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What Is Considered a Serious Injury in a Car Accident?

If you have been injured in a car accident, you may wonder what exactly qualifies as a “serious” injury in a car accident.

Serious car accidents are all too common and can have a devastating impact on the lives of victims and their loved ones. In 2020 alone, more than 4.8 million people were seriously injured in car accidents. 

a woman with a serious injury after a car accident

If you have been injured in a car accident, you may wonder what exactly qualifies as a “serious” injury in a car accident.

In truth, the level of injury that each car accident victim experiences will generally depend on several factors, including the following.

The Kind of Impact or Collision Involved 

Three main types of collisions generally occur in a car accident: head-on collisions, rear-end collisions, and side-impact collisions. Though there are expectations, head-on and side-impact collisions are generally the most severe. This is because head-on and side-impact collisions tend to involve more force than rear-end collisions. As a result, victims of front-end and side-impact collisions are more likely to suffer serious injuries. 

Were the Individuals Involved in the Car Accident Wearing Their Seat Belts? 

Using seat belts has been shown to reduce the severity of injuries suffered in car accidents. According to recent studies, seat belts have saved more than 374,276 lives from 1975 to 2017. If you were involved in a car accident and were not wearing a seatbelt, you may be more likely to suffer serious or even life-threatening injuries. 

Your Body’s Position

Your body position can also affect the severity of your injuries. For example, if you are leaning forward when a car accident occurs, you may be more likely to suffer neck or back injuries. On the other hand, if you are sitting up straight with your head against the headrest, you may be less likely to suffer these types of injuries. 

The Speed At Which The Collision took Place

The speed at which a collision occurs is also a key factor in determining the severity of injuries suffered by victims. Generally speaking, the faster the collision occurs, the more severe the injuries will be. This is because higher speeds mean greater force is involved in the collision. As a result, victims of high-speed collisions are more likely to suffer broken bones, internal bleeding, and other serious injuries. 

Did the Vehicle Have Airbags, and Did They Deploy?

Airbags are designed to protect drivers and passengers from serious injuries in car accidents. When deployed properly, airbags can significantly reduce the severity of injuries suffered by victims of car accidents. However, if airbags do not deploy or deploy improperly, they can cause additional harm to victims.   

Location of the Injury 

The location of the injury is another factor that can affect the severity of injuries suffered by victims of car accidents. For example, head and neck injuries are often more severe than other types of injuries because they involve delicate body parts that are not protected by muscle or bone. As a result, head and neck injury victims are more likely to experience long-term effects such as difficulty speaking or swallowing, paralysis, and chronic pain.

Speak With a St. Louis Car Accident Attorney

These are just some factors that affect the severity of injuries suffered by car accident victims. If you have been in a car accident, regardless of whether or not your injuries appear “severe”, it’s important to seek medical attention as soon as possible so that your injuries can be treated properly. Some injuries may take days or even months to appear. Therefore prompt medical attention is crucial to getting appropriate treatment and documentation.

After seeking medical attention, speak with an experienced St. Louis car accident attorney to ensure your legal rights are protected. At The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C., we have 25 years of experience protecting the rights of injured car accident victims and can do the same for you. Give us a call 24/7 for a free case evaluation.


Free Consultation with a St. Louis Car Accident Lawyer

Don’t talk to an insurance claims adjuster before speaking with The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. We can help you avoid making statements that may affect the outcome of your case. The consultation is free; you don’t pay unless we get you money!

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Updated: November 3, 2022