Extrication from a Vehicle following a Collision

flipped vehicle

The Jaws of Life: a dramatic name for a critical life-saving tool used when people suffer collisions and become trapped in their vehicles. First responders have been trained in the most safe and efficient manner to perform these rescue operations for good reason; minutes can mean the difference between life and death.

Injuries Associated with Various Types of Collision

It’s not difficult to imagine that when people are trapped in a wrecked vehicle, a variety of injuries may cause imminent danger. This is one key factor that puts the pressure on rescue teams to get to victims quickly. Any accident has the potential to cause a variety of damage to the human body. Nonetheless, particular types of injuries are frequently associated with certain kinds of accidents:

Front end Crashes

  • Fractures in the hips, legs, and feet;
  • Injuries to the abdominal region;
  • Chest injuries;
  • Damage to the spinal cord;
  • Head injuries and traumatic brain injuries.


  • Shoulder dislocations;
  • Breathing problems;
  • Injuries to the spine;
  • Internal injuries;
  • Fractured pelvis;
  • Blunt trauma;
  • Head injuries.

Rear end Collisions

  • Damage to the cervical spine;
  • Lacerations to the face and head;
  • Lumbar trauma;
  • Trauma to the chest of the driver;


  • Lacerations;
  • Trauma to the trunk;
  • Crushing wounds;
  • Unconsciousness;
  • Breathing issues.

Increased Risks

The time element associated with a vehicle extraction is logically connected to a greater chance of negative outcomes in the aftermath of a serious accident. The World Health Organization outlines key concerns after a serious collision:

  • Fire erupting following the crash;
  • Hazardous material leaks;
  • Delay in performing a thorough medical assessment and providing appropriate interventions;
  • Difficulties in stabilizing injuries before, during, and after extraction;
  • Potential impacts of drugs or alcohol on victims.

What to Expect in an Extrication

If you or a loved one is trapped in a vehicle, be assured that first responders have clear guidelines they follow in order to promote the safety of all involved:

They will stabilize the vehicle, and then disconnect the battery. Airbags will be disengaged if they have not yet been deployed. Then rescue workers will determine what structural issues are impacting the victim’s inability to be removed from the vehicle, and will work to create a path to the victim. That may entail removing a door, cutting through a rooftop, or other maneuvers. In the event a victim is pinned, more cutting, spreading, pushing and pulling may ensue.All of this commotion may be alarming to someone who is trapped, but it is an essential part of the rescue process. Ultimately, extrication will occur, and initial medical attention will be focused on stabilizing the patient until they reach a hospital.

Recovering from the Trauma

A serious accident that traps a person can be terrifying in ways other accidents are not. If you or a loved one is struggling through the physical, emotional, and financial aftermath of such an accident, the Jackson auto accident attorneys at the office of Derek L. Hall, PC can help. We will go after the negligent or reckless driver who put this scenario in motion. Contact us in our Jackson office for a free, confidential consultation today.