3 common injuries caused by motor vehicle accidents

Tragic car accidents can result in devastating injuries, including spinal cord damage, brain trauma and broken bones.

Whether Minnesota residents are involved in a minor fender bender or a catastrophic collision, they may receive serious injuries that, in some cases, can have a significant effect on their lives. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 2.3 million people were injured and 32,719 people were killed in motor vehicle accidents across the country in 2013. Although each case is unique based upon the circumstances surrounding the accident, there are some common injuries drivers and their passengers may experience after being involved in a traffic accident.

1. Neck and spinal cord damage

Neck and spinal cord damage can occur when a sudden jolt causes the delicate components of the spinal cord and column to shift, bruise and/or break. The nerves that make up the spinal cord travel through the middle of the bony vertebral column and exit through spaces between each vertebrae. An intervertebral disc lies between each vertebrae and acts as a cushion to absorb shock and to keep the bones from rubbing together.

When an intervertebral disc slips out of place, it can place pressure or pinch the surrounding nerves, according to the Mayo Clinic. In addition, bone fragments from a fractured vertebrae can cut or even sever nerves in the spinal column. People may lose the ability to perform certain functions or use body parts as a result of this damage.

2. Brain trauma

Car accidents are the third leading cause of traumatic brain injuries in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The sudden impact of a car collision can cause the brain to smack against the skull bone, causing damage to the soft brain tissue. Some symptoms of brain damage can be identified immediately after the accident occurs. However, some symptoms may take several days to appear. Common symptoms include:

• Seizures and convulsions

• Headaches

• Nausea and vomiting

• Difficulties seeing, speaking or hearing

• Muscle weakness or tingling in the extremities

• Confusion, trouble concentrating and loss of memory

The symptoms of TBI may vary depending on the severity of the damage, as well as which area of the brain was affected.

3. Bone fractures

While some bone fractures are clean and have the potential to heal quickly with the right medical care, other broken bones can lead to more serious problems. Bones that do not heal properly can make it difficult to walk, write or perform other necessary daily tasks. People can also experience excruciating pain, even after the bone has fully healed.

Recovering from an auto accident

If you have been injured in an auto accident, you may be struggling to get your life back on track. You may be unable to return to work and could have medical bills piling up. An attorney in Minnesota may be able to look at the details of your accident and determine whether you are entitled to compensation for your injuries.