Were you hurt in a wreck and you want to educate yourself? Read this article to learn important personal injury statistics you need to know.
A staggering 36,120 deaths—that’s the most recent estimated number of traffic fatalities in the US in 2019. That represents an estimated decrease of 1.2% in traffic fatalities from the year before.
Still, 36,000 is 36,000 too many deaths. What’s more, that doesn’t even include the personal injury statistics for crash injuries.
The most recent figures for non-fatal car crash injuries is a yearly count of three million. In 2017 alone, these crashes cost the US over $75 billion in medical care and productivity losses.
That said, if you’ve been in a wreck yourself, it pays to know more about these personal injury stats. This is key to understanding personal injuries that can lead to long-term suffering.
Ready to learn the top facts and stats about personal injuries? Then let’s dive right into it!
Over 800,000 Americans Sustain Car Crash Neck Injuries Each Year
Worse, these neck injuries lead to over $5 billion in treatment costs. Injuries to the neck are the most common type of injury following a rear-ender crash. They are so common that they account for 90% of all rear-end crash injuries.
Whiplash injuries are among the most common type of rear-end crash injuries. These occur when the neck (or the head) moves back and forth in a sudden, rapid motion. This unanticipated movement can then damage the soft tissues of the neck.
Other types of crash-related neck injuries are fractures and cervical spinal cord injuries.
10% of Blunt Chest Trauma Patients Have Chest Fractures
Aside from the head and the neck, crashes can also cause serious injuries to the chest. A rear-ender, for instance, can propel your upper body with so much force against the wheel. Whereas a front-passenger can suffer chest injuries after slamming against the dashboard.
That said, one in 10 of all patients admitted for blunt chest trauma also had a chest fracture. These fractures can be a crack or a displaced rib bone. In some cases, the trauma is severe enough to cause part of a rib bone to break away.
Many Types of Car Crash Injuries Can Have Delayed Symptoms
One of the key injury facts to keep in mind is that crash injuries aren’t always painful right away. Whiplash injuries, herniated discs, and traumatic head injuries can all have delayed symptoms. Whiplash injuries, for instance, can take a few days to become painful and swollen.
In one study, 20% of car crash patients without any symptom at all (below the age of 60) had a herniated disc. This almost tripled in patients who were 60 or older.
Traumatic head and brain injuries can also have delayed symptoms or none at all. However, many asymptomatic head injuries can lead to delayed physical and psychological impairment. In fact, some of these people have had their symptoms for decades after the trauma.
Either way, these injury statistics on delayed symptoms should be enough to make you see a doctor. Do this as soon as you can after the crash, even if you have no symptoms.
Acute Car Crash Injuries Can Result in Chronic Pain
An example is this one study of 161 patients who went to an emergency department (ED) after a car crash. Only 72% of them said that they felt moderate to severe pain. Meaning, the rest of the patients may have either felt little to no pain at all.
The researchers continued to monitor the patients, including those without persistent pain. 36% of those without persistent pain was likely to report a decline in physical function. It was still worse for those with chronic pain—76% were likely to have reduced physical function.
What’s more, six months after the crash, 26% of the patients said that they had moderate to severe pain!
In a separate study, 37% of the participants attributed their chronic pain to a car crash.
Another study reviewed the prevalence of chronic widespread pain after a vehicle crash. 27% of 895 patients had crash-related widespread pain during their first ED visit.
However, six weeks after the crash, 20% of patients still had widespread pain. 12 months later, 10% of the study participants were still in pain.
Thousands of Personal Injury Victims File Lawsuits Each Year
In 2018, personal injury civil filings in the US went up by 10,759 cases. That’s a 23% jump, leading to a total of 57,702 open filings that year.
What this means is that you have the right to file a lawsuit against someone who causes you personal harm. Even if you live in a no-fault state, you can still sue outside of personal injury protection (PIP).
If you do decide to file a claim or a lawsuit though, it’s best to seek the help of a personal injury lawyer. This way, you can determine just how viable your case is, and of course, your chances of winning the lawsuit.
Moreover, your lawyer will do most of the work, including collecting evidence. They will also look for witnesses and gather their testimonies. They will also take over the negotiation process, especially with insurance companies.
Avoid Becoming Part of These Somber Personal Injury Statistics
As you can see, many of these personal injury statistics prove that car crashes can lead to long-term pain. That’s why you should never ignore even the most minor symptoms you feel after a motor vehicle crash. Instead, pay a doctor a visit as soon as you can, to ensure that you don’t have any severe, yet “invisible” injuries.
Don’t forget to seek legal advice, especially if the crash wasn’t your fault. This way, you can avoid agreeing to a settlement that’s way below what the at-fault party should pay you for.
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