Have you ever been involved in a car accident? Were you injured? What are the most common car accident injuries? A car accident, even, a minor collision can cause injuries to your body. It is important to see a doctor after a car accident to determine the extent of your injuries.
Disclosure: Please seek medical advice from a doctor if you have questions or concerns about any injuries as a result of a car accident. Once stable contact a personal injury lawyer for questions regarding your specific injuries.
At the scene, you most likely won’t notice any signs or symptoms of an injury. After an accident, your body releases adrenaline. Adrenaline can mask signs and symptoms of an injury sometimes even in a major accident., When you notice that the pain from your car accident injuries isn’t going to go away, do contact a personal injury lawyer.
Dealing with the medical bills and ongoing pain is a scary experience, especially when you are living on a fixed budget. A personal injury lawyer, Hunter Law, P.A., has the experience to deal with the aftermath of a car accident. Plus, the last thing that I needed was to accidentally say the wrong thing to the other party’s insurance company especially if you have these common car accident injuries.
Neck and Back Injuries
A car accident can leave you with neck and back injuries. These injuries can range from mild to severe depending on the severity of the crash. Even if you don’t feel like you are injured or feel any pain, it is best to seek immediate treatment. Sometimes it can take several weeks or even months for injuries to surface from a car accident and without treatment, these injuries could manifest into permanent damage.
The force that is put on your body when you are in a car accident can cause neck and back pain, typically low back. Injuries can be found in the tissue that surrounds your neck or spine. The injuries that are seen frequently occur in the muscles, tendons, facet joints, nerves, and discs. You will need to be seen by a doctor that is familiar with injuries from car accidents.
The damage to facet joints can’t be seen on x-rays or MRIs. A trained orthopedic or pain management doctor can diagnose these injuries using physical palpation.
Whiplash is a common injury that typically occurs when you are involved in a rear-end collision. When your car is struck, your head violently jerks backward against the headrest and thrust forward. It is even possible to hit your head on the steering wheel when your head thrusts forward. This sudden movement causes the muscles and tendons in your neck to stretch or tear depending on the severity of the head movement.
If you have been involved in a rear-end collision, you should be checked by a doctor if you have any of the following symptoms of whiplash:
- stiff neck
- neck pain
- additional pain when moving your neck
- tender or pain felt in your shoulders, upper back or arms
- numbness or tingling that travels down the arm
- fatigue (even your neck/back muscles)
- blurry vision
- problems sleeping
- memory problems
- new or worsening depression symptoms
- difficulty concentrating
Herniated Disc (Bulging Disc)
Your spine has 24 donut-shaped discs. The discs are positioned between the vertebrae. Each one is made up of tough connective tissue that is filled with a jelly-like substance. They are designed to act as shock absorbers and prevent the vertebrae from rubbing together. A disc isn’t designed to move due to limited space. So when you are involved in a car accident, the discs can swell and can push through the outer layer causing it to become distorted or bulge. A bulging disc can weaken the outer membrane and cause the disc to tear. Then it applies pressure to the surrounding nerves if your disc tears or ruptures. The jelly-like substance can leak out into the spinal cord and causes it to compress surrounding nerves.
A herniated disc is very painful and can cause major complications depending on where the problem disc is located on the spine. It is important to heed the painful warning signals and seek treatment immediately to prevent long-term problems. A car accident can cause herniated discs. If your doctor finds evidence of a problem with your discs, your medical bills can rise very quickly. With proper treatment, it is possible for the disc to heal itself. However, this doesn’t happen very often and you will require more extensive testing and possibly even spine surgery. Never take “no” or have a doctor tell you that your disc “isn’t that bad” if you are still in pain. Continue to seek answers so you don’t settle too quickly or think that the problem will eventually go away.
A car accident that results in a fire can inflict burns if you are trapped inside of the car or when being pulled out of the burning car. Burns are painful injuries and can be classified based on the severity of the tissue burned.
- First-Degree Burns – These are minor burns that cause injury to the skin’s surface. It causes redness, swelling, and pain.
- Second-Degree Burns – A second-degree burn causes damage to the outer layer and the second layer of skin. It causes painful blisters, swellings, severe pain, and permanent scarring.
- Third-Degree Burns – Third-degree burns cause major damage because it penetrates the fat layer that is beneath the skin’s surface. It will cause major permanent scarring, possible damage to nerves, feel numbness in the area burned, increased risk for infections, and even life-threatening breathing issues.
You can also receive burns if the airbags deploy and even get burned by the friction caused by the seatbelt locking into place.
Soft Tissue Injuries
The tissue surrounding your bones can be injured when you are in a car accident. Soft tissue injuries are harder to diagnose because doctors don’t have imaging to provide evidence of the extent of the injury. They can papillate the area where it hurts but they don’t always understand how much it hurts.
Please speak up if you feel that you have soft tissue injuries. When I was injured in my car accident, my personal injury lawyer and doctors never mentioned potential injuries to the soft tissue in my back and I wish that they had told me that it is a common car accident injury. It is important that you are honest with your doctor and personal injury lawyer so that they know the extent of your injuries.
Broken bones are a common injury that typically occurs in high-impact collisions. The crash causes an extreme amount of force that is applied to the bones. Too much force or pressure can cause a fracture or severely broken bones that require surgery to correct. If you have broken bones, you will need a good personal injury lawyer to represent you. Part of their representation includes helping you with the medical bills, time off for work recovery, and expenses incurred if you are unable to work.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Car and motorcycle accidents account for half of the new spinal cord injuries every year. While accidents cannot always be prevented, it is important to stay completely, unless the vehicle is on fire, still if you suspect a spinal cord injury or possible damage to your spine until paramedics arrive. The EMT’s have the proper training to be able to help move you safely so that the chances of permanent damage decrease.
Spinal cord injuries can cause permanent disability. Even if you have been evaluated by a doctor in the Emergency room immediately after the accident, it is still important to watch for the signs and symptoms of a spinal cord injury. An injury may not show up immediately. The symptoms of a spinal cord injury or damage to your spine, surrounding soft tissue, ligaments, tendons, and discs, can even come on slowly.
It isn’t uncommon for car accidents to cause emotional problems. While most people tend to focus on their physical injuries, we wanted to make sure that you are aware of the emotional problems that may arise after a motor vehicle accident. Look for the following symptoms of emotional problems:
- mood swings
- feel humiliated
- sleep problems
- crying spells
- lack of appetite
- no longer interested in things you enjoy
Don’t feel guilty for feeling the emotional side effects that are a direct result of an auto accident. It has been almost 20 years since my accident and I am still fearful of being in a wreck. I don’t make a very good passenger either as a result because I am not in control of the car.
Internal bleeding can be a life-threatening injury and needs immediate examination to determine where the bleeding is so that it can be stopped. If you suspect that you have internal bleeding or injuries try to relax and stay as calm as possible until EMTs arrive on the scene. They can do a quick examination and get you to the emergency room quickly for an evaluation by a doctor. Don’t be surprised if they cut your clothes off because they don’t want to move you until they know that you are stable. If you do suffer from internal injuries, you will need a personal injury attorney to help you with the medical bills, expenses, and pain and suffering.
Hiring the right personal attorney is important if you were involved in a car accident that left you with injuries. Most personal injury lawyers don’t require payment upfront and only get paid when you get paid. Car accidents can be devastating and you don’t have to go through it alone. Plus, you don’t need to navigate all the legal jargon when it comes to common car accident injuries.