A serious car accident in Florida can leave you with severe injuries that result in permanent or long-term health consequences. If someone else’s negligence or recklessness caused your car accident, you might be able to recover compensation for your physical, emotional, and financial losses.
Ormond Beach car accident lawyers from Zimmet & Zimmet understand the impact of serious car accident injuries on your life. In fact, they can often last several months, years, or the rest of your life.
Because of these injuries’ impact, we work to help you receive the maximum compensation possible. The first step is to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with our office.
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What is Considered a Serious Injury in a Car Accident?
The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration), over three million people, experience serious injuries in car accidents every year in the U.S. Several types of collisions can occur, which means the possible injuries are extremely wide-ranging.
While this is true, some broad categories of injuries are more common than others. They vary in severity, body parts impacted, injury type, resulting consequences, and treatment needed. The severity and type of injuries drivers and passengers experience in car accidents can be determined by looking at several factors. Some of these factors include:
- If the person in the accident was wearing their seat belt when it occurred.
- The type of collision or impact that occurred.
- The direction your body and head were facing when the collision occurred (was it straight ahead or turned to the side).
- The speed you were going when the collision occurred (was it a high-speed or low-speed accident).
- If the vehicle you were in had airbags and if they deployed.
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Impact vs. Penetrating Car Accident Injuries
Before discussing the types of injuries that occur in car accidents, it’s important to understand the two broad categories of bodily injuries in car accidents – penetrating and impact injuries.
An impact injury is sustained when your body hits some part of your vehicle’s interior. However, penetrating injuries have an internal effect rather than an external one. Usually, a penetrating injury will cause damage like burns, scrapes, cuts, and open wounds. These are often caused by unrestrained or loose objects like shattering glass at the time of the collision.
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Types of Severe Injuries Seen in Florida Car Accidents
As mentioned above, if you are involved in a car accident, you may experience several types of serious injuries that cause severe and ongoing pain. Sometimes, severe injuries will result in the loss of sensation or function, along with other issues. Some of the most common serious and longest-lasting injuries that occur after a car accident include the following:
Limb Loss or Amputation
If you have a limb amputated, it means it is removed from your body. It may include a toe, finger, hand, foot, arm, or leg.
While amputations are not extremely common, auto accidents can cause this injury. The body often can’t withstand the impact of a severe accident. Since motor vehicles are made of glass and solid metal, body parts may be cut or amputated when a crash occurs.
Losing a limb (no matter which limb) during or because of an accident is scary and can impact you both physically and mentally. The psychological impact of this is often severe.
Paralysis or Spinal Cord Injuries
Your spinal cord works in conjunction with your brain to create the body’s central nervous system. Your brain is your body’s command center, and the spinal cord helps the brain send signals throughout the body and receive signals that come in from other parts of the body. Spinal cord health is important to maintaining your physical and cognitive functioning. If the spinal cord is injured, the impact can be catastrophic.
In a car accident, various parts of the spinal cord are at risk of injury. The spinal column’s discs, ligaments, and vertebrae can all be negatively impacted. When a car accident impacts your spinal cord, it may permanently alter your ability to feel and your strength.
A spinal cord injury is graded based on its impact on a victim. For example, a complete spinal cord injury is a more severe type. This means a person loses most or all their ability to control physical movement below the location of the injury. If you experience a spinal cord injury in a car accident, it can lead to:
- Muscle spasms
- Loss of mobility
- Weakening or loss of sensation
- Issues breathing
- Sexual dysfunction
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Like spinal cord injuries, brain and head injuries can vary in severity. Some injuries are painful but relatively harmless long-term. You are considered fortunate if you sustain a mild brain and head injury. Unfortunately, not everyone is that lucky.
Injuries to your head and brain can have lifelong impacts. They can even cause death. For example, traumatic brain injuries can include sudden damage to the brain and require life-saving surgery or even intensive rehabilitation. The victim’s personality and emotions may change after a TBI (traumatic brain injury). Some primary injuries, which occur at the time of impact, involve certain lobes of the brain. Others will impact the brain’s entire structure.
Minor Car Accident Injuries
The severity of an injury can determine how life-changing it is. While severe injuries are serious and can have a huge impact on an accident victim’s life, it doesn’t mean that minor injuries should be ignored.
The injuries listed here are not as severe, and they don’t result in significant harm or the threat of death; however, they can still have a lasting impact. Some of the most common, less serious accident-related injuries include:
This is an injury to the neck. It happens if your head moves forward and back too violently or quickly. Some people who experience whiplash feel like their neck is “cracked like a whip.” Many of these injuries only last for a short period of time, and the person can recover after a few weeks. Other people deal with ongoing neck pain for the remainder of their lives.
Scrapes and Cuts
Larger lacerations are often life-threatening. While this is true, most accident victims walk away from it with just minor scrapes and cuts. It’s necessary to ensure you care for these injuries properly and get a doctor’s treatment when needed. Injuries like these can get infected or cause other issues if you don’t seek treatment to ensure proper healing.
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Sometimes bone fractures can prove life-changing; however, most are minor injuries. Minor fractures can still be extremely painful compared to catastrophic situations where the bone shatters. Broken bones that are not detected immediately or that do not break the skin are often easier to treat. A leg fracture is one of the most common types of bone fractures that occur in car accidents.
Traumatic Brain Injury
A TBI will range in severity (like bone fractures). Sometimes, a TBI can result in serious and long-term problems. However, an accident victim may also experience a minor concussion that creates temporary issues but no long-term damage.
Soft Tissue Injuries
The term “soft tissue injuries” is one that is somewhat vague. The injuries can impact almost any tendon, ligament, or muscle during an accident. An example of a soft tissue injury is whiplash. Another example is ACL injuries, which occur more frequently.
Seeking treatment for a minor injury does not just benefit your health but also helps keep you from being accused of making the injuries worse. Insurance companies will seek opportunities to reduce the value of your claim when they can. You should not give them a reason to do this by delaying filing a claim.
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How Zimmet & Zimmet Can Help with Your Car Accident Claim
Now that you know what is considered a severe injury in a Florida car accident, you also know how to move forward if this is something you are dealing with. It’s important to remember that each car accident claim is unique. You need to work with Ormond Beach car accident lawyers from Zimmet & Zimmet to ensure you get the maximum compensation for your injuries.
Our legal team has been providing legal representation for accident victims for years. We can provide you with the same aggressive and quality representation that you deserve. Get in touch today to schedule a free, no-obligation initial consultation.