What Are The Most Common Injuries From a Car Accident In Virginia?
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In 2018, the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles reported 131,848 car collisions that resulted in 66,523 injuries and 819 fatalities. Sprains and strains of the neck and back, spinal disorders, broken bones, and contusions that do not break the skin are typical in many car accidents. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the most common types of these are:
- Whiplash – an injury to the neck caused by fast, forceful back-and-forth whipping. Whiplash is often seen during a rear-end car accident. Signs and symptoms of a whiplash sustained in a car accident include pain, stiffness, headaches, sprain, and strain. The pain typically worsens with movement and can cause tenderness, soreness, and tingling in the shoulders, upper back, and arms.
- Traumatic Brain Injury – an injury caused by a bump, blow, or jolt to the head that interrupts the normal function of the brain. A traumatic brain injury can range in severity from mild to severe. Motor vehicle crashes are the second leading cause of all traumatic brain injuries and associated hospitalizations.
- Concussion – an injury typically caused by a car crash or other instance of having your head violently shaken or jolted. This blow to the head can leave you with headaches, memory loss, confusion, event-specific amnesia, seizures, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting. A concussion can result in a brain injury, bleeding around your brain, and prolonged drowsiness and confusion.
- Spinal Cord Injury – an injury caused by damage to any part of your spinal cord or the nerves at the end of your spinal canal. This type of injury often causes permanent changes in strength, sensation, and other bodily functions below the injury site that can limit your ability to move or control your limbs. Motor vehicle accidents are among the leading causes of spinal cord injuries.
- Broken Bones – an injury to your leg that results in a break or crack in one of its bones, or an injury to your arm that results in a break in one of its three bones is often caused by a car accident. Broken bones can lead to swelling, tenderness, bruising, deformities, and an inability to use the affected limb.
The massive weight and size of an automobile can make the impact of a car accident serious, severe, and even life-threatening. Sprains and strains of the neck and back, contusions, broken bones, and spinal disorders account for nearly four million annual emergency room visits across the country.
The Leading Causes of Car Accidents in Virginia
On average, the state of Virginia sees a car collision every four minutes that results in injuries to 182 people each day. The most common causes and contributing factors to injurious accidents include:
- Distracted driving
- Alcohol intoxication
- Running traffic lights
- Following too closely
- Improper lane changes
- Exceeding the speed limit
- Swerving to avoid pedestrians
- Swerving to avoid another car
- Failure to yield the right of way
- Improper backing, passing, or turning
The state of Virginia takes driver, passenger, and pedestrian safety very seriously. In fact, Virginia imposes seat belt and car seat laws, a graduated driver licensing system, and strict laws against driving while under the influence of alcohol or while texting on a cell phone.
Police Reports Must be Filed If You Were Involved in an Accident
VA § 46.2-894 requires anyone involved in a car accident causing injury, death, or damage to property to stop as close to the scene of the accident as possible without obstructing the flow of traffic. Each involved driver is required to report the following information:
- Driver’s License Number
- Vehicle Registration Number
This information must be reported to state or local law enforcement, to the person who was struck and injured if they are coherent and able to understand such information, or to the driver or another occupant of the other vehicle.
If the driver suffers injuries too severe to allow for the immediate reporting of this information, they must do so as soon as possible following any necessary medical treatments. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in a misdemeanor or felony criminal charge.
Talk to a Car Accident Attorney in Virginia Today
If you suffer from one or more of the common injuries from a car accident in Virginia, you may be able to recover many of the financial costs associated with your accident. Rather than negotiate with the insurance companies on your own, an attorney can negotiate on your behalf.
Your attorney will help you understand the full scope of your recoverable expenses for the injuries you suffered. Speak with an attorney like Jim Parrish, who also has experience representing insurance companies. This experience helps him protect you from those same insurance companies now. Call the Parrish Law Firm, PLLC at (571) 229-1800 to speak to an attorney near you.