When car accidents happen in the U.S., there is a good chance a driver, passenger or pedestrian will suffer some type of injury. In fact, every year, about 4.4 million Americans require medical care after sustaining an injury in a car crash.
While many accident-related injuries are minor or moderate, others are catastrophic. A catastrophic injury is one that is so severe it leads to long-term or permanent complications. Here are three catastrophic injuries you may suffer in a car accident.
1. Traumatic brain injuries
A TBI causes a chemical disruption in the way the brain functions. If you bump your head during a car accident, you may develop a TBI. You may also be vulnerable to one during the rapid deceleration that is common in accidents, as your brain may smash into your skull. Unfortunately, severe TBIs may lead to memory loss, behavioral changes, sleep disruption and other problems.
An amputation is the detachment of a limb from your body. During a serious car accident, your limbs may detach automatically. Because of extensive trauma, doctors may also decide to amputate a limb after an accident. Furthermore, if you develop an infection or blood flow issues following surgery to repair limb damage, physicians may need to amputate a limb to save your life.
3. Spinal cord damage
Your spinal cord delivers signals from your brain to the rest of your body. If a car accident causes damage to your spinal cord, you may develop paralysis. Regrettably, repairing spinal cord damage and restoring movement and sensation are not always possible.
While these are some common catastrophic injuries from car accidents, this list is far from complete. Because any car accident may change your life forever, you should seek a full medical evaluation to be certain you have not sustained a catastrophic injury.