What Injuries Are Common From a Car Crash?

Written by Jobeth Bowers. Posted in .

Key takeaways:

  • In Maryland, a serious or severe injury is anything causing impairment to either your physical health or mental health.
  • You can collect both economic and non-economic damages from a car accident in Maryland.
  • In the event of a Maryland auto accident, you should:
    • Seek safety, meaning get off the road where the accident occurred.
    • Call 911 to receive medical treatment for yourself or others.
    • Gather proper evidence pertaining to the car accident scene.
    • Hire an experienced Maryland car accident lawyer to handle the rest.
  • Common car crash injuries include neck and spinal cord injuries, soft tissue injuries, broken bones, burns, and mental suffering like PTSD.
  • Speak to an attorney if you have suffered from a serious auto accident in Maryland. Bowers Law offers free consultations.

 

Maryland car accidents do not always result in wrongful death or severe impairment to an individual. Yet, the pain from even a minor car accident could alter how you live your life.

Data provided by the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) shows data from car crashes in Maryland between the years 2017-2021, indicating an average of almost 31,000 people suffer injuries each year in a Maryland car accident. This statistic does not even consider fatalities.

A blink of an eye is all the time needed for a car accident to occur and leave you potentially permanently injured. If you were hurt in a car accident and it was not your fault, contact the legal team at Bowers Law for help with your case. You can call or text us at 667-220-6500 for a free consultation.

What Should You Do When You Get Into a Car Accident?

If you suffer the unfortunate experience of being in a motor vehicle collision in Maryland, it can be hard to know what to do in the immediate aftermath. Your first steps should include the following actions.

Seek Safety

Depending upon the area in Maryland where the crash occurred, it might be safer to get off the road. Many interstates run through the state, and waiting on the highways could be dangerous due to the high speed of other traveling motorists on these roadways. In more rural areas of Maryland, the narrowness or curves on roadways could be unsafe.

If you or your passengers do not appear to be seriously injured and can move, you should relocate to a safer area while waiting for the police and first responders to arrive. However, if moving might cause more pain, you may need to stay in place and wait for paramedics to assist you from the vehicle.

Call 911

In the event anyone involved in the crash appears injured, call 911 right away so emergency responders can quickly arrive to evaluate crash victims and determine if any injuries are serious. Be sure to remain at the scene until help arrives.

Receive Medical Attention

If responding paramedics do not send you to the hospital, you should still be examined by a healthcare provider even if you feel fine or do not appear to have any injuries. Unfortunately, sometimes serious injuries are hidden, or you may suffer from other wounds that were not immediately apparent. Serious injuries, such as traumatic brain injury or internal bleeding, may have occurred.

Another reason to seek immediate medical care is that the insurance company may later claim, since you didn’t seek treatment, your injuries were not from the crash. If there is even a remote chance of a car accident injury, you’ll want to have documentation of any potential crash-related conditions.

Gather Information

After any accident, regardless of severity, it is vital to gather pertinent information related to the crash. Essential details to collect include:

  • Names and contact information of any individuals involved in the accident
  • Photos and video of the scene of the accident (including road signs, skid marks, or other details) and of all vehicles involved from various angles
  • Contact information of any potential eyewitnesses
  • Identification (name and badge) of the responding police officers
  • A copy of the police report
  • Write down any weather or road conditions existing at the time of the accident

If you are unable to gather accident information yourself, try to have a trustworthy family member or friend do it for you. The sooner information related to the crash is assembled, the better. This is because as more time passes, the higher the chance of important evidence disappearing.

Hire an Attorney

Before you file your initial insurance claim, consult with a Maryland car accident lawyer right away. Your attorney will examine your case, evaluate evidence, file the insurance claim, and gather more information if needed. They can also act as a go-between with the insurance company to make certain they do not try to trick you into admitting fault. Unfortunately, insurance companies usually do not prioritize your best interests because they want to pay out as little money as possible.

File an Insurance Claim

Once you are able and have not already had an attorney file a claim on your behalf, contact your automobile insurance company to file an insurance claim. Even if you believe the other driver was the at-fault party, let your insurance company know of the crash incident. When you are hiring our office to handle your claim, we will file ALL insurance claims for you. You don’t have to make another call after calling Bowers Law.

What is Considered a Serious Injury in a Maryland Car Accident?

Woman looking outside

Injuries causing impairment to either your physical health or mental health are of high concern. Serious injuries could include paralysis, suspected skull or abdominal injury, deep lacerations that expose innards, significant burns, being found unconscious at the scene, and mangled arms or legs due to bad breaks or being crushed.

Understanding Impact and Penetrating Car Crash Injuries

When it comes to car accident injuries, most can be classified into two types of injuries – impact injuries and penetrating injuries.

Impact Injuries

If an individual is thrown from a motor vehicle or strikes any part of a car’s interior, impact injuries often occur. An example of an impact injury would be if a passenger or driver hits their head on the dashboard or steering wheel.

Penetrating Injuries

When a car accident victim is hit by a loose object flying around the car’s interior, such as a shattered window shard cutting someone who was in the vehicle at the time of the crash.

Other Most Common Injuries After a Car Accident

Injuries occurring in car crashes can affect all parts of the body, decrease your range of motion, and cause knee injuries, chest injuries, and a vast array of other injuries. The worst car crash injuries often affect your back and head/brain. The following are common injuries car accident victims suffer.

