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How crashworthiness plays into a blunt trauma injury

If you should be in a vehicle crash in which you are badly hurt, the driver of the car that hit yours may be only partly liable for your injuries.

For example, you might sustain a serious blunt trauma or traumatic brain injury. Investigators would look at all the possible causes of your injuries, including the crashworthiness of your vehicle.

What it means

"Crashworthiness" refers to the integrity of a structure, such as the framework of an automobile and its ability to protect the occupants. Automakers often use the term in the testing of their vehicles. Manufacturers employ the crashworthiness doctrine, which relies on the premise that while a crash may not be normal in terms of daily driving activities, a collision, rollover or other crash-related incident must be taken into consideration as an event that might reasonably occur.

How a blunt trauma happens

Even if you are the victim of a low-speed, rear-end collision, the impact could have serious repercussions. You could hit your head on the steering wheel, dashboard or windshield, which might result in a blunt trauma. You might also sustain a traumatic brain injury because, in the event of a quick, hard stop, the brain continues to move forward and could collide against the inside of the skull causing bruising or bleeding.

Facing the aftermath

Brain injuries are tricky because the symptoms are not always evident at the time of a car crash. However, after a few days, you might notice headaches coming on, dizziness, vision issues or problems with concentration. Because of delayed reactions like these, a personal injury attorney will advise any accident victim to seek immediate medical evaluation following a car crash. In the meantime, work will begin on investigating the circumstances surrounding the accident. Crashworthiness could come into play if a manufacturing or design problem such as a defective seat belt or a poorly designed roof is found to have been at least partly at fault for the crash and the injuries you suffered.

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