Understand the most common motor vehicle injuries and car accidents in New Orleans. Motor vehicle collisions can cause life-changing injuries.
Every year, over one million people lose their lives in motor vehicle accidents globally. This figure includes drivers, passengers, and pedestrians involved in crashes. Whether severe or minor, traffic accidents can cause devastating injuries.
Although no one can predict being in an accident, crashes happen on New Orleans roadways daily. Since New Orleans is an at-fault compensation state, you deserve maximum compensation for damages from the responsible person if you suffer injuries in an accident. Contact a New Orleans auto accident lawyer immediately after a crash to learn about your legal rights and file a personal injury claim against liable parties.
If you or a loved one has been in a motor vehicle accident, it can be a scary and jarring experience. These incidents can cause physical injuries and psychological harm. Local state laws offer you various protections against a negligent party who caused the accident.
The severity of motor vehicle injuries depends on various factors, such as the car’s speed and whether you were wearing a seat belt. This guide highlights the common injuries you can suffer from a car crash.
Top Motor Vehicle Injuries in New Orleans
Motor vehicle injuries often fall into two major categories:
- Impact Injuries: These blunt injuries may happen when your body hits the car’s interior.
- Penetrating Injuries: Penetrating injuries are scrapes and cuts, usually caused by shattered glass and other loose flying objects.
Below are the bodily injuries you will most likely suffer after a traffic accident.
Bruises are minor injuries that usually take approximately two weeks to heal. Although seat belts can save you from serious harm, they may bruise your shoulder or torso. Some bruises indicate worse situations, like internal injuries. Others penetrate as deep as your bones.
If bruises develop into contusion or hematoma, you may have a more severe injury underneath. Be extra cautious about head bruises since they can indicate brain injury.
Here are a few warning signs to look out for if you got bruised in a car crash:
- Loss of motion
- Numbness or weakness
- Swelling and pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Vision problems and headaches
- Persistent symptoms with no improvement
Seek urgent medical care if you experience a racing pulse or shallow breaths.
Fractured or Broken Bones
Broken bones and fractures are some of the most common motor vehicle injuries after a crash. They often happen because of heavy collisions and may be hard to detect initially. Broken ribs and chest injuries from seat belts are also typical.
Significant classifications of bone fractures include:
- Partial Fractures: Partial fractures don’t go all the way through a bone.
- Stress Fractures: This hairline crack usually heals quickly.
- Closed Fractures: The bone breaks in such fractures, but the skin remains intact.
- Open Fractures: Open fractures refer to bone breaking and penetrating the skin.
- Displaced Fractures: This happens when bones shatter and move out of place.
- Non-Displaced Fractures: The bone breaks and stays where it was.
Other types of fractures describe the location of the break and bone movement. Broken bones are common in car crashes, truck accidents, and pedestrian accidents.
Facial injuries are complex and can affect sensitive organs like the brain or eyes, requiring medical treatment. The facial area also features different sensory organs, like the nose and ears. Facial bones can break and cause disfigurement, while lacerations to the face usually leave permanent scars.
Blunt force or flying debris may injure the eyes or even cause blindness. Soft tissue injuries to muscles, ligaments or tendons can lead to impaired functioning or deformity. Facial burns might need grafting or cause discoloration. Tooth loss after the accident translates to dental work.
Scarring and Disfigurement
Burns or facial injuries can cause disfiguring scars that alter your appearance. Such injuries may require reconstructive plastic surgery and may stay with you for life, causing long-term issues like depression. Some scars shrink when healing, limiting motion. Others grow into large elevated keloids.
The neck supports the heavy head. Traffic collisions can cause a jarring movement, which injures the neck muscles or soft tissues. Steering wheels and airbags often hurt the neck during accidents.
Whiplash from sudden forward and backward neck movement can take months to recover, or condemn you to a life of pain. Here are some signs of whiplash injuries:
- Neck stiffness
- Increased neck pain with movement
- Loss of neck range of motion
- Headaches and dizziness
- Shoulder pain
Other symptoms like personality change and irritability can indicate whiplash.
Limb Injuries and Amputations
Your hands and wrists have complex bones that may suffer injuries during an accident. Some hand injuries need surgery, while others cause loss of functionality after healing. With their legs stretched forward, drivers usually suffer leg and foot injuries following a crash. The feet and hands have many small bones that can fracture easily.
Amputation and dislocation of limbs are also common. The force from a car accident can remove limbs or cause enough damage to warrant the removal of a limb. Loss of limbs causes long-term issues and makes an injured person dependent on assisted devices like prostheses. A New Orleans auto accident lawyer can help you recover damages for limb injuries and amputations that cause loss of income.
Brain Injuries and Concussions
Traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are common after car motor vehicle crashes. They are closed brain injuries caused by bumps or blows to the head that are slow to appear and hard to diagnose.
Concussions involve sudden brain movements that stop quickly. This causes the brain to bounce inside the skull and leads to chemical changes in the brain. All concussions and traumatic head injuries have the potential to be serious.
Even with mild head injuries, ensure you seek medical treatment. Look out for signs like minor problems with memory and body functions.
Car accidents may expose injury victims to hot engine parts or heated liquids, causing burns. Other vehicles burst into flames after accidents, leading to death or severe, life-threatening burns.
Medical practitioners broadly classify burns as:
- First-Degree Burns: Minor burns with minimal damage, inflamed skin, and no blistering.
- Second-Degree Burns: These involve damage beyond the top skin layer.
- Third-Degree Burns: Third-degree burns penetrate all skin layers, injuring nerves and tissues.
- Fourth-Degree Burns: Usually the worst burns that penetrate beyond all skin layers to fat, muscle, or bone.
Damage from fourth-degree burns is extensive, and the affected part’s function never returns.
Traffic accidents can cause a diverse array of back injuries. Such injuries often lead to disability and loss of ability to work. Examples of back injuries include:
- Strains or pulled backs
- Sprains where ligaments stretch or tear
- Pinched nerves and nerve damage
- Slipped and herniated discs
- Ruptured discs
Paralysis from spinal cord injuries can be partial or total. Physical therapy may help rehabilitate the injured party.
Pain and Distress
Victims of motor vehicle accidents can experience physical pain and emotional distress long after the incident. Depression and anxiety, common following a traumatic event, can disrupt your sleep cycle. Pain limits your ability to perform daily activities and leads to a loss of enjoyment of life.
Causes of Car Accidents in New Orleans
Reckless driving behavior, like ignoring red lights and speeding, is among the top causes of auto accidents in New Orleans. Drunk driving also increases the chance of accidents, while distracted driving also contributes to collisions.
Many automobile crashes happen on roadways where people get distracted easily. Always drive defensively and stay alert on the roads and highways to avoid accidents.
Poor weather and bad roads can also cause motor vehicle crashes.
What to Do After Suffering Motor Vehicle Injuries in New Orleans
Dealing with the aftermath of a vehicle crash can be extremely stressful. You may have queries about your legal rights and the next course of action. If you or a loved one suffered motor vehicle injuries, talk to a New Orleans auto accident lawyer to determine if you can recoup fair compensation from the at-fault driver through a personal injury claim.
Federal and local state laws allow you to file a personal injury claim and recover compensatory damages, such as medical bills from at-fault parties or insurance companies. Compensation can include economic and non-economic damages. Sometimes courts award compensatory and punitive damages because of gross negligence.
Schedule a free consultation with a New Orleans auto accident lawyer at Wright & Gray today to see if we can help with your case.