While many car crashes result in only minor soft-tissue injuries, often, an automobile wreck leads to more serious injury – the kind of catastrophe that can cause months or even years of recovery and rehabilitation. Crushed pelvis, femur fracture, and hip injuries are just three categories of devastating injury that can result in untold pain and suffering, often with serious complications.
What type of road accidents are most likely to result in these types of injuries?
- Vehicle rollovers are among the most violent and complicated automobile wrecks and often result in major traumatic injury and sometimes even the loss of life.
- Rear-end collisions, while they can cause little more than whiplash at slow speeds, can cause significantly more harm at higher speeds.
- Head-on collisions often lead to fatalities and are very often the result of inattention to quickly-changing traffic and weather conditions.
- Side-impact or T-bone collisions account for about a quarter of passenger vehicle occupant deaths and, again, are often the result of failing to judge conditions on the road, such as at intersections, or when other vehicles are entering the roadway unpredictably.
In both Missouri and Kansas, motor vehicle accidents (MVAs) are more likely to involve a single vehicle than two vehicles. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), top causes of automobile wrecks include distracted driving, speeding, and drunk driving. Unfortunately, 94% of serious crashes are linked to human choices.
And in both Missouri and Kansas, there are over 15 deaths in motor vehicle wrecks per 100,000 population, putting us above the national average of 11.4 per 100,000. Even when drivers and passengers aren’t killed, a number of major injuries can result:
Historically, pelvic fractures and crush injuries were relatively rare. However, the high speeds of automotive travel have made them more common. A crushed pelvis is likely to result from a very extreme situation such as a rollover.
If the pelvic bone is fractured, the mortality rate is 4 and 15%. Beyond damage to the pelvic bones, a crushed pelvis injury is particularly dangerous because of the internal organs nearby.
Internal bleeding and central nervous system injuries can cause death soon after the collision, and even after several days, death can result from system-wide infection, known as sepsis, and multiple organ failure.
Although the survival rate with immediate high-quality care is good, complications of a pelvic injury can nevertheless include the need for multiple surgeries, permanent bowel and/or urinary diversion (such as a colostomy), ongoing infections, and sexual dysfunction related to damage from the original injury.
The femur is the record-holder in a few ways: it’s the largest, longest, and strongest bone in the human body. As a result, it doesn’t break easily – it takes massive forces to fracture a femur. But again, the high speeds and powerful forces involved in automotive travel sadly combine to make this type of injury relatively common in several of the types of automotive wrecks described above.
The most common femur fracture seen after a motor vehicle accident (MVA) is by far the shaft fracture, and it’s estimated that 19% to 35.4% of people involved in a car wreck will suffer a break in this area. These injuries are most common in young men, and studies indicate that this type of injury may be associated with reckless driving, although obviously anyone – driver or passenger – can experience a femur fracture from a MVA.
One of the most common injuries associated with an automobile wreck is traumatic hip injuries, especially dislocation. Dislocation often happens when the driver’s foot on the accelerator pedal is forced backward or sideways, usually due to a head-on collision.
Hip dislocation is extremely painful and must be reduced, or forced back into place, by an orthopedist. This procedure can be extremely traumatic, even when performed under medication and sedation. It is often accompanied by an acetabular fracture, a break in the socket of the ball-and-socket joint that makes up the hip. There may also be other internal injuries.
Even if hip dislocation and any accompanying fracture are treated immediately, long-term consequences can include ongoing pain, mobility problems, and post-traumatic arthritis.
One important factor to keep in mind with any injury following an automobile wreck is that the severity of the injury will be higher in older drivers and passengers. Older people are more likely to sustain injuries in automobile wrecks and are often injured more severely. And the recovery time for older individuals can be much, much longer.
Contact Griggs Injury Law Today
The World Health Organization reports that 1.2 million people die annually in motor vehicle accidents. Of those who live, many suffer painful and debilitating injuries for which they may never be fairly compensated. At Griggs Injury Law we have years of experience handling catastrophic injury cases and helping victims and their families cope with the devastating results of the injuries. Further, Annette Griggs is one of the few female attorneys in the States of Missouri and Kansas who only represents injured victims, including those with brain injuries. Annette Griggs is licensed in Missouri and Kansas and can help victims of personal injuries in the Kansas City metro area and all across the states of Missouri and Kansas and surrounding areas. If you have been injured in an automobile collision, please contact our office for more information. For an appointment, please call 816-474-0202 to speak with Annette Griggs about your case.