On average, about 30,000 people in Wisconsin are injured each year in motor vehicle crashes, according to official figures from the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. Most injuries are superficial and require only minor medical attention. Tragically, many accident victims suffer more serious injuries that are not always immediately apparent at the scene. And in too many cases–about 500 per year, according to the DMV–the the victims die as a result of their injuries.
Here are just a some of the kinds of injuries that a car accident victim is likely to experience:
Whiplash and Neck Injuries
Rear-end collisions frequently produce whiplash–a rapid, back-and-forth movement of the neck, similar to the motion a person makes when cracking a whip. Whiplash typically produces symptoms of neck pain and stiffness, as well as headaches. While whiplash may only last a brief period of time, in serious cases an accident victim may have chronic neck pain and require several months of pain medication and treatment.
Back and Spinal Cord Injuries
Perhaps the most frightening type of auto accident injury involves damage to the spinal cord. A broken leg can heal with medical attention and time. But spinal cord damage is often permanent and may lead to partial paralysis or even quadriplegia. Even when the spinal cord itself is unharmed back injuries–such as herniated disc–can produce chronic pain and muscle weakness.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Concussions are often the hardest type of injury to detect after a car accident. Contrary to what you might believe, a concussion does not always result in the loss of consciousness. In fact, many people do not realize they have suffered a concussion or brain injury until days or even weeks after the fact.
The U.S. Fire Administration reported 193,500 vehicle fires in 2014. These fires often occur when the fuel tanks of the affected vehicles rupture and the gasoline ignites. Fire may also result from a defect in the car itself, such as improper wiring. Burn injuries arising from car fires often leave victims with permanent skin and nerve damage.
The sudden impact of a car crash often leaves victims with broken bones. This includes injuries to the extremities–i.e., legs and arms–as well as the ribs, sternum, and skull. In fact, car accidents are the leading cause of fractures to the the femur shaft (thighbone).
Not all car accident injuries are external or visible. For example, a broken rib may puncture one or more internal organs, such as the lung, spleen, liver, or heart. If that happens, the victim may require emergency surgery and months of rehabilitation.
Do You Need Assistance From an Experienced Appleton Car Accident Attorney?
At Hammett Bellin & Oswald LLC, our qualified Appleton personal injury lawyers understand how to help accident victims seek full compensation for their injuries. If you have been in an accident and require immediate legal assistance, call our offices in Appleton or Neenah today at 972-720-000 to schedule a free consultation.