Whiplash

Whiplash is a common type of neck injury caused by automobile accidents, often in rear-end collisions. It occurs when a person’s neck snaps backward or forward, and the weight of the head puts harsh strain on the neck’s muscles or from faulty airbags. Some car accident victims recover quickly from neck pain, within a few weeks, but for others, it takes much longer for the pain to subside.

Back Injury and Spinal Cord Injury

The back is highly susceptible to injury in collisions. If you suffer even slight back pain after a motor vehicle accident, see your doctor as soon as possible. You might have a herniated disc or other injury. A spinal cord injury (SCI) is a serious type of injury needing immediate medical attention.

  • Complete SCIs mean there is no feeling below the area of the injury
  • Incomplete SCIs mean a person experiences some sensation of feeling below the location of the injury

SCIs can be temporary or permanent, depending on how severe the injury is. Regardless of the length of time, an SCI can have a long-lasting impact on a car accident victim. Symptoms can vary, so always get examined right away if there is a chance you or a loved one suffer an SCI.

Head Injuries and Traumatic Brain Injuries

Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) do not always show themselves immediately. It may be weeks or even months before symptoms are apparent. In children, it often takes years for the full impact of a head injury or TBI to show itself.

Unlike broken bones that heal, the brain is never exactly the same as it was before once cells suffer damage. Any time a person experiences a jolt, blow to the head, or other injuries, they should always follow up with a healthcare professional to assess potential brain damage. The sooner a head injury or TBI, including concussions, is identified, the better chance of recovery.

Broken Bones

Broken bones are another unfortunate injury that results from car crashes, including arms, legs, wrists, ribs, and backbones, to name a few. Some broken bones are obvious, but others are not readily visible in the aftermath of an accident.

Burns and Lacerations

Burns and scrapes occurring in accidents can be minor, or they may be more serious. For example, face injuries from car accidents might cause permanent disfiguration, while other body and facial injuries may need skin grafts.

PTSD

Not all injuries from car accidents are physical. Car accidents can leave emotional injuries as well. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a very real type of emotional injury and can leave long-lasting effects. It also usually takes some time to manifest and may be difficult for medical professionals to diagnose.

Soft Tissue Injuries

Victims of car collisions often suffer soft tissue injuries, such as sprains, strains, tears, and bruises to muscles and ligaments. While less severe than other more serious injuries, you should not ignore or discount tissue damage. Soft tissue injuries can be painful and cause major disruption in a car accident victim’s life.

Internal Injuries from a Car Accident

Depending upon the type of car accident, victims may suffer hidden, life-threatening injuries that can cause permanent disability or worse.

  • Pneumothorax (collapsed lung)
  • Internal bleeding
  • Internal organ damage
  • Fractured or broken ribs

This is a primary reason why it is vital to be assessed by a medical professional shortly after a crash, even if you feel okay.

How Long Does It Take for the Pain to Go Away After a Car Accident?

Man sitting down holding his back in pain

It is difficult to answer this question because many factors need to be considered, such as the victim’s age, physical condition, pain tolerance, and type of accident and injury. The timeframe for the pain to go away will be different for everyone. However, on average, the pain resulting from a Maryland car accident will dissipate in about six to eight weeks for the most common car accident injuries.

If you need compensation to cover medical bills, call our law firm for a free consultation. 

Types of Compensation For My Car Accident Injury in Maryland

The State of Maryland follows a contributory negligence approach to personal injuries. This means if you are even a small percentage at fault for the auto accident, you cannot recover compensation. If you are the victim, you can pursue compensation by potentially recovering economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages

These damages are easily calculable losses that you can document, including, but not limited to, doctor bills, surgery expenses, medications, therapies, and other treatments. Other economic damages include loss of future wages, lost wages, and anything else easily tabulated.

Non-Economic Damages

Not all losses victims suffer from car crash injuries have a precise dollar amount. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, physical pain/discomfort, emotional distress, mental anguish, loss of life enjoyment, decreased quality of life, scarring, disfigurement, and numerous types of disabilities.

What is the Process for Receiving Compensation After Being Injured in a Car Accident?

To increase your chances of receiving the highest amount of compensation allowed in Maryland after suffering from a vehicle crash, you want to complete all medical treatment for injuries you sustained. With very few exceptions, attempting to resolve a claim while treatment is ongoing will likely result in a lower settlement than deserved.

By working with an experienced Maryland car accident attorney, such as Bowers Law, you increase your chances of successful recovery of compensation. For example, when you work with us, our office will monitor your medical care and obtain medical bills and records for treatments. We will put everything together to “paint the picture” of what you had to go through to recover from injuries sustained in the accident.

We will begin negotiating a settlement amount with the insurance company or discuss the steps with you to move forward with a lawsuit should we not be able to reach a reasonable settlement offer with the insurance company. Examples of compensation we seek include medical expenses, wage loss, out-of-pocket expenses, attorneys’ fees, and pain and suffering.

Seeking Compensation After Injury is an Uphill Battle

Suffering injuries after a car accident is painful, stressful, and leaves you full of uncertainty. The skilled personal injury lawyers at Bowers Law know how to handle all kinds of Maryland car accident cases, including criminal staged accidents.

If you or a loved one suffer from car accident injuries, contact Bowers Law in Maryland for a free case evaluation. Our law office can be reached by calling or texting 667-220-6500. Or, if you prefer, contact us via our convenient online contact form.

Jobeth Bowers

Written By Jobeth Bowers

Maryland Attorney Jobeth Bowers is the founder of Bowers Law and a graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law

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