Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries on Long Island
Did you know that motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of injuries and deaths on Long Island? In Suffolk and Nassau counties, car accidents are the second leading cause of both hospital Emergency Room visits and hospitalizations*. Alarmingly, car accident deaths are a leading cause of death in both Suffolk and Nassau counties*. Every single month in Suffolk County, 11 residents die, 122 are hospitalized and 1,466 are treated in the Emergency Room for injuries sustained due to motor vehicle accidents*. In Nassau County every month, as a result of traffic accidents, 11 residents die, 111 are hospitalized and 1,028 are treated in the Emergency Room*.
In the most recent report in 2014, in Suffolk and Nassau counties, motor vehicle traffic injuries, including car accident occupants, motorcyclists, pedestrians, and bicyclists, lead to approximately 210* deaths, which has decreased from the previous years!
Here are examples of common injuries that people experience from motor vehicle accidents. These injuries are not exclusively the outcome of high impact, high-speed accidents, and are frequently the result of low-speed accidents.
Common Motor Vehicle Accident Injuries:
Traumatic Brain Injuries: Traumatic brain injuries are caused as a result of a blow or jolt to the head or body, or some object penetrating through the skull into the brain tissue. This is a severe injury that can affect your cognitive abilities and can be temporary or mild (such as a concussion) or permanent. In serious, but not uncommon cases, it can lead to death. A physician should evaluate every head or brain injury.
It is worth noting that of the hospitalizations following traffic accidents, 33% in Suffolk County and 42% in Nassau County were due to Traumatic Brain Injuries*. Half of the bicyclist in all traffic accidents in Suffolk and Nassau counties are diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries. (Wear your helmet!)
Herniated Disc: (Also known as a slipped disc.) A disc is a soft tissue, located in between the vertebrae of the spine. Motor vehicle accidents can cause the disc to rupture (or herniate). The symptoms are localized pain, numbness, weakness, and stiff neck, severe pain down one or both sides of the body. Discs can herniate over time, or as the result of age. A physician will be able to determine if the injury is the result of a car accident or normal wear and tear. This injury can require surgery, epidural injections, muscle relaxers, pain medications, and physical therapy.
Whiplash: While whiplash is usually less serious injury, is perhaps the most common injury in motor vehicle accidents. This occurs when a collision causes a person’s head is abruptly and violently shake from side-to-side. The pressure and tension on the neck ligaments can cause the neck to strain and sprain. This is usually a less severe injury and resolves over time.
Broken Bones: Car accidents often cause bone fractures. Commonly broken bones as a result of a car accident are broken arms, legs, noses, collarbones, ribs and hips. Broken bones may take a substantial period of time to heal, and may even require surgery and result in permanent disabilities. In the broken bones are displaced, this can cause a life-threatening injury, as they can puncture internal organs and cause internal bleeding.
Spinal Chord/Back Injuries: A back or spinal cord injury can cause paralysis in the arms or legs (known as “paraplegia”) or over larger areas of the body (“tetraplegia” or “quadriplegia”). Back injuries that are less severe can still cause chronic pain and loss of mobility.
Cuts and Bruises: Minor cuts and bruises often heal without complications, although they should be assessed by a medical professional. Deep bruising or cuts into muscles or internal organs are serious injuries that may cause profuse bleeding and shock. Cuts and bruises to the eyes may cause permanent vision loss. Often, cuts and bruises can cause permanent scarring and discoloration.
Burns: Burns can be frightening to experience. Even minor burns can become infected during the healing process. More serious burns have a higher potential for infection but may also cause permanent disfigurement to the face and body. Burns to the eyes may cause temporary and permanent loss of vision and blindness. In 2010, fires occurred in 0.1 percent of traffic crashes, and in fatal crashes, a fire was involved in 2.8 percent**. However, a fire does not need to occur or burns to result. Airbags frequently cause chemical and thermal burns.
Chest and Abdominal Injuries: The impact of a motor vehicle accident can crush and squeeze the body, causing ruptures or tears to the heart, lungs, liver, spleen, kidneys, diaphragm, and other organs. This can be fatal and require surgery to repair.
Other injuries: This blog does not list every injury that may be experienced as the result of a motor vehicle accident. Other injuries include dental injuries (to the teeth, mouth, and gums), knee injuries, psychological injuries, facial injuries, internal injuries, aggravation of past injuries, finger and hand injuries, nerve damage, etc.
If you’ve been in an accident, it is important to seek immediate medical attention, as certain injuries, including those that are severe, are not always immediately apparent. If you’ve been in an accident and suffered injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Contact the Law Offices of Jennifer G. Tocci, P.C. for a free case evaluation to discuss your rights and options (631) 343-7676.
*According to New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Occupational Health and Injury Prevention Vital Statistics filed June 2016
**According to the National Fatality Analysis Reporting System 2010 report
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