Car crashes happen every day including being rear-ended, T-boned, and worse…head-on collisions. So, what happens to a body when involved in a car crash? There are actually three parts to a crash that affect the vehicle and then the bodies inside. It is important to distinguish these three elements, because the damages to the vehicle can be entirely different than the ones to the body depending on the situation. By understanding the physiology, a wreck victim can ascertain the proper next steps to take to ensure proper medical treatment is received.
Crashes begin with kinetic energy. Driving and being in motion creates this energy, propelling the vehicle and passengers forward. Braking slowly dissipates the kinetic energy, but when there is a collision, the energy has to go somewhere, so it transfers into the body. Depending on the speed, the direction of the hit, if the person(s) is wearing a seat belt, or if the headrest is up, the body will absorb that energy in a different way. Modern day vehicles are designed to help absorb this energy and lessen the damages that inevitably occur. However, the human body was not designed for this type of trauma.
Halting the kinetic energy when impact occurs can cause many different injuries to the body.
The three parts to a crash include:
- The impact on the vehicle. This is the point of impact and the effect on the vehicle, causing it to buckle, twist and bend as it comes to an immediate stop.
- The impact on the body. Different parts of the body will come in contact with the varying interior parts of the car. For example, did the head experience whiplash and make contact with the windshield? Did the leg become crushed by the dash?
- The impact on the organs. The energy will force the organs at a high rate of speed to hit the chest wall or hard skeleton causing trauma.
That energy can cause many different injuries to the body. The injuries sustained in the second parts of a crash can be devastating, incapacitating, and cause long lasting disabilities. There are so many varieties of injuries, to include bruising tissue, lacerations, microtears in muscles and ligaments, and even blood vessels in the brain that tear. Furthermore, broken bones, thorax, pelvic and upper body injuries, back and spinal cord trauma, compressed lungs, internal organs damaged…the list goes on and on. Most times, adrenaline and endorphins kick in to elevate mood, heighten awareness and make it easier for both body and mind to experience the crash. This natural response also can mean injuries are not immediately recognizable because the chemicals are still present following the crash, even leaving the victims feeling calm.
Therefore, it is very important to be seen by a medical professional to assess injuries following the accident. Even after small fender benders, it is important to be aware of aches, confusion, pain, stiffness, difficulty falling and staying asleep. Continuing symptoms can be signs that unapparent injuries when the crash occurs can develop into long term injuries as time goes on.
As a team of legal experts, we can guide you through the process of ensuring you receive proper medical treatments and respond appropriately to file claims when negligence is involved in the car crash. You may be entitled to a settlement due to your injuries, and Friedman & Martin can help. To learn more call 912-232-8500 or use our form here. We are here to help.