Woman in distress with injured man laying on the ground after accident


Ron Shepherd Nov. 19, 2020

In 2019, there were nearly 27,000 automobile crashes in the State of Idaho, causing injuries to thousands of accident victims. For some, their injuries were immediately evident. Others didn’t experience symptoms of traumatic injury until days, months, or even years later.

Although every crash is unique, there are common injuries among victims. If you’ve been injured in an accident due to the reckless or negligent actions of another, you have the right to pursue compensation for your pain and suffering — but without proper documentation of your injuries, you might be unable to make your case.

At Shep Law Group, we’ve been helping clients in Boise, Meridian, Ada County, Canyon County, and throughout Idaho obtain compensation for crash injuries, whether they felt them right away or not. We might be able to help you too.

Factors That Can Lead To Injury

There are a variety of different factors that could contribute to your injuries during a car accident. Foremost is the sheer impact of two or more vehicles colliding, even at slow speeds. In fact, a 175-pound person in an accident with vehicles traveling only 30 miles per hour experiences a force similar to getting hit with more than 8,000 pounds of force.

Other injury-contributing factors include safety gear such as the seat belt and airbags, impact with the steering wheel and dashboard, and flying vehicle parts such as broken glass and trim pieces.

Common Auto Accident Injuries

Car accidents can cause a number of different injuries, that can range in severity from mild to life-threatening depending on the circumstances that lead to the crash. While the severity of the injuries may vary, some of the more common injuries include:

Cuts, Scrapes, and Bruises 

Contact with stationery items in your car, like the rearview mirror and steering wheel, and flying objects, such as broken glass and deployed airbags can cause everything from minor abrasions and bruises to severe lacerations requiring stitches and deep hematomas.

Soft Tissue Injuries 

Injuries to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons are extremely common. These include the “whiplash” injuries caused when the head and neck whip forward and back or side to side upon impact. These can also be caused by the impact of front and side airbags. Soft tissue injuries can also cause muscle spasms, weakness, and pain in your joints, neck, and spine. These injuries are often caused by impact within the vehicle. For example, your knee striking the dashboard, causing damage to your ligaments and tendons.

Spinal Injuries 

Your spine is comprised of three sections: the cervical spine, or neck and upper back; the thoracic spine, or middle back; and, the lumbar spine, the lower back. Spinal cord injuries are common due to its structure of ligaments, tendons, bone, and discs. These injuries may first present symptoms of soreness, but can often indicate something much more serious, such as hairline fractures or disc injuries.

Head Injuries 

Head injuries can range from an external bruise or mild concussion to traumatic brain injury. Think about that 8,000-pound impact at 30 miles an hour. If your head strikes the window or is struck by an object with that much force, your brain can actually move inside your skull, causing irreparable damage. Even severe head injuries may not be immediately apparent. What you might think is a simple headache could be something much more severe, warranting immediate medical attention.

Chest, Leg, and Arm Injuries 

Injuries to your chest are most often caused by the impact of your seat belt, steering wheel, or airbags. The force against your sternum can cause painful bruising, but also lead to internal injuries or bleeding. Remember that your sternum and ribcage protect your internal organs, so any damage to that area could lead to serious or even fatal injuries.

Your legs and arms can see significant damage as well. Slamming into the door or center console, your limbs can experience significant trauma as a result of your body’s natural inclination to brace for impact.

When Should I See a Doctor?

Without injuries, all you have is a property damage claim. Any injury, whether immediately apparent or not, must be documented by a medical professional and confirmed that it was caused by the crash, or that a pre-existing condition was exacerbated by the accident.

Regardless of the exact cause of your injury, it’s important that you seek immediate medical treatment following a crash. You may not need emergency care at the scene, but a visit to an emergency room, urgent care center, or your family doctor when you leave the scene provides documentation of any crash-related injuries, however minor or serious they are.

When you do seek medical treatment, ask your healthcare provider for copies of all medical records following the crash. Make sure your records include admission and discharge notes, prescriptions, and radiology reports.

How an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney Can Help

It can be tough to trace any medical issues and injuries that don’t immediately manifest themselves following an accident to the crash itself. This often requires a deep dive into your medical records by a personal injury attorney who knows what to look for and how to present the evidence to the court to support your claim.

At Shep Law Group, we’ve represented hundreds of clients from Boise, Meridian, Ada County, Canyon County, and across Idaho in auto accident claims. Consultation with our attorneys is free, so don’t wait. Call our office today.