In this blog post, we’ll discuss the top 20 car accident injuries that occurred in Denver car accidents in 2023.
Car accidents are jarring and frightening experiences that no one wants to go through, and they can cause a range of physical and psychological injuries. Read on to learn more about the leading car accident injuries in Denver last year and what you should do if you were injured in a car accident.
If you sustained injuries in a Denver car accident caused by another driver’s negligence and have questions about your legal rights or your eligibility to seek compensation, we advise you to contact our Denver car accident lawyers for help.
The Financial Impact of Car Accident Injuries
An average of 1 million days are spent in the hospital annually for common car accident injuries. That adds up to about $18 billion in lifetime medical bills associated with car accident injuries and a further $33 billion in lost work.
For an incapacitating injury, the average financial cost can be $65,000, but sometimes it is much more, depending on the circumstances of the accident. The average payout for a car accident injury that is not incapacitating can range from $12,000 to $21,00. However, these are only averages, and you will need a knowledgeable Denver car accident lawyer to assess your case in order to get an accurate claim value for your specific case.
Below are the 20 most common car accident injuries that victims suffered in 2023. If you suffered several of these injuries or very severe injuries, you’re probably entitled to seek a higher settlement.
The Top 20 Most Common Car Accident Injuries in Denver, Colorado
Bruises usually show up within hours of the accident. While some people see bruising in 12 hours, others may take up to 36 hours for them to form. Bruises are painful and can last anywhere from days to weeks, depending on how severe they are and how fast your body heals. People who endure bruises from car accidents also sustain other injuries in conjunction with them, such as sprains, strains, broken bones, and cuts.
Burns can occur when a vehicle catches fire or in other scenarios, such as when an airbag deploys and releases an aerosol called sodium hydroxide, causing facial burns. Or, if an explosion occurs inside the vehicle during the collision from lithium batteries, or if chemicals leak, such as gasoline, battery acid, engine oil, or coolant, these can all cause severe burn injuries. It’s also possible for electrical issues with the vehicle to cause fires that result in burns.
Car accident burn injuries most often fall into three primary categories:
- Scalding burns, which result from burning fluid or steam
- Inhalation burns from smoke or chemical gas emission
- And electrical burns, from wiring and metal making contact with high voltage power lines
Burns are one of the few injuries that can leave lasting scarring and disfigurement, which is an extra level of damage and is considered a catastrophic injury from a legal standpoint. Catastrophic injuries are those which are so severe they leave the injured victim with permanent or life-long damage. Burns can range in severity from first to fourth degree – first being the least severe and fourth being the most severe burn.
The American Burn Association reports that about 97% of burn injury victims survive their injuries, but they are very painful types of injuries. If you get burned in a car accident, get medical help right away, as leaving it untreated can lead to infection, dehydration, permanent scarring and disfigurement, limb amputation, or death. You will most likely need emergency care and a burn specialist to treat anything beyond a third-degree burn or get transported to a burn center for specialized care.
Concussions are a type of head injury that is now categorized as a traumatic brain injury on the less severe end of the spectrum. Concussions occur when the head gets a strike, blow, jolt, or otherwise battered during the accident. It can even happen from hitting your head on the steering wheel or window.
The craziest part is that you can get a concussion even if you didn’t experience a direct impact on the head. The extreme force of the crash alone is enough to whip the head violently back and forth, which can cause a concussion.
Another dangerous characteristic of concussions is that they often go unrecognized or undiagnosed because people, including first responders, miss the signs. If so, it can be fatal or life-changing for the concussion victim. Just because a person didn’t lose consciousness, that doesn’t rule out the possibility of a concussion. If a person is experiencing dizziness, headaches, confusion, slurred speech, or energy, they should get tested for a concussion right away.
4. Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
The most common traumatic brain injuries caused by car Denver car accidents in 2023 are the following:
- Diffuse axonal injury (DAI). This is when the skull is not penetrated or fractured, but the impact force strikes the brain and the internal skull bone protecting the brain. This leads to damage to the brain structures and torn nerve tissues. DAIs interrupt the communications and chemical processes of the brain, which can lead to permanent or temporary brain damage, coma, or death.
- Brain Contusions – Contusions result from direct blows to the head and are essentially bruises that cause brain bleeding. The larger a contusion, the more serious it is. Symptoms include dizziness, nausea, headaches, and vomiting. For the most severe cases of brain contusions, surgical intervention is necessary to remove the contusion.
