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Risk Factors for Connecticut Residents Involved in a Car Crash

Ever wonder why some people get more injured than others in the same car crash? There may be many reasons, but some reasons are well documented by doctors, first responders, accident reconstructionists and other professionals.

In our personal injury practice we regularly see the following factors as contributing to the existence and severity of injuries:

  • Body position at moment of impact: If you have your head turned to the left or the right at the moment of impact, the [ligaments/tendons/muscle] are stressed in an [awkward/unnatural] way and are more likely to suffer [tearing/rupture/bruising].
  • Location of the impact between vehicles: Often the closer you may be sitting to the point of impact may result in more significant injuries due to the forces of the impact and proximity to the person.
  • Awareness of the Impending Impact: If you are unaware of the impending impact, your body is unable to prepare you for the multiple impacts that your back, neck, head, arms, and legs are about to experience. If you see that you are about to be in crashed into by another car, your body has a chance to prepare you for the impact by tensing your muscles, shielding your face, and moving away from the point of collision.
  • Size and Weight of Vehicles: Getting hit by a tractor trailer is a whole lot different than getting hit by a Mini. The physical forces involved are much greater when dealing with vehicles of greater weight. We compare vehicle weights when handling car crash cases. Was that pick up truck that just hit you loaded with stone?
  • Use of seatbelts: Seatbelts have proven to reduce the severity of injuries of those involved in a car crash. Whiplash, back injuries, abdominal injuries and others continue to plague survivors, however, and these types of injuries are often improperly cited as "minor soft tissue" injuries by insurance companies.
  • Pre-existing Injury: If you previously injured a body part, such as your neck, it may be in a weakened condition at the moment before you were just hit from behind by that truck behind you. Often times this will result in your neck being injured more seriously than if your neck had been in perfect condition at the moment before the crash. Luckily, Connecticut follows the "eggshell plaintiff rule", which simply means that a jury is required to award money damages based on the actual, worse injury sustained.
  • Age: Let's face it - older persons are generally more likely to be seriously injured than the very young, and recovery times may be longer as well. As you age, your body is more fragile, less flexible, and less able to survive and recover from traumatic injuries like whiplash.
  • Contact with objects inside the vehicle: Occupants who sustain a head strike, compression against any objects inside the vehicle (such as the brake pedal, or steering wheel) are more susceptible to injury than those not sustaining those impacts.

When you are involved in a car crash, moreover, it's not uncommon for a treating physician to delay treatment of lesser injuries while they address the most significant injuries that you may have sustained. Keep these risk factors in mind when determining what injuries you may have sustained. If you are interested in learning more about this subject, or feel that perhaps you aren't receiving medical attention for ALL of your injuries, please don't hesitate to contact us or sign up for our newsletter at www.harrisschmid.com.

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