When a South Carolina auto accident occurs, there are many factors that can influence how serious your injuries may be. For example, the number of vehicles involved, how large those vehicles are, and how fast they were going, are all important factors. Then, you must take into account the age of the passengers, their size, and any present health concerns that could be exacerbated or brought on by the accident. Many auto accidents cause serious, permanent injuries, and some result in the loss of a loved one. What steps can you take to keep you and your loved ones safe in the event of an accident?
The Most Common Types of South Carolina Auto Accident Injuries
The most common types of South Carolina auto accident injuries are pain to the neck, spine, and chest, as well as superficial injuries. Some people also suffer psychological injuries.
Head injuries occur when the head is struck by an object, such as the roof of the car, a window, the dashboard, or debris. However, head injuries can also be caused by the motion of the brain inside of the skull. When the vehicle suddenly stops, the brain can crash into the skull. Common injuries include concussions and traumatic brain injuries.
Neck injuries are most commonly caused by the head snapping back and forth, straining the muscles, ligaments, and tendons of the person’s neck. This is called whiplash, and it is extremely common in auto accidents. It is also common for victims to be unaware of the severity of the injury in the immediate aftermath of the collision. Other neck injuries include nerve damage in the vocal cords, which can result in paralysis. In such cases, the victim may be left unable to speak or swallow, and may even struggle to breathe.
Spine injuries are among the most severe of South Carolina auto accident injuries, and they effect much more than your back. Your spine is essential for many functions, including allowing the brain to keep your heart beating and lungs breathing. Spine injuries can leave a person paralyzed and can even be fatal. In other cases, spine injuries involve herniated or fractured discs, which may require surgery.
Chest injuries often involve broken ribs, which can result in a punctured lung or internal bleeding. Your rib cage protects your lungs, but when a rib is broken, it can harm your internal organs. In situations where the victim of the auto accident has a cardiac condition, the stress of the accident itself can cause a heart attack or cardiac arrest.
Superficial injuries include all of the various cuts and bruises that can occur in an auto accident. These are labeled as superficial because they are typically not serious or life-altering. However, they are a risk for infection if they are not treated properly and quickly. In some cases, you may need stitches or surgery to correct superficial injuries. Even superficial injuries can be costly when it comes to medical care and recovery, and you are entitled for compensation for these injuries.
Psychological injuries are the least visible but sometimes the longest lasting of auto accident injuries in South Carolina. These include ongoing anxiety, depression, grief, and other emotional and psychological trauma. Post-traumatic stress disorder is not uncommon, and the loss of a loved one can affect you for the rest of your life.
The Steps That You Can Take to Minimize Auto Accident Injuries
Nobody sets out on the road with the intention or expectation of getting into an auto accident. When an accident occurs, there is often very little that you can do to prevent injury or control the severity of the injuries. Having said that, there are some steps that you can take to minimize the likelihood of severe, disabling, and potentially fatal injuries caused by an auto accident.
Make sure that everyone is wearing their seatbelts and that children are in the correct car seat or booster seat for their age, height, and weight. Children should be kept rear-facing for as long as possible. You can also minimize distractions on the road, drive defensively, and ensure that you are following the rules of the road. This includes driving at a safe speed for the roadway and weather conditions. It also includes never driving impaired and always being on the lookout for other drivers and obstacles.
Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we cannot always prevent auto accidents and the resulting injuries and deaths. If you or a loved one was injured or killed in a North or South Carolina auto accident, contact an experienced car crash injury lawyer in Chester, SC at Elrod Pope Law Firm today for legal advice.
Thomas E. Pope is a Personal Injury, Wrongful Death, and Medical Malpractice Attorney who practices in Rock Hill, Lake Wylie, and Lancaster, SC. He graduated from the University of South Carolina School of Law, and has been practicing law for 31 years now. Thomas E. Pope believes in protecting the injured. Learn more about his experience here.