- Penetrating TBI – This is an open head wound that occurs when glass or other loose objects penetrate the skull. Penetrating TBIs affect motor functions and communication skills.
5. Scarring and Disfigurement
Physical injuries are painful, but nothing compares to an injury that leaves a permanent visible scar that’s left behind on a victim’s body, especially on the face. While everyone reacts differently to scars, some victims’ lives are changed forever. The most common scars car accident victims experienced in Denver 2023 car accidents are keloids, hypertrophic scars, and contractures.
6. Broken Bones
The highest rates of broken bones from Denver car accidents in 2023 included:
- Arm fractures
- Wrist fractures
- Tibia and fibula fractures
- Femur fractures
- Clavicle (collarbone fractures)
- Back fractures
- Hip fractures
- Pelvic fractures
- Facial and skull fractures
- And rib fractures
7. Facial Injuries
There are 14 bones in the face, fused together to protect our oral and nasal cavities and the eyes and sinuses. While they don’t break easily, the force of a car accident collision can fracture them. Facial trauma was one of the top traumatic injuries sustained by Denver car accident victims in 2023. Facial injuries most commonly occur by way of:
- Hitting the airbag, steering wheel, or dashboard
- Flying objects like glass or debris hitting the face
- Getting ejected through the windshield or hitting your face on a window
- Foreign objects that picture the vehicle and hit the face
- Facial burns resulting from fires or chemical burns
Facial injuries are difficult to diagnose initially, but the injury victims almost always experience pain, bleeding, and swelling. There could be underlying, more serious facial injuries that occur simultaneously with surface wounds, such as:
- Fractured nasal, jaw, and cheekbones
- Fractured eye sockets
- Open wounds, deep lacerations, and connective tissue damage that can even reach muscles and facial nerves
8. Neck Injuries
The neck is a complex body part that has muscles and is connected to the spinal cord vertebrae. It also has tendons, ligaments, and nerves, so neck injuries can vary greatly. From tissue damage to pain, swelling, and reduced range of motion, neck injuries are amongst the most common injuries sustained in forceful collisions. The most common types of neck injuries in Denver 2023 car accidents were:
- Neck fractures (breaks in the cervical vertebrae)
- Pinched nerves
- Spondylosis in the neck
- Neck sprains
Perhaps the most common incidence of neck injuries in Denver, Colorado, car accidents in 2023 was Whiplash. Whiplash is a specific neck injury involving hyperextension and hyperflexion of the soft tissue in the neck. It can affect the cervical or lumbar spinal areas and sprain or strain the neck.
Whiplash most commonly results from rear-end collisions but can also happen in other types of high-impact collisions, such as a truck accident or head-on collision. The impact of the collision causes the occupant’s body to stay restrained while their heads are jerked violently back and forth, forcing the cervical spine beyond its normal range of movement. This results in injury to tendons, ligaments, and muscles in the neck and back.
In the most severe cases of Whiplash, one can experience injury to vertebral discs or tears in the inner core of the disc that become displaced or extruded. This is known as a herniated disc, which can then cause an irritated or pinched nerve. As you can see, Whiplash is a seemingly minor neck injury but can cause a chain reaction of other back and spinal injuries in severe collisions.
Symptoms of very severe Whiplash include sharp, shooting pain, numbness, tingling, and, in the worst cases, may require surgery.
10. Loss of Limbs
Losing a limb in a car accident is an injury that will surely change a person’s life forever. Also known as amputation, the loss of a limb (usually the arm, leg, finger, or toe) in a car accident is a form of disfigurement. Such injuries almost always warrant higher settlements for the severity of the injury, as it’s considered a catastrophic injury and can be life-threatening.
Some severed limbs or digits can get re-attached, but in most cases, the injury victim will need to live without the limb or get a prosthetic limb. According to the National Limb Loss Information Center:
- The most common type of amputations in Denver car accidents in 2023 were upper limb amputations (arms)
- Males are at a higher risk for trauma-related amputations than females.
- Both males and females have a higher risk of traumatic amputation after a severe motor collision with increased age, especially those 85 or older.
11. Wrist & Hand Injuries
The force of the impact while holding the steering wheel caused numerous wrist and hand injuries in Denver motor vehicle collisions last year. Symptoms are usually immediate, including pain, swelling, and bruising.
Medical professionals can diagnose wrist and hand injuries with X-rays and treat them similarly to other orthopedic injuries. The bones are set and immobilized (i.e., a cast is put on), and then the injuries heal with time.
