With the amount that we drive nowadays, we all tend to become complacent about driving cars and trucks from moment to moment — we forget how dangerous they are. Yes, cars are safer than ever before, but innovations in safety can only do so much to protect us: after all, the human body is not designed to survive the kind of impact a car or truck can deliver at any sort of speed.
A neurosurgeon advising us on a case made this point especially well. “Remember that the human body is made to withstand impacts at speeds we can run,” he said, “It’s not made for even a 20 mile per hour impact with anything.” Our bodies are made up of a number of component parts. The hardest and most durable of these parts are our bones, and even those can be broken relatively easily. After all, even just falling from standing standing height can be enough to break an arm. Every other part of our body is made up of much softer tissues: ligaments, muscles, skin, spinal discs, etc. Those softer tissues are much easier to damage than bone.
When you think about it, it should be no surprise that being involved in a car wreck can cause injury and death: instead of being surprised someone is hurt in a wreck, we really should be surprised when someone is not.
What about race car drivers who are in high speed crashes and usually walk away?
While many race car drivers do walk away from bad crashes, not all do, and the reason any do is because of the significant (and additional) safety features built into race cars and their seats as well as the suits and helmets worn by drivers. Passenger cars and trucks aren’t designed like race cars, and we don’t wear protective clothing or helmets when we drive. Airbags and seat belts are the primary safety features of passenger cars and trucks, and they can only do so much to keep us safe.
How a person’s body is positioned in a crash also contributes highly to both the likelihood and potential severity of an injury. For example, we frequently stop to merge into traffic and look back over our left shoulder. If your car were to be hit from behind while you were doing that, it could result in a serious neck or back injury. Locking one’s arms against the steering wheel — a common instinct if you see you are about to be hit — can result in shoulder injuries. Similarly, pressing down hard on the brake or floorboard to brace can result in ankle, knee and hip injuries, among others.
A person with any sort of pre-existing condition may be more likely to be injured or have a more severe injury. Pre-existing conditions may not even be something a person is aware of, the degeneration of joints, for example. Degeneration is part of aging and makes joints more susceptible to injury, even if the degeneration caused no symptoms before the wreck. Another example is head injury. Doctors refer to head injuries are being cumulative – that is each one adds on top of the previous, making the effects of each subsequent head injury worse.
You have one body, which makes any injury very personal. The right recovery in a car or truck wreck depends on your lawyer understanding the details of the collision and how your injuries affect you personally. A lawyer can’t understand those details without spending time talking to you and getting to know you and your history. At Perkins Law Firm, LLC we take pride in our attention to details. Feel free to call us to discuss your case. You won’t get a sales pitch. You will find people who are ready to listen and help.