The number of people killed in car accidents each year in the United States has been on the decline, dropping from 37,423 deaths in 2008 to 33,808 deaths in 2009, according to data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). Although vehicle safety continues to improve, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death for people ages five to 34 in the U.S., and more than 2.3 million American adults received emergency room treatment in 2009 for car accident injuries. When car accidents cause catastrophic injuries, an experienced Orlando injury attorney fights to get victims compensation for their medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Car Accidents and Traumatic Brain Injury
One type of catastrophic injury that can be caused by an auto accident is traumatic brain injury (TBI). According to the Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA), about 28 percent of traumatic brain injuries are caused by motor vehicle accidents. The FCA reports that in the United States:
• Approximately 300,000 people require hospitalization for a brain injury and 56,000 people die from one each year
• Traumatic brain injuries account for an estimated 34 percent of all injury deaths
• The lifetime cost of care for a traumatic brain injury can reach $4 million
• Direct and indirect costs of traumatic brain injuries total about $48.3 billion annually
Car accident victims who suffer a severe TBI may be left with permanent impairments that prevent them from returning to work or participating in the activities they enjoyed before their accident. They can suffer from:
• Brain infections
• Nerve damage
• Cognitive impairments
• Behavioral changes
• Emotional issues
• Sensory problems
• Difficulty communicating
One way to minimize your risk for traumatic brain injury in the event of a motor vehicle crash is to always wear a motorcycle helmet and to enable vehicle safety mechanisms such as seatbelts and airbags.
Car Accidents and Spinal Cord Injuries
Another catastrophic injury that can occur during an auto accident is a spinal cord injury. In fact, motor vehicle accidents are the most common cause of spinal cord injuries in the U.S. A spinal cord injury can cause permanent paralysis that is either complete (when a person has no feeling or motor function) or incomplete (when a person has some sensory or motor function). Paralysis victims fall into one of two categories: quadriplegic, when their pelvic organs and all four limbs are affected, or paraplegic, when only their legs and pelvic organs are affected.
If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury in a car accident because of a reckless driver or a defective auto part, contact a qualified Orlando injury lawyer today to determine whether you have cause for a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit.