It’s no secret that car accidents cause injuries. And unfortunately, some of those injuries require treatment at an emergency care facility.
Most car accidents result in what’s referred to as “impact injuries”. This type of injury comes from slamming into part of the vehicle when hit by another car or an airborne object. Other common injuries include bruising, internal bleeding, and cuts or tears from broken glass or metal.
Here’s a look at some of the most common car accident injuries to be aware of—and why the doctor is often an ideal next stop after an accident.
Head and Brain Injuries
Some of the worst things that can happen in the aftermath of a car accident are brain injuries or head trauma.
Traumatic brain injuries are some of the most common, and ominous car accident injuries that can happen. Injuries include bruising or bleeding in the brain, skull fracture, concussion, and recurring traumatic brain injury.
Symptoms range from mild headaches and disorientation to full-blown brain damage. What’s scary about head injuries, is that they don’t usually leave any visible signs of damage. Often, the brain is rattled around inside the skull due to sudden movements at the time of impact. That impact may cause the brain to swell, bruise, or bleed—despite appearing normal.
Because brain damage can be permanent, you should always seek medical attention immediately after an accident. No matter how good you feel walking away from the scene, there’s still the risk of bruising or internal bleeding.
But head injuries can cause more than just brain damage. Some people lose or break teeth during the impact, and others will see things like jaw or cheekbone fractures.
Another type of injury that can send shivers down your spine, internal bleeding is, unfortunately, a common outcome in car accidents.
Like brain injuries, internal injuries are not always visible. That said, internal damage to critical organs is still a possibility in the event of an accident. Again—you’ve got to see a doctor as soon as possible after an accident to make sure everything’s ok.
If you experience abdominal pain following an accident, get that checked out immediately. It could be a sign of internal bleeding. Other signs include dizziness and large bruises.
Neck injuries are another common injury. A neck injury includes mild forms of whiplash and strain, as well as injured discs and cervical dislocation.
The reason car accident injuries so often end in a neck injury of some kind is because the neck stretches and snaps back into place. When hit by an object or another vehicle, the car often stops suddenly, and as a result, can damage the spinal cord, ligaments, or discs in the neck and down the back.
In extreme cases, the victim may be paralyzed and can lose function or feeling in large sections of the body.
Like neck injuries, back injuries frequently happen due to the snapping motion of the vertebrae, known as whiplash. Back injuries range quite a bit in terms of severity.
Whiplash is an injury that affects the soft tissue and causes damage when that tissue snaps due to sudden, rapid acceleration or motion.
Worst case scenario, broken or fractured backs can result in paralysis or death. If you’re experiencing pain of any kind following a car accident, you should seek medical attention in order to receive a proper diagnosis.
Less terrifying back injuries can still cause ongoing problems.
Many people experience pain in their muscles, nerves, and ligaments following a collision. Additionally, even mild instances of whiplash can cause ongoing headaches or a painful, albeit not super common, jaw condition known as temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJ).
Delayed Car Accident Injuries
Severe car accident injuries may result in some unexpected problems down the road. We’re talking chronic pain stemming from a past impact or emotional issues like depression or anxiety. Emotional distress could be a symptom of a brain injury or PTSD, so it’s important you keep tabs on your mental health as much as your physical.
Other delayed car accident injuries include back pain, numbness and tingling, headaches, dizziness, fainting, and neck and shoulder pain.
After a Car Accident Document Everything
As we’ve already mentioned, you need to go to the doctor as soon as you can after an accident. Most insurance companies recommend that you check in with a physician within 72 hours of the collision.
You probably know you should take pictures and record the extent of the damages done to your property, but you need to do the same for your person. Go to the doctor and be sure to list out everything that is causing you physical pain. The more information you can provide, the better chance you have to receive damages for any sustained injury.
Ongoing doctor visits may be required if you’re dealing with persistent low back pain or emotional trauma. At home, you should also be diligent about recording any changes you notice in your body—this is critical if you plan on filing a pain and suffering case. Some car accident injuries take some time to show up.
We’re Here to Help You Pick Up the Pieces from Car Accident Injuries
Have you recently been in a car accident? If so, it’s wise to speak to an attorney. Your insurance company isn’t looking out for your best interests and in many cases, won’t cover the full scope of medical expenses you need in order to get back on your feet following a traumatic event.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you learn whether you are owed enough money to cover your medical expenses or damage to your quality of life.
Manning Law can help you navigate the aftermath of an accident—from personal injuries to wrongful death and issues with bad faith insurance.
If you or a family member have been hurt in a car accident in Denver, CO, give us a call.