Some hand fractures can be realigned without surgical intervention, while others do need surgery; it depends on how bad the injury is. Sometimes, doctors use pins, wires, or plates to treat hand and wrist injuries to surge bone fragments together if there are fractures in multiple places. You may also need to undergo physical therapy and rehabilitation after a car-accident-induced wrist or hand injury to ensure a full recovery.
12. Leg & Foot Injuries
Leg, foot, and ankle injuries from car accidents can be very debilitating. They can cause the injury victims to lose mobility and independence. Being unable to walk independently causes immense emotional and mental distress for the injury victim and their family members and loved ones or caretakers. Lower body injuries, in particular, can be particularly painful and make it all the more difficult to carry out everyday tasks that require mobility.
The feet are the epicenter of our entire body structure and support our bodies. Likewise, the ankles give support to everything above. When the feet or ankles become sprained, fractured, strained, or injured otherwise, the injury victim may not be able to place any weight on their lower extremities, which means they can’t walk without support or at all.
Car accidents often cause broken, twisted, crushed, or twisted ankles. Additionally, the heel bone is vulnerable to injury since it’s on the pedal. It could become completely fractured and take months or years to heal properly. In the most extreme cases, injury victims’ feet and ankles become so mangled that they require amputation.
13. Internal Bleeding
Internal bleeding can result from ruptured blood vessels and blood pooling inside the body. The resulting symptoms can range from mild to severe or even life-threatening if not treated immediately. In a car accident, internal bleeding usually occurs from blunt trauma, penetrating trauma, or deceleration trauma.
Blunt trauma is when an object strikes you with so much force that it creates internal damage. Penetrating trauma, on the other hand, is when an object such as glass or metal enters the body and causes internal bleeding by piercing the internal organs. Finally, deceleration trauma is when you get thrown forward aggressively during a crash while your body is constrained by the seat belt. It can also happen by hitting the airbag, and either way, it can lead to tissue damage and internal bleeding.
14. Spinal Cord Injuries
Motor vehicle accidents are one of the leading causes of spinal cord injury in the US (Mayo Clinic). A spinal cord injury can change your life and almost always warrants extensive medical bills. Although every car accident is unique and has different circumstances, the general trauma of any motor vehicle collision can lead to a spinal cord injury.
During a collision, any sudden blow to the spinal cord or surrounding tissues, ligaments, vertebrae, or discs can cause damage. For instance, the vertebrae can break or slip out of place. If an injury spreads down the spinal cord, it has the propensity to damage the nervous system and cause paralysis or otherwise interfere with motor functions. Even if the spinal cord doesn’t get completely severed, an injury near or around the spinal cord can cause substantial damage. The severity of the injury will depend on where the injury is located and the intensity of the trauma. Possible effects of a spinal cord injury include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Spasms in different areas
- Loss of feeling or sensation in certain areas or limbs
- Paralysis (complete or partial)
15. Back Injuries
Back injuries were one of the most commonly sustained injuries from 2023 Denver car accidents. This occurs when the violent motion of the crash can cause sprains, strains, fractures, or other injuries to the back. While a back injury might be more obvious after a head-on or rear-end collision, it often occurs in minor accidents as well.
Back injuries can complicate a person’s life by limiting mobility and causing discomfort or chronic pain. Examples of back injuries that occurred most frequently in Denver car accidents in 2023 include:
- Back sprains and strains
- Herniated discs
- Lumbar vertebrae fractures
- Thoracic vertebrae fractures
- Degenerative spinal injuries
- Discogenic pain (lower back pain)
16. Post-traumatic Stress (PTSD)
PTSD occurs after you experience or witness a traumatic event and continue to experience negative and intrusive thoughts about the traumatic event. People can experience a wide range of symptoms with PTSD, including:
- Constantly having flashbacks of the event
- A fear of getting into cars
- Extreme anxiety in everyday life
- Heightened anxiety around cars
- Other emotional disturbances
- Damage to relationships
PTSD doesn’t only affect the people who were in the vehicle; it can also traumatize witnesses who saw the accident.
17. Mental and Emotional Distress
Similar to PTSD, post-car accident feelings of mental and emotional distress after a car accident include:
- Intrusive thoughts
- Difficulty sleeping
- Inability to concentrate
- Getting startled very easily
- Reliving the accident
- Suicidal thoughts
- Physical manifestations as a result of emotional and mental duress
As every individual is unique and experiences trauma differently, the symptoms and severity of mental anguish will vary from person to person. However, if you experience emotional damages from a car accident, speak to a knowledgeable Denver car accident lawyer who can help you accurately calculate the value of your pain and suffering.
