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How Does Occupant Ejection Occur in Car Accidents?

Car accidents can be violent and terrifying for drivers and passengers. These accidents are bad enough, but ejection from automobiles can cause significantly more damage. It helps to know how to prevent a serious car accident, how to protect passengers in a vehicle, and what to do if someone has been ejected from the vehicle.

What Causes Someone to be Ejected from a Vehicle?

When an accident occurs, occupants could be ejected from a vehicle for a variety of reasons. While drivers cannot prevent all accidents, they can understand which accidents cause occupant ejections. Ejections commonly occur during:

Rear-end accidents: These accidents can cause an occupant to be ejected when the force from a car flings a passenger or the driver out of the vehicle. Likewise, a rear-end accident could cause an ejection when one car slams into another. The force from stopping suddenly could eject the driver or a passenger. Since two vehicles are involved in these crashes, several people could be ejected from both vehicles. This is why drivers need to keep their eyes on the road, slow down, and leave a safe stopping distance.

Vehicle Rollovers: These accidents leave drivers and passengers more susceptible to ejections. The force of the car rolling over could eject someone and make their injuries much worse. If the car is sideways or upside down, the ejected passenger or driver could get stuck in the windshield or under the vehicle, the doors could open or fall off the vehicle, or the window could malfunction or break, leaving an opening for someone to be ejected.

Single vehicle accidents: This accident could eject the driver when they hit a wall, guard rail, tree, or a power or lamp post. While Americans have been conditioned to believe that single vehicle accidents are not as severe as multi-vehicle accidents, these crashes can easily injure or kill the driver if they have been ejected from the car.

Multi-vehicle accidents: These accidents could cause multiple ejections, and those ejected from vehicles could hit other vehicles in the process. Someone who is in the middle or even at the front of a long line of crashed cars could be ejected due to the force that was transferred to their vehicle.

What Injuries Occur After an Occupant is Ejected?

When ejections occur during accidents, injuries result from occupants hitting the ground, crashing through the windshield, or striking another vehicle after exiting the vehicle. The most common injuries from these types of accidents include the following:

Broken Bones: When an accident occurs, bones can be broken due to the impact of the crash or from landing outside after being ejected from the vehicle. These broken bones need time to heal, and they may require further surgery or physical therapy so that the victim can return to work and resume their normal life.

Internal Bleeding: Internal bleeding can cause severe medical conditions or death. If someone has been ejected from a vehicle, they should go to the hospital immediately. The other passengers or driver should also receive medical attention to rule out internal bleeding.

Cuts and Lacerations: Major cuts and lacerations can occur as someone is ejected through the glass of a window or windshield. They could sustain more cuts and scrapes as they land, and they might experience disfiguring lacerations that need to be repaired by a cosmetic surgeon.

Traumatic Brain Injuries: Traumatic brain injuries can occur when someone’s head hits the glass or the ground. The chance of sustaining a traumatic brain injury is very high in a car accident.

Spinal Cord Injuries: Since these injuries are common in severe crashes, people on the scene should not move anyone who has been ejected from a vehicle. That person needs to lie still and be attended to gently until emergency services arrive. Only a qualified medical professional should move someone with a potential spinal cord injury.

Amputations: Amputations are likely when someone flies from a vehicle after a crash. Lacerations might cause damage to limbs that will lead to amputation.

An experienced car accident lawyer will review the case, work with medical professionals to determine the extent of the injuries and aftercare, and calculate damages, such as lost wages, lost earning potential, or pain and suffering.

How can Occupants Prevent Vehicle Ejection?

Drivers and passengers are not in control of everything that happens on roadways, but can help keep their safety in check by doing the following:

  • Wear a seat belt: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has shown that these are the best ways to prevent ejections. Car seats for children and even more advanced restraint systems may be used to protect drivers or passengers.
  • Promote seat belt use in the car: Some drivers might go so far as requiring all adults and children to put on seat belts before starting the vehicle. This might be especially important for adults who are carpooling on busy highways or designated drivers who are driving their friends home at night.
  • Slow down: Drivers who slow down have a greater reaction time and will reduce the force of an impending crash.
  • Maintain the vehicle: A vehicle with broken door hinges or latches, bad seat belts, or damaged windows could easily cause an ejection. Cars that are in poor condition are more likely to roll over, experience brake failures, lose doors or windows, and slide out of control on the road. Drivers should also abide by all posted speed limits and remove distractions from their environment, including cellphones.

Are There Special Considerations?

SUV drivers need to be especially careful because these types of vehicles can easily rollover. Their high center of gravity allows them to tip over during crashes. These vehicles are theoretically safer because they are so large, however, they can be difficult to control, and the force of an emergency stop could eject anyone in the car.

Automotive defects can also lead to car accidents, which could lead to someone being ejected from the vehicle. A manufacturer that has built a defective vehicle can be held liable for injuries or deaths. A mechanic who knowingly used faulty parts could be sued for damages, as well as the manufacturer of the faulty parts. With the help of an experienced lawyer, a car accident victim can recover necessary compensation for any injuries that were sustained in the accident. Since many people or entities could be held liable, it is important to hire a legal professional.

Philadelphia Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Help Victims Ejected from Vehicles

Car accidents can lead to serious injuries, especially if an occupant is ejected. Reach out to one of our Philadelphia car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC if you were involved in a car accident. Call us at 215-569-8488 or contact us online for a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, Abington, and Media, Pennsylvania; Wilmington, Delaware; and Haddonfield, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.