Common car accident injuries in San Francisco

An injury sustained in a motor vehicle crash in California may not appear significant until days after the incident, but long-term care may be required.

Even a seemingly minor motor vehicle crash can cause serious health problems, depending on the variety of contributing factors. Where the vehicle is hit, what speed the vehicle or vehicles are going at the time of impact and what safety features are utilized all affect the outcome.

Head injuries

It is not uncommon for people to suffer a head injury when they are in a car accident. The collision may cause the head to strike the head rest, the window, or even the air bag at a violent speed, leading to a jolt or blow that could cause a traumatic brain injury, or TBI. Even when there is no direct contact with another object, the force of the collision could cause the brain to hit the inside of the skull and cause bruising or bleeding.

The normal function of the brain is interrupted when a person sustains a head trauma, and the results could be relatively mild, such as a concussion, they could be life-changing, with memory problems, psychological trauma,permanent loss of motor functions, and can be fatal. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s most recent data, motor vehicle accidents are the second leading cause of brain-injury related fatalities.

Psychological trauma

The National Institute of Mental Health states that any dangerous event that a person survives could cause a mental health problem called post-traumatic stress disorder. The fear that occurs during a car accident has the ability to alter a person’s fight-or-flight response so that anxiety continues long after the danger has passed. In addition to anxiety, symptoms include the following:

  • Flashbacks and nightmares
  • Avoidance, such as refusing to drive or ride in a vehicle
  • Depression, guilt or anger
  • Insomnia

A friend or family member is at risk for PTSD when a loved one experiences a traumatic event or fatality, as well.

Spinal cord injuries

The Mayo Clinic lists car accidents as the top cause of spinal cord injuries. These may affect the vertebrae, the spinal cord, or the ligaments and disks that comprise the spinal column. When a person’s vertebrae are fractured, crushed, compressed or dislocated from a sudden blow to the back or neck, the initial damage is often exacerbated over time due to issues arising from bleeding, inflammation and swelling around the spinal cord.

Anyone who is in a car accident should seek medical attention right away. The delayed appearance of health issues and lingering effects of the event may lead to high medical costs and lost wages. Personal Injury Attorneys from The Cartwright Law Firm may be able to provide assistance in holding the responsible person accountable for the injuries from a car accident.