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Road safety is extremely important. Reckless driving puts you and those on the road around you at risk. Every year, there is an unfortunately high number of motor vehicle accidents, in which people are moderate to severely injured. These accidents can have lasting effects and expensive medical bills significantly impact an individual’s life.
Road accident statistics are never 100 percent accurate, but, as of June 2020, there were almost 1,200 road deaths in Australia. Nearly half of this was attributed to head-on crashes or single vehicle run-off-road accidents. Additionally, because these accidents and their resulting injuries come with steep medical expenses—which also often require leave from work and disability costs—injuries comprise 40 percent of the total cost of road crashes in Australia.
Long story short: safe driving should be taken seriously.
Keep reading for the main types of injures and their required medical treatments. If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident and have a claim for compensation for motor vehicle accident injuries and losses through the Insurance Commission of Western Australia, contact Car Accidents Lawyers Perth for legal assistance.
Types Of Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries & Their Treatment
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are extremely dangerous and scary. There are four main types of TBIs, ranging from mild concussions to severe and permanent brain damage: concussion, contusion, penetrating injury, and anoxic brain injury. However, they are often classified into either penetrating brain or closed brain injury, and, depending on the type and severity, can cause confusion, memory loss, loss of sense of time and space, paralysis or weakness, poor balance, and other cognitive or motor defects.
Unfortunately, one of the leading causes of TBIs is car accidents, as they can suddenly and severely cause damage to the head. Per Brain Injury Australia, over 22,000 Australians were hospitalized with a traumatic brain injury from 2002 to 2004, with one in three due to a motor vehicle accident. This number has only increased since then.
There are both surgical and non-surgical treatments of brain injuries after assessing the damage with a radiological test. Some accident injuries do not appear immediately, but those that do require surgery to remove a large hematoma or contusion that is compressing the brain or significantly increasing pressure. For the most part, non-surgical treatments involve monitoring oxygen, blood pressure, and other vitals that can change with a brain injury.
While some back pain after a car accident goes away with time, there are some accident injuries that are much more severe and require proper treatment. Regardless, it is important to schedule a checkup with your doctor to determine the severity. Doctors can request x-rays or MRIs to assess for damage, then use discography to determine more specific problematic discs.
There are seven types of back injuries that result from car accidents: lumbar or thoracic vertebrae fractures, back sprains and strains, herniated discs, spondylolistheses, facet joint injuries, discogenic pain, and degenerative spinal disorders.
Milder treatment typically involves physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and/or corticosteroid injections. More severe cases can require a referral to a spine surgeon.
Fractures And Broken Bones
Collisions can often result in fractured or broken bones, especially depending on how they brace themselves and move afterward. According to Sterling Medical Group, “An adult who weighs just 175 pounds, traveling at only 25 mph, wearing a seat belt will crash with the equivalent of being hit with 2.785 tons of bricks.”
Some of the most common car crash fractures include the lower legs and femurs, arms and wrists, clavicles, hips, ribs, and facial or skull. When the accident is head-on or rear-end, drivers can also experience spine and neck features, which can be more difficult to access and treat.
Diagnostic tests for fractures and broken bones involve a thorough examination for visible symptoms of fractures, x-rays, and CT scans. Treatment typically involves keeping the area immobile with a splint or cast for several weeks. More severe breaks can require surgery.
Car accidents that result in fires are rare, but when it does happen, it can be extremely dangerous and sometimes deadly. Burns can come from a car fire or contact with materials during the crash.
There are four levels of burns that victims can sustain: first degree (mildest type only affecting the outermost layer of skin), second degree (affects top and second layer of skin), third-degree (damage to both layers of skin and possibly to tissue) and fourth-degree (damage to all three layers of skin and extending to tissue, muscle, and bone).
As with all accident injuries, treatment is dependent on the severity. Less severe burns can be treated with cool water, lidocaine, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and antibiotic ointment, but you should see a doctor for those located on areas like your face. Third- and fourth-degree burns often leave permanent damage and always require a trip to the emergency room. Victims receive extra fluids to maintain blood pressure and prevent shock, and surgeons remove burned tissue and cover the damaged skin with a skin graft.