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MOTOR VEHICLE COLLISION INJURIES

According to Texas Department of Public Safety, in 2016 one person was injured every 1 minute and 59 seconds in motor vehicle collisions in Texas.
The severity of the impact in a motor vehicle collision is not always the determining factor as to the seriousness of one’s injuries. In collisions resulting in severe damage to vehicles, people have walked out unharmed, while minor accidents have, at times, caused serious and fatal injuries.
Motor vehicle accidents can cause injuries to virtually any part of a person’s body.  Below is a description of some of the more common injuries.
Neck and Back Injuries
Whiplash (neck injury) is perhaps the most common type of an injury resulting from a motor vehicle accident. Whiplash occurs when a collision causes the head to suddenly jerk forward or to the side. Whiplash is medically known as cervical acceleration-deceleration (CAD) syndrome. Symptoms of whiplash include neck pain, stiffness, reduced range of motion, neck instability and weakness, and pain in shoulders and upper back and headaches, along with tingling or numbness that radiates into shoulders and arms.
More serious neck and back injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents include disc herniations.  A herniated disc can cause a variety of symptoms in the neck and back, including muscle weakness, along with pain, tingling and numbness that radiates into arms and legs.   
Other serious injuries from motor vehicle collisions to the back and neck include dislocations and broken bones.
Brain Injuries
Concussion often results from a motor vehicle collision when the brain is shaken severely inside the skull.  This can occur from hitting one’s head on something within a vehicle (e.g. a window or the steering wheel) but can also occur without your head ever hitting another object.  A concussion often results in headaches, nausea, vomiting and/or disorientation.
Traumatic brain injury (“TBI”) usually results from a violent blow or jolt to the head in a motor vehicle collision and is accompanied by serious bleeding and/or pressure in the brain.  TBI may result with or without loss of consciousness. Depending on the severity of TBI, temporary or permanent symptoms may include cognitive deficits (including difficulties with attention, concentration, memory and confusion), sensory deficits (difficulties with interpretation of touch and/or temperature), speech and language deficits (difficulty understanding speech, speaking (e.g. slurred speech), reading and/or writing), difficulties with vision (partial or total vision loss), difficulties with hearing, smell and taste and seizures.

Leg and Knee Injuries

Motor vehicle accidents often cause knee and leg injuries, such as cuts, bruises and broken bones. The ligaments in the knees are also prone to tearing and knees are prone to dislocations.
Internal Injuries
The impact of a motor vehicle collision often cause a person to slam into different parts of the vehicle, even when wearing a seat belt.  This can result in injuries to organs, such as the abdomen, liver, kidneys, spleen and diaphragm.
Broken Bones
Broken bones are a common injury of motor vehicle collisions. Some broken bones can be repaired with a cast. The most serious types of bone breaks are called “compound fractures” (in instances where the bone pierces the skin).  These and other bone breaks require surgery (often with the use of metal plates or screws).  There are also broken bones for which no medical treatment (other than pain medication) is available, such as broken ribs.  
Psychological Injuries
Motor vehicle collisions also cause psychological injuries and emotional distress.  Even after a minor collision, the thought of driving often causes stress and anxiety. If the collision was especially traumatic, one may suffer from “post-traumatic stress disorder” (“PTSD”), similar to that of war veterans. PTSD may result in difficulties sleeping, nightmares, re-experiencing the collision, reduced/absence of emotions, feeling detached from others, exaggerated startle and irritability.

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