Factors That Affect the Severity of Car Accident Injuries

Accidents come in all shapes and sizes, with no two being exactly alike. What determines the severity of an auto collision can seem random, but there are actually a series of factors that impact the damage and deadliness of each accident. If you’ve ever wondered why some are worse than others, read on to find out why.

Seat Belts

The top determining factor in how severe injuries are after an accident is whether or not individuals within the vehicle were wearing seatbelts. These simple devices reduce the risk of injury by up to 50% when an accident occurs just by helping to keep your body in place. The risk of death is reduced by 45%. 

The Impact

Getting rear-ended is never going to turn out the same as another vehicle hitting your driver-side door. Types of injuries sustained change dramatically based on the point of impact alone, without speed or vehicle sizes factored in. 

Body Position

When you’re seated in a forward-facing position, your risk of injury is slightly reduced. If you were turning toward the back seat to attend to a toddler, for instance, that twisted body position is going to result in more severe injuries. 


This one is simple. The higher the speed, the more devastating the accident. Lower-speed incidents can still produce ample damage to vehicles and people, however. Still, higher velocity impacts can quickly become deadly. 


These nifty devices reduce your risk of death by 30% in an accident. Combined with a seatbelt, that number jumps to 50%. All cars feature front airbags for head-on collisions, but you need airbags in other locations for different directional impacts to achieve the same results.

Head Injuries

Of all the injuries you could potentially sustain in an accident, head injuries are the worst. These are the most fatal type of injury and often come with the most long-term consequences for those who survive. This is why it’s important for a medical professional to examine you after a collision, even if you feel fine. There’s always a chance that something is brewing underneath the surface.

Neck Injuries

Second to head injuries are those in the neck. Swelling, breaking, cracking, and even just whiplash can have severe consequences. You can injure your neck from direct and indirect collisions, ranging from soreness in your muscles to fatal wounds. 

Seeking Care

Regardless of the severity of your injuries, you have the right to seek compensation after an accident. An auto accident injury attorney Bay Area can help you in court, but they can also ensure you’re getting the medical care you need in the days and weeks after. 

This vital part of the process not only helps you get back on your feet as you recover, but helps to identify the full extent of your injuries and therefore the amount of compensation you can seek. In some cases, it helps drivers identify damages they wouldn’t have known about until pain arose weeks later.

Coping With A Permanent Disability After A Car Accident

Anger, sadness, despair — these are all normal things to feel after a car accident, especially if that accident left you disabled. Even after all the fingers have been pointed, the Denver DUI defense lawyers duke it out in court, and the legal battles are wrapped up, the pain of becoming disabled can still cut deep. Learning to cope is paramount if you want to be able to continue on and adjust to your new reality. There are many emotions you’ll need to sort through, and these are some tips that can help.

Dealing With Feelings

A sudden disability can stir up a whole host of negative emotions, with anger being one of the most prominent. You may well find your temper flaring up and could possibly experience a chronic state of rage that pushes your loved ones away. It’s not conscious, in all cases, but they can tell when anger is the only thing you feel and will distance themselves as a result.

Coming to grips with your anger will require you to exercise some patience. Your inclination might be to snap at anyone who comes near over the slightest offense (because you are angry). Start by recognizing that you aren’t truly mad at other people — you’re angry because of your disability, and the people in your life don’t deserve to be treated poorly because of that.

The other big feelings you’ll experience are sadness and depression. In milder forms, they may take you out of things for a while, but you’ll still be able to get back on track after working through your feelings alone. If your depression is clinical, however, it may require more attention to deal with, as it comes with a whole host of negative symptoms (including thoughts of death and suicide).

Generally speaking, it takes a combination of medication and psychotherapy to deal with major depression, but finding the right medication is often a process of trial-and-error. During this period of adjustment, it’s important that you keep the lines of communication open with your support network, and allow yourself to accept help to get you where you need to be mentally and emotionally.

Continue Adapting

It’s important to establish some kind of normalcy to help adjust to a new, post-accident life. Establishing a routine, having hobbies and activities, and pairing these with a great support network and excellent communication are all key to adapting and getting on with life. Remember, don’t push the people who care away — allow them to help and welcome them as a part of your everyday adjustment process.

Pre-existing medical conditions and car accidents

Despite the country’s best efforts to spread awareness about and enforce safe driving practices, there are still hundred of thousands of car accidents each year. The reasons behind them range from drinking to texting and road hazards, but did you know that pre-existing medical conditions are a factor?

The term “impaired driving” makes most people think of drugs and alcohol, but it also pertains to various medical conditions that impact an individual’s ability to drive. If you have a pre=existing condition, then this is how it could affect your car accident. 

Types of Pre-Existing Impairments

There’s a long list of conditions that could potentially impact your ability to drive. Anything that impairs your skill, judgement, or motor functions can count. Some of the most common include:

  • The rise and fall of blood sugar in diabetes
  • Fatigue, weakness, and shortness of breath in heart disease
  • Disorders that cause seizures
  • And even poor eyesight

Knowing the Law

It isn’t uncommon for people with diagnosed conditions to have restrictions placed on their driver’s license. These are determined by the severity of the impairment and include limitations for things like nighttime driving, heavy traffic, and specific areas such as school zones. 

If you do have a pre-existing condition, speak with your primary care physician about how it may impact your driving ability. They can write a letter detailing the severity of your impairments, which you can relay to your state’s Department of Transportation. 

Determining Fault with Pre-Existing Conditions

So, what happens in the event of an accident? Bad eyesight and seizures can be just as dangerous, if not more than, drinking and driving. Since a drunk driver is found liable, it might make sense to think that someone with a pre-existing condition would be as well. However, that isn’t always the case. 

Determining liability depends on a variety of factors. Intentional negligence, the extent of injuries, and how much of a role the disability played in the accident are all taken into consideration. This makes it vital that you have skilled legal representation for your case. 

It helps to have legal professionals whose practice revolves around vehicle wrecks, but also one who understands how disabilities can play a part. Finding the right lawyer isn’t always easy, but these car accident attorneys in Hermosa Beach are an excellent example of what to look for. 

Fighting for Your Rights

When you know how a pre-existing condition affects your driving ability, you’re cautious about ensuring your safety and the safety of others. If you do find yourself in an accident, don’t let the other party pin liability on your for your condition. 

You have the right to argue your case with legal representation and prove that your impairment did not directly cause the accident. You also have the right to seek compensation when the other party was at fault. With the right legal team on your side, this is a fight you can and will win.