A Hole Lot of Shaking Goin’ On: Injury Risks for Pothole Accidents

Cracks, pits, and holes are, unfortunately, inevitable consequences of wear on our roads and highways. Asphalt, the material used to pave roads, is relatively durable…to a point. The excessive pressure from both traffic and weather can cause asphalt to break and crumble. This deterioration creates dangerous and deep craters that motorists are either forced to drive over or drive erratically to avoid; in turn, this raises the risk for injury and property damage.

Pothole Damage Risks

Whether you drive an all-terrain vehicle, a low-riding manual, or a motorcycle, uneven or pock-marked road can wreak havoc on the control you have over your vehicle. Furthermore, it can cause serious damage to both your vehicle and your physical wellbeing. The cause and severity of this damage directly relate to how you decide to navigate the hazards, how deep the holes are, and how your vehicle’s wheels impact the fissure.

If you attempt to avoid the hole by swerving or carelessly changing lanes, you put yourself and car at risk for a serious collision and all the damages that affords: internal injuries, permanent trauma, serious cosmetic and mechanical vehicle damage, and even death. However, if you drive over the pothole, you risk the following as your wheels violently fall into the void:

Physical injuries

  • Head injuries. If your wheel dips into the hole, your vehicle will jerk and potentially cause your head to whip around. This uncontrollable head movement can cause you to slam your skull into the steel frame of the car or the steering wheel, and may result in severe impact injuries, including a fractured skull or brain damage.
  • Whiplash injuries. The whipping of the head caused by the violent fall can strain your neck muscles and tendons, causing whiplash and potential neck and spine damage.
  • Coccyx (tailbone) injuries. The brutal bouncing of your vehicle as it hits the pothole can also cause you to spring from your seat and forcefully slam back down on your tailbone. The force in which you slam down will determine the severity of bruising or fracturing of your coccyx.
  • Blowout injuries. When a wheel falls into a hole, it may be damaged or punctured by ragged pieces of asphalt, which can then lead to a blowout. A tire blowout can cause loss of control and increase your risks for a collision.

Property damage

It’s important to pay attention to how your car drives after hitting a pothole. Physical injury may be easy to detect, but damage to your car may not be noticeable until it’s too late. If the car is shaking, shimmying, or pulling to one side, something may have been damaged.

  • Wheel and rim damage. The force of the hit may have caused jagged pieces of asphalt to puncture, dent, or otherwise damage not only the tire but also the rim.
  • Bumper damage. As your vehicle jerks and partially falls into the hole, your bumper may wind up skidding or knocking the road, causing scrapes and dents, or even causing the bumper to become dislodged.
  • Suspension damage. The force of the jerk can also throw your suspension out of whack, making it difficult to steer and control your vehicle. Suspension repairs can be expensive and can take several weeks to complete.

Climbing Out of the Money Pit That Results From Pothole Damage

No matter what kind of harm a pothole accident causes, getting everything fixed can be expensive. Don’t allow a hole in the road to put a hole in your pocket—call our office today at (386) 673-4412 to set up a free consultation and explore your legal options. We’ll be happy to discuss possible compensation and repair alternatives, as well as injury claims and liability. Contact us today to see how we can help you bounce back from pothole accident damages.
 

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