Speed limits allow people to drive 70 miles or even faster on highways. On surface streets, the speed limit can be as high as 55 miles an hour. It’s easy to see how traveling at speeds like this can lead to severe injuries in the event of a collision or crash. Hundreds of thousands of people get hurt in crashes each year.
Most people understand that there is some risk inherent in traveling at high speeds, but few people stop to really think about the potential consequences. Getting into a crash while driving could mean the kind of injuries that cost thousands of dollars and change the course of your future.
Spinal cord injuries can impact your mobility
Spinal cord injuries can occur in a number of ways in a crash. If there is an issue with your seat belts, you could end up thrown from the vehicle. The force of breaking the windshield or hitting the ground can break your spine.
Of course, it is possible to damage your spinal cord without leaving the vehicle. Shrapnel or glass could cut through the skin and damage the spinal cord. Blunt trauma to the neck or back could also cause an injury. Spinal cord injuries are often serious and may have symptoms that last a lifetime.
If your spinal cord ends up fully severed, there may not be any treatments available to help you regain motor function below the injury site. That could mean years of medical care, mobility assistance and physical therapy.
Brain injuries can affect your job and even your personality
Traumatic brain injuries are another serious risk in crashes. Any time you hit your head on something or get shaken roughly, the potential exists for a brain injury. Since your brain controls everything about who you are and what you do, injury to your brain can have a profound impact on your life.
Depending on the location and severity of a brain injury, you may lose some motor function. People sometimes experience sensory symptoms, like ringing in their ears or unusual smells. Others may have changes in personality or mood. Issues with memory and balance are also common.
Any of these symptoms on their own could be enough to prevent you from remaining in the same line of work. They may also require serious and ongoing medical care to minimize the impact of the brain injury on your daily life.
Even broken bones and soft tissue injuries can be debilitating
Given how severe brain and spinal cord injuries can be, people who suffer broken bones or soft tissue injuries may feel lucky after a crash. After all, these issues are often treatable. However, both soft tissue injuries and broken bones can keep you from returning to work.
They can mean massive medical expenses and decreased quality of life. In severe cases, secondary symptoms and conditions can develop. A single broken bone or soft tissue injury could cost you tens of thousands of dollars in medical care.
Anyone who suffers a serious injury in a car crash caused by another driver should closely look at the details of the accident and whether there is an option to pursue compensation from the driver responsible.