If you drive a modern vehicle, you benefit from hundreds of safety innovations. These innovations have caused the number of traffic fatalities and serious injuries to drop substantially. Still, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, motor vehicle accidents were responsible for the deaths of almost 43,000 Americans in 2020 alone.
Internal decapitation is probably the most catastrophic injury a person can suffer in a motor vehicle accident. Indeed, the injury is almost always immediately fatal. Still, in a small number of cases, individuals with internal decapitation do survive.
A catastrophic and life-changing injury
Internal decapitation happens when the head effectively detaches from the rest of the body, even though some muscles, skin and ligaments hold the head in place. The reason the injury is so frequently fatal is that it directly affects the brainstem and spinal cord. For an injured person to survive, it is important to stabilize the head and obtain prompt medical care at a trauma center.
A long road to recovery
While immediate medical care can improve a person’s chances of surviving internal decapitation, the injury comes with a long road to recovery. After all, it is not uncommon for the injury to require surgery, extensive hospitalization and in-depth rehabilitation. Unfortunately, many individuals who have had internal decapitation have life-long complications, such as paralysis, speech impairments and cognitive difficulties.
Recovering from internal decapitation is also extremely expensive. Ultimately, if someone you love has suffered the injury, it may be necessary to pursue financial compensation from the driver who is responsible for the collision.