling, weakness, paralysis, spasms and respiratory issues. While rehabilitation can help victims learn adaptive techniques, some complications may last indefinitely, as there is no accepted cure for spinal cord injuries.
2. Soft tissue damage
Soft tissue injuries, such as sprains, strains and contusions, frequently result from rear-end collisions and other car accidents. Whiplash, which occurs when the muscles and ligaments of the neck extend abruptly, represents one of the most well-known soft tissue injuries. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, victims of whiplash may experience the following symptoms for several weeks or months after the injury occurs:
- Head, neck, shoulder or back pain
- Stiffness of the neck
- Fatigue or problems sleeping
- Depression, anxiety or irritability
- Issues with memory and concentration
Whiplash often has a favorable prognosis, but some victims may experience lingering head and neck aches even after this injury heals.
3. Emotional trauma
Many car accident victims may also experience psychological injuries, which may adversely affect their cognitive skills, moods, behavior and relationships. KTAR News states that posttraumatic stress disorder is fairly common among survivors of car accidents, particularly children. Some accident victims may also develop mood disorders such as depression or anxiety.
Car crash injury compensation
Sadly, the lifetime cost of many of these injuries can be significant. In addition to immediate medical expenses, victims may have to deal with lost wages, reduced earning potential, and long-term care expenses. Furthermore, the impacts of a serious injury on a person’s mental health and well-being may be significant.
In Illinois, the victims of accidents that occurred due to another person’s negligence may be eligible to pursue compensation for these various damages. Anyone who has survived an accident in the state should consider reviewing the situation and possible legal remedies with a Chicago car accident lawyer.