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Injuries from Car Accidents and How They Impact Your Life

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP

In a previous blog we stressed the likelihood of an increase in motor vehicle accidents as the country reopens from the virus shutdown. Now we want to address the most common injuries we see from motor vehicle accidents. Motor vehicle accidents or MVA’s can occur in many ways and circumstances.  There can be multi-vehicle pile ups, two car accidents, one care accidents and pedestrian impacts.  Most often the accidents are attributable to speeding, road and weather conditions or inattentiveness.  Less often, alcohol or substance impairment,  driver health failure of mechanical failure are to blame.  The impacts can take many forms including, head on collision, rear end collision, side swipes, roll-overs, t bone collisions, impact with fixed objects, direct impact with cyclists or pedestrians and various off  roadway encounters.  Likewise the types and variation of injuries are endless.  However we would like to identify the most common types of injuries that most often result in claims and litigation.

Head Injuries

One of the most common types of injuries involve trauma to the head either by direct impact or flexion and extension of the head and neck.  Accidents can result in direct blows to the head from glass, contact with the steering wheel or roof tops or pillars.  The result is often cosmetic injury and sometimes cognitive injury such as  a concussion.  Concussion is a form of traumatic brain injury or “TBI” where cognitive function is considerably impaired even in low speed impacts without blunt force to the head area.  The brain tissue itself can be harmed by excessive unnatural motion of the head during the accident sequence.  Most often head injuries resolve over a short period of time but some can linger  a fair number will not completely  may leave a permanent cognitive defect.

Neck Injuries

The vertebra and soft tissue structures of the neck including discs , the  spongy material that separates the bones of the vertebrae  suffer great force during an accident.  This is  especially so in front  or rear end collisions where the neck snaps back and forth, thus the term “whiplash”.  Whiplash best describes an unnatural torquing of the  neck whereby the soft tissues or bony structures become injured.  Injuries can include herniated discs, fractured vertebrae and these will cause great pain and limitation of the neck itself but also a sense of numbness, tingling, weakness  and disfunction of the arms and hands because the nerves that control the upper extremities exit the spine at the level of the neck.

Back Injuries

Like injuries to the neck area, damage to the mid or lower spine occur during heavier collisions as the entire spine is torqued in unanticipated fashion beyond its level of injury resistance.  Mid- back injury can effect breathing and cause great pain and discomfort even at rest while low back injuries cause local discomfort while waking and occasional pain, numbness and weakness that radiates down the legs into the feet.  The extent and intensity of this radiation will often be proportional to the extent of injury.  Severe cases of lower back injury may need surgical correction in order to return normal bowel, bladder,  and leg function as the nerves that control these movements exit the spine in the lower back.


Fractures of ribs, arms , wrists,  and legs and feet are less common in vehicular accidents these days due to safety enhancements like air bags, warning systems and occupant restraints.  Nonetheless high speeds impacts will cause these injuries notwithstanding the safety of your vehicle and unfortunately are seen in many accidents where there is also resulting fatality.   And pedestrian knockdowns will most often result in fractures or worse simply because the human body cannot withstand even a minor impact with a  multi ton vehicle.

Internal Injuries

Injuries to internal or other organs are uncommon yet they are frequently seen in heavy impact or high-speed collisions where the occupant restraining and protection systems perform as intended. Upon impact, a seat belt clenches your body, often distributing central restraint force that can harm the lungs, ribs, spleen, and other internal organs.  Likewise, airbag deployment can injure the eyes, ears, and nose, affecting sight, hearing, and smell.  Such injuries while unwelcome likely would have been much worse.

The professionals at Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo Plotkin & Hellman LLP have extensive experience in all types of motor vehicle accidents and their effects.  We have successfully represented clients through settlements or verdicts who have sustained every imaginable injury from head to toe after accidents involving cars, boats, buses, trains, planes motorcycles, ATVs, snowmobiles, scooters, and many others. Please contact us today for a free consultation.  We can help you with setting in place the mechanisms for medical expense payment, loss of earnings replacement, and pursuit of a claim for compensation against others causing you injury and harm in the accident.

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