California Car Accidents By The Numbers
Motor vehicle accidents are all too common in California. Statistics reported by the California Highway Patrol regarding reported crashes in 2015 include:
- 3,435 people died in 3,168 fatal accidents
- 254,561 people sustained injuries in 178,669 injury accidents
- 1,813 people killed were driving cars
- 613 passengers were killed
- 494 fatalities were motorcyclists
- 154 fatalities were bicyclists
- 855 fatalities were pedestrians
As these numbers show, motor vehicle accidents tragically affect over a quarter-million Californians annually. Whether you are driving, riding in a car, riding a motorcycle or bicycle, or simply crossing the street, you face the risk of being involved in an accident with life-threatening injuries.
Common Injuries From Auto Collisions
Crash victims can sustain devastating injuries. This is especially true if a smaller car collides with a large commercial truck, or if a motor vehicle hits a pedestrian or cyclist who has no protection from the impact. Serious motor vehicle accident injuries that can disrupt a victim’s life include:
Spinal cord injury – When there is any direct trauma to the spine, or if the spine is twisted or wrenched in an unusual way, the delicate spinal cord can be damaged. This can cut off communication between the spinal cord nerves and parts of the body below the point of the injury. In some cases, spinal cord injury victims can suffer paralysis, causing them to lose all movement and sensation in any affected limbs. Spinal cord injuries can also cause problems with bladder, bowel, sexual, and respiratory functioning. Needless to say, spinal cord injury victims require extensive medical treatment and can be left with permanent disabilities.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) – A TBI is another common injury in car collisions because victims often hit their heads or suffer a violent jolt of their heads. This can cause the brain to rattle in the skull, causing damage to brain tissue. TBI victims can experience widely varying symptoms depending on what part of their brain was injured. Brain injuries can disrupt your cognitive functioning, making it difficult to process information or communicate your thoughts. It can also cause physical impairments involving balance, coordination, and speech. Finally, some brain injury victims experience personality changes and emotional and behavioral issues. While some TBI victims recover with time, for many, it can take months or years before symptoms resolve. Others may have permanent impairments as a result of their injury.
Broken bones – Many people have broken a bone at some point in their lives. All broken bones require medical attention, otherwise, permanent complications may occur, including disfigurement of the bone and nerve damage. Broken bones usually require a victim to refrain from using that part of the body for weeks or months until it heals. More serious broken bones may involve compound fractures that require surgical intervention. Doctors may need to insert hardware to hold the bone in place while it heals, and the recovery time can be much longer. Sometimes, a second surgery may be needed to remove the hardware, while others live the rest of their lives with screws, pins, or rods in place. Serious breaks may permanently impact the use of that body part.
Soft tissue injuries – Soft tissue injuries affect the muscles, ligaments, and tendons and are common in the neck, back, knees, shoulders, and other joints. Motor vehicle accidents can cause people to twist in unordinary ways, which can cause a sprain or strain to the soft tissue. Some accidents can cause the soft tissue to tear partially or completely, which may require surgical repair. Recovery from these injuries can be long and requires significant rehabilitative therapy, though victims still may not ever return to their previous abilities and activities.
Amputations – Some crashes may completely crush a victim’s limb to an unrepairable degree or even sever the limb so it cannot be reattached. This can be common in motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents, as limbs can be pinned under vehicles and crushed to the degree that they require amputation. Having any part of the body amputated will completely change a person’s life. They will need to relearn how to engage in daily activities without a limb or with a costly prosthesis. Amputations can be painful and can also be extremely emotionally traumatic.
Internal injuries – Not all traumatic injuries are visible from the outside. Car accidents can result in serious internal trauma, which can often be life-threatening. Punctured lungs, broken ribs, internal hemorrhaging, and organ damage all require emergency trauma care to stabilize a victim. Victims with internal injuries often need emergency surgery and an extended hospital stay. The recovery period can be long for this type of injury.
These types of injuries are considered “catastrophic” because they result in lasting impairments or disabilities. Injuries that affect the brain or spine can have a particularly severe effect on a victim’s life, as these injuries can affect many different systems of the body and abilities. The costs of living with a permanent disability can be astronomical.
Whether you break your wrist or sustain a life-changing injury, you will incur medical expenses and other losses. If someone else caused your accident, you may have the right to seek damages and have the liable party compensate you for all that you have lost. You should discuss your situation with our experienced Orange County car accident attorney as soon as possible.
Contact an Orange County Car Accident Lawyer
In one recent example, for instance, a 20-year-old college student was rendered a quadriplegic in an automobile accident in Orange County. For six years, it was believed that the college student was the driver of the vehicle which caused the car accident. This was alleged both by the insurance carrier and the Defendant, who was also in the vehicle. Through skillful investigation and expert testimony, Aitken * Aitken * Cohn proved that the passenger was actually the driver at the time of the accident. After three weeks of trial, the jury awarded the plaintiff $6,868,494 in damages.
Aitken*Aitken*Cohn, located in Orange County, California, has obtained exceptional results through its professional and aggressive representation of clients who have suffered injuries in auto accidents. For more information regarding some recent results in the area of motor vehicle litigation, click on any of the following links:
Three Million Dollar Settlement Above Policy Limits in Bicycle vs. Auto Accident A thirteen-year-old boy was riding his bicycle down a street when the defendant’s vehicle entered the bike lane striking the plaintiff. As a result of the plaintiff’s severe injuries, he brought suit against the defendant. The defendant’s insurance refused to pay out policy limits on the claim resulting in a suit for Insurance Bad Faith.
Result: $10,546,000.00 Gross Settlement
Plaintiffs Collect Policy Limits in Automobile Incident in Fashion Island (2004): This litigation arose from an automobile v. automobile incident occurring in the City of Newport Beach. The plaintiff, negotiating a left-hand turn, was struck on the driver’s side by a defendant who ran a red light at an excessive speed.
Result: $565,000.00 settlement (policy limits)
Auto accidents can be minimized. For information relating to car safety, check these tips on road safety.
Contact Aitken * Aitken * Cohn today for a free consultation.