An outline of car accident injuries

Car accidents are an all too common occurrence in West Virginia, and when they don't end in death, they can still result in serious injuries. Some drivers may even develop PTSD, or a fear of driving, following an accident. It's a good idea for drivers to be aware of the types of injuries that they can sustain in a car accident.

Relatively minor injuries that might arise include scratches and bruises, wrist injuries and back and neck pain. In severe cases, victims could suffer from broken bones and strain to the soft tissues like the muscles, ligaments and tendons. Whiplash is a form of soft tissue damage affecting the neck, and it's often the result of rear-end collisions.

Airbags, seatbelts and other safety features will reduce the risk for serious injuries, but a lot depends on the location on the vehicle where the impact occurs and the speed at which the oncoming car was traveling. For example, a stationary car hit in the rear by another vehicle traveling at 15 miles per hour is likely to cause the occupants to suffer only minor injuries.

If the same car was traveling at 40 miles per hour, though, there's a high risk for people to sustain traumatic brain injuries, facial trauma and a rupturing of the internal organs. These conditions can lead to death if the victims are not treated right away.

When negligent driving causes an accident, the victims may have the grounds to file a personal injury claim. Serious injuries will require extended hospitalization, but victims could be reimbursed for these expenses as well as lost wages and any emotional trauma. Since the settlement is a potentially large one, and the auto insurance company will be reluctant to pay out, victims will want legal representation when filing their claims. A lawyer could bring in third-party experts to investigate the crash and will negotiate for a fair settlement on his or her client's behalf.

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