There are many differences between car accidents that occur at low speeds versus high speeds. When collisions occur at relatively low speeds, 35 mph or less, the risk of serious or catastrophic injuries are limited. But, in high-speed crashes, every part of your body goes through a significant trauma, and the risk of serious injuries, catastrophic injuries, and fatalities are extremely high.
When you are a driver or passenger in a high-speed crash, you can expect a great deal of trauma to your torso. You are almost guaranteed to have broken ribs, and it is highly likely you will have a broken collar bone because of the seat belt.
Vehicle safety belts are very important and significantly reduce traffic fatalities. However, they are also a barrier your body forcefully encounters during an accident. When the seat belt does its job and stops your body from moving any further, it can cause bone fractures. The faster you or the other vehicle was going, the greater chance of a broken collarbone and ribs.
In a high-speed accident, your organs, such as your heart and lungs, will be bruised and swollen, at the very least. That is because the force of the crash will have sent your organs into your bones and chest wall. Your organs, which normally have room to shift and move with your body without colliding with rigid structures, will move much faster and further than they are intended to move in a high-speed crash.
Because of this, your organs may also be torn, punctured, or ruptured. It is common for a broken rib to puncture a lung or the area around your lungs, and you will not be able to breath normally. Given all of the internal damage, it is no surprise that you may have internal bleeding, and you may not be able to tell right away.
Your bowels will also be effected. It is possible for your bowels to rupture due to the impact, which means they can leak bile and waste into your torso. This can be a deadly injury, since bowels are difficult to repair and the waste can lead to sepsis.
Your head and limbs are going to move until your torso is stopped by the seatbelt and exerts an opposite force on them. This means your head and limbs are likely to strike various parts of your vehicle or objects that were in the car. You may suffer lacerations, bruises, fractures, and traumatic brain injuries (TBI). No matter the angle of the impact, your limbs and joints are going to suffer.
Even with your use of a seat belt and airbags, you may suffer a concussion or a moderate or severe TBI. Your head will whip back and forth because of the collision. It may collide with the steering wheel, dashboard, windshield, side window, or other objects. This jars your brain within your skull far more than its natural cushioning can protect. The risk of a TBI is even higher if you were not wearing your seatbelt properly or not wearing it at all.
In addition to damage to your bones and organs, you can expect extensive damage to your muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Various parts of your body will be stretched too far and in unnatural ways. These injuries may be moderate and require time, pain management, and possible surgery to heal.
Due to the adrenaline and endorphins your body releases in a traumatic situation, you may see things happen, and you may recognize an injury, but you may not feel all of the pain immediately. This is because your body is working overtime to try and protect you from some of the pain. It is also flooding you with adrenaline to give you the mental ability to make quick decisions and the physical capability of helping yourself and getting to safety.
You may also go into medical shock due to insufficient blood flow, which needs to be treated immediately, or have psychological shock, which will also need to be addressed during your recovery. Either situation is going to make it difficult to think and act in the aftermath of a crash.
Another reason you may feel numbness or a lack of pain is nerve damage. Various injuries can damage your nerves to the point of a total lack of sensation, though you might also feel burning or pins and needles. A serious spinal cord injury could cause a total lack of sensation and paralysis.
If you suffered many injuries or lost a loved one in a high-speed car accident, do not wait before reaching out to an experienced attorney at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. We have years of experience handling claims resulting from significant crashes, including those with numerous, complex injuries. Our car accident attorneys serve clients throughout the Chicago area, including Aurora, Elgin, Hinsdale, Joliet, Naperville, and Waukegan. We will carefully review your situation to value your claim, and we will always fight for the greatest amount of compensation possible.