Being involved in a car accident can cause damage to the body in unimaginable ways. Some people may suffer bruises and feel a little pain for a couple of days, while others may end up with crippling injuries or even lose their lives.
We all know that drivers should drive carefully and defensively while behind the wheel to prevent accidents, but sadly that is not always the case, and injuries happen much more frequently than one can imagine. If you have been hurt in a crash, working with a proven law firm like the team at Hipskind & McAninch, LLC – St. Louis car accident attorneys is one of the best steps you can take so that you can stay focused on healing while someone else fights to get you the compensation you deserve.
What happens to a body during a crash?
When people sit inside a car as it is traveling down the road, they and the vehicle have kinetic energy. Normally, when the driver puts their foot on the brake, the energy travels into the brakes, and the car is able to stop. At the time of impact, the sudden, unexpected stop makes the body take the excess kinetic energy and suffer injuries and pain.
Although modern-day vehicles have been designed with better technology to absorb quite a bit of kinetic energy, particularly during high speed crashes, the body still absorbs some of this energy and injuries will still appear. Here are some of the effects a crash can have on different parts of the body.
Immediately after the impact, the body keeps moving in the direction it was before the collision. The movement will stop the moment the body comes in contact with a solid object. This can be the seatbelt, the steering wheel, an airbag, the car’s door, the windshield, or the dashboard. When the head crashes against any of those surfaces at high speed, injuries can be life-threatening. These can range from mild concussions to traumatic brain injuries.
Whiplash tends to happen in accidents where the vehicle is rear-ended. With the force of the impact, the neck is forced forward and then back, stretching its tendons and muscles.
Arms and legs are freer to flail around during a car crash. This means they can easily come into contact with hard objects. Limbs can suffer broken bones and bruises,and in some cases, may need to be amputated.
Trauma to Upper Body and Spine
The collarbone can easily be injured in a crash, even breaking under the force of the seatbelt meant to keep it in place. The ribs can break with the same impact, and when they do, the chances of having a punctured or collapsed lung increase dramatically. The heart might also be bruised if it is forced forward and crashes against the ribs. Blood loss or even death are possible.
When the spine is injured, victims can end up paralyzed, suffering the consequences of this accident for life.
Besides the physical injuries, the brain may also suffer emotional trauma. At the time of the crash endorphins and adrenaline might be released, giving a false feeling of optimism. As time goes by, people may experience PTSD, finding it hard to drive by the scene of the accident, being afraid of loud noises, and suffering guilt at having survived when someone else died, and more.