18. Rib Fractures
Rib fractures are extremely painful and unique injuries because there’s no technical way to treat or cure them due to the location of the ribs. You can’t put a cast on the ribs like you can for a broken arm or leg. They also usually take longer than other injuries to heal since they are constantly moving body parts. Rib fractures generally occur with forceful impact to the chest area, and the driver hits the steering wheel, or the passenger hits the dashboard. They can also occur from seat belt trauma. Signs of broken ribs include:
- Pain and tenderness in the rib area
- Pain when you move or twist your body
- Tightness in the chest area
- Intense pain when coughing or sneezing
- Swelling and bruising in the rib area
19. Shoulder Injuries
Shoulder injuries are amongst the top injuries sustained by Denver car accident injury victims in 2023. A car accident-induced shoulder injury is most commonly present with Whiplash, soft tissue damage, or broken bones. Symptoms of a shoulder injury include reduced range of motion in the shoulder, pain, and instability of the shoulder joint.
Here are some specific injuries that Denver car accident victims experienced most frequently in 2023:
- Torn Rotator Cuff – when a tendon in the shoulder joint is ripped or torn, affecting the sensitive soft tissues in that area.
- SLAP Tear – also known as Superior Labrum From Anterior to Posterior Tear (SLAP), this injury tears cartilage in the shoulder joint.
- Shoulder bone fracture – This is a broken shoulder bone. Car accidents can cause fractures in the shoulder bone region from the upper arm bone to the scapula or the clavicle. In other words, car accident impacts have the potential to break your upper arm bones, shoulder blade, or collarbone.
- Shoulder dislocation – This occurs when one of the shoulder bones moves out of its normal socket position and can potentially separate completely from the socket.
- Shoulder impingement – such an injury is when the shoulder blade has friction with the tissues of the rotator cuff and causes painful inflammation.
20. Sprains and Strains
Sprains and strains after a car accident involve injured ligaments. Ligaments are the connective tissues that stretch from bones to joints and help stabilize bones. The nature of a ligament is to create tension to ensure joints work correctly. However, when a ligament gets damaged, it prevents the joints from bending and reaching their full range of movement potential. Such injuries can be especially problematic in the ankles and knees, which require weeks of healing or more.
Similar to a sprain, a strain is an injury to a muscle or tendon (rather than a ligament). While ligaments connect bones and joints, tendons connect bones and muscles. The work of a tendon is to ensure strong and secure joints that can lift, jump, kick, and carry out other motions. Most car-accident-induced tendon or muscle strains occur in the neck, legs, feet, and back. Both strains and sprains can vary in degree and severity, causing very subjective examples of pain and suffering for the injury victim.
Symptoms of a sprain, strain, torn, or partially torn tendon include:
- Feeling muscle weakness
- Muscle spasms
- Having difficulty flexing the affected area
Contact an Experienced Denver Car Accident Lawyer Today
All of the above 20 examples were the most common injuries that Denver car accident victims sustained in 2023. If you are one of the unfortunate few who have incurred these injuries with other damages, we strongly encourage you to reach out to our team of skilled Denver personal injury lawyers.
You should not have to suffer alone or pay the price for getting injured, missing work, and suffering emotional damages because of another driver’s negligence. While we understand all of this is overwhelming and can feel impossible to get through, we are here for you and will fight to protect you and your rights.
Drivers in Denver have a legal obligation to operate their vehicles safely and failing to do so means we can hold them accountable for negligence and liability. In other words, you can weaken financial restoration from the reckless or careless pirates who injured you.
Why should you suffer and be unable to provide for your family due to another person’s negligence?
That’s why we want to help you fight back and get the compensation you need and deserve to move on and have a secure financial future. Don’t try to handle this citation alone. Hire an experienced and cultured attorney who can help you get the best results possible. If multiple parties were involved in the collision, the claims process would be more complex, but you also have more pirates to hold accountable.
The bottom line is that hiring an attorney after getting injured in a Denver car accident is the surest way to protect your rights and a chance to win the fullest and fair compensation. If you or a loved one was injured in a Denver car accident in 2023 or in a recent previous year, call us now. The sooner we can get to work on your case, the stronger our odds of getting a favorable outcome will be. Also, bear in mind that Denver lends a time constraint on your eligibility to seek compensation or file a claim.
We want to help you. Please call us today for a free initial consultation.