It’s hard to imagine which is worse: paralysis vs. amputation. Blindness vs. concussion. The truth is, being in a car accident can mean some catastrophic injuries for those involved. As a personal injury lawyer in Bellingham, I have seen some clients end up with some terrible injuries, things that take years to heal, and some that never do. And if that’s not enough to scare you into being a safer driver, here are a few statistics that might: 1 in 112 is your chance of dying in a car accident, and texting while driving makes a crash 23 times more likely. One way authorities can tell if a negligent driver was driving distracted is by lack of skid marks, as these drivers won’t slow down for something they can’t see. Sobering, isn’t it? Well, read on for what can happen in a car accident:
10.”Whiplash”- No, a bunch of car accident attorneys didn’t make this up. Whiplash is a soft tissue injury, very common in car accidents. It can include symptoms such as joint dysfunction, or chronic pain. Sometimes the effects last a lifetime.
9. Concussion – The more we learn about traumatic brain injuries, the more we are able to recognize symptoms of it. Research on concussions has benefited from the many tools and tests modern medicine has at its fingertips. Concussion is characterized by memory loss, dizziness, headaches, nausea, and problems with eyesight. There can be emotional, psychological effects of it too, including depression and emotional instability. If an accident victim’s head impacts something hard, like a windshield, a passenger’s noggin, or the pavement, chances are high that a concussion has occurred, and it’s best to get medical treatment to check right away.
8. Coma- If injuries are severe enough, the body goes into a comatose state. This can last for years.
7. Paralysis – A broken neck or back can result from a car accident, and an accident victim may never walk again.
6. Fractures and broken bones – I’ve seen clients who have to deal with multiple broken bones after a car crash, resulting in wheelchair usage, grueling hours with a physical therapist, and lifelong scars.
5. Amputation– In high impact collisions, a victim’s limbs can be pulverized, torn off, or mangled so severely that doctors must surgically remove them. Amputated limbs can result in “phantom pain” which means that the brain and the cells it has associated with that part of the body still feel pain, even though the nerves are gone.
4. Impalement- Cars are made of plastic, metal, and many other materials. In a high impact, these materials can break apart and enter the soft tissue of the body. Terrible injuries can occur, as well as death.
3. Blindness- Flying glass shards and/or severe cranial impact can mean a lifetime of blindness. Wouldn’t it be terrible if the last thing you ever saw was a text that said, “ok”? Here’s a story of a woman who will never regain sight in one of her eyes because of a texting and driving crash. Now her time is devoted to raising awareness about this terribly dangerous activity. Watch the video here.
2. Internal Decapitation– This means the soft tissue stays more or less intact, but the vertebrae in the neck come apart. Quite a terrible thing to imagine, and one that is incredibly difficult to treat medically. There is a high risk of death here.
1. Death- This sums it up. Also it would be hard to live with a mistake made while driving that kills someone else. Please, everyone drive safe out there. It’s everyone’s responsibility.