When you’re hurt in a car accident in Las Vegas, you may wonder about injuries from a steering wheel and how to prevent them. Steering wheel accidents can be serious and life-altering. Learning about steering wheel accidents can help you avoid them as well as help you address your injuries after they occur.
If you have been in a car accident where your steering wheel contributed to your injuries, you will likely want to work with an experienced car accident attorney in Las Vegas to determine what options are available for your recovery. Here’s what you should know about steering wheel injuries.
What Does a Steering Wheel Do?
Your steering wheel connects to the steering column in your vehicle. It turns your vehicle under your control. The driver manipulates the steering wheel to turn the vehicle in the direction that they want to go. Steering in a car can work mechanically or electronically. Designs for steering wheels have changed over the years. They depend on the make and model of your vehicle.
Why Can a Steering Wheel Cause Serious Injuries?
Because a steering failure can cause a severe accident, steering wheels and steering columns must be sturdy. In a crash, a driver can travel forward at a high rate of speed. The force of the impact can cause serious injuries. Although a steering wheel column must be within an arm’s reach of the driver for safe operation of the vehicle, a steering wheel can be dangerous in the event of a crash. The driver may be thrown forward towards a heavy, stationary object that’s near their face and body.
Many steering wheel accidents occur because the driver is too close to the steering wheel when the impact happens. Although most vehicles today have an airbag that’s meant to shield the driver from the impact of the crash, when you sit too close to the airbag, the airbag may not fully deploy by the time you hit it. If the airbag is still expanding when it hits you, you can suffer injuries from the force of the airbag itself.
A driver suffers the risk of the impact of other vehicles in addition to the risk of additional injuries from contact with the steering column and airbag in their own car that are only a few feet from the driver’s head, neck, and torso. In an accident, the body jolts quickly in unnatural ways. There’s no time for the driver to react before they hit the steering wheel. The result can be devastating injuries.
Common Types of Steering Wheel Injuries
Injuries from a steering wheel are never the same in any two accident cases. However, some types of injuries are common from steering wheels in accident cases. Common steering wheel injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury like a concussion
- Fractured skull
- Wrist injuries including broken bones and muscle strains
- Internal injuries
- Strained muscles in the neck and back
- Broken bones
When you drive, your hands are on the steering wheel. The impact of a crash occurs in a fraction of a second. The force of impact between your wrists and the steering wheel can happen so quickly that you may not have time to react. In addition to head and neck injuries, wrist injuries are common for drivers in motor vehicle accidents.
How to Prevent Steering Wheel Injuries
There are steps that you can take to prevent steering wheel injuries before they occur. Because most steering wheel injuries are more severe if the driver sits close to the steering wheel, you can lessen the impact of your injuries. Your steering wheel may be adjustable. You may be able to move it further away from you.
As well as moving the steering wheel, you can move your seat. You still need to reach the pedals comfortably, but you can move your seat back as far as you can. You can also adjust your seat to tilt back a bit so that your head is further away from the wheel. Also, you may have the option to add pedal extenders that can allow you to move your seat further back.
Some vehicle models come with a collapsible steering column. A steering column that’s collapsible may be able to detect a crash and collapse quickly to lessen impact with the driver’s body. If you have a vehicle with a collapsible steering column, it can be an essential feature to absorb energy in a crash and reduce the extent of your injuries.
Treating Your Injuries and Preserving Your Legal Rights
If you suffer injuries from a steering wheel, it’s important to seek medical care. When you’re hurt in a car accident, your medical treatment is critical to your recovery. Seeking medical treatment is also important to document your injuries and build your claim. Medical experts can help you understand how impact with the steering wheel contributes to injuries.
You May Have Multiple Types of Claims
When you’re hurt because of the impact with the steering wheel in a crash, you may have multiple types of legal claims. You may have a claim for negligence because of the actions of another driver. If a driver causes an accident that results in injuries from a steering wheel, you may have a claim against that driver for their negligent behavior. The driver may owe you compensation for your medical bills, lost wages and pain and suffering.
In addition to a claim against another driver, you may have a claim for compensation based on a manufacturing defect or a design issue with the steering wheel itself. Car manufacturers have an obligation to create safe products. When their designs are unsafe or when they make an error in the manufacturing process, they may create a product that’s unsafe. A claim because of a defective steering wheel is called a products liability case. The car manufacturer may owe you compensation for your losses.
We Understand Steering Wheel Injuries
Have you suffered injuries because of impact with a steering wheel? We can help you understand your rights after a Las Vegas car accident. Our legal team can help you work to gather evidence to prove your steering wheel related injuries. Ultimately, it’s our goal to help you receive the compensation that you deserve. Call our attorneys today to begin working on your claim.