Some types of injuries commonly caused by car accidents will heal within a few days. Others, however, are serious enough to require medical treatment. Some injuries could even result in permanent disability.
There are several steps you should take after a car accident. First, ensure you seek medical attention. Next, get legal representation. You will need a personal injury lawyer to help you with any documentation or settlements. Finally, follow up with your insurance provider and update them with the pertinent information.
While you may focus on the legal and financial aspects of a car accident, it’s important not to overlook the medical aspects. Let’s learn more about nine common car accident injuries and how they happen.
1. Bruise Injuries
Bruises are often caused by the seat belts worn by people involved in a car crash. Bruises are not that serious compared to what can happen to those who are not wearing their seat belt at the time of a collision.
Bruises will usually heal within a week or two. However, if a bruise comes with the loss of motion, swelling, nausea, headaches, loss of vision, and other alarming symptoms, it could be a sign of a more serious injury that might not be visible.
2. Facial injuries
Recovering from a facial injury can be difficult, especially if it’s serious. Car accidents and violent collisions can cause facial bone fractures, tooth loss, eye injuries, and lacerations to any part of the face, the nose, the mouth and the ears.
Unfortunately, facial injuries can result in disfiguring scars. These injuries often require reconstructive surgeries, but the scars and discoloration might never completely disappear.
6. Neck injuries and whiplash injuries
During a car accident, someone’s body can get thrown against the steering wheel or an airbag. This can cause serious injuries to the muscles, tendons and cartilage of the neck.
Whiplash is a common neck injury resulting from a sudden forward and backward movement, just like a whip’s crack. This serious neck strain is an invisible injury, but that doesn’t make it any less painful.
Whiplash symptoms can appear a day or two after a car accident, and although they can disappear after a week, the injury can have long-term consequences.
4. Arm and leg injuries
Limbs can hit different parts of a car during a collision, and as a result, they can get heavily bruised, sprained, strained, or broken.
The delicate bones of the fingers and wrists can get injured if a person has the reflex of trying to protect their face with their hands during an accident. As for drivers, the fact that their legs are stretched forward makes their legs and their feet particularly vulnerable.
In very brutal accidents, limbs can get cut off or so damaged that it becomes necessary to partially or fully remove them.
5. Chest injuries
Steering wheels, seat belts, and dashboards can be responsible for chest injuries such as cracked or broken ribs and damage to internal organs.
Although these injuries can have bruising as a symptom, it is not always the case. Damaged ribs are often invisible but will be painful if you touch them if you twist your body, cough, or laugh.
6. Back injuries
Car accidents can cause various back injuries, including back sprain or strain, pinched nerves, nerve damage, slipped discs, and ruptured discs.
Unfortunately, many of these back injuries come with debilitating pain and can result in permanent disability. A spinal cord injury, which can result from damage to the vertebrae, ligaments or discs of the spine, can even lead to paralysis.
7. Scrapes, cuts & burn injuries
Scrapes, cuts, and burns are other common car accident injuries. Any loose object inside a vehicle can violently be thrown around and hit someone’s body during a collision. Even a small purse, a plastic mug or a cellphone could cause serious scrapes and cuts that could require some stitches.
As for burns, they are often caused by hot liquids or engine parts that someone’s skin could get in contact with during a car crash.
8. Soft tissue injuries
Soft tissue injuries are injuries to the body’s soft tissues, including muscles, tendons, and ligaments. These soft tissues can stretch suddenly during a collision, resulting in a sprain or a strain.
A sprain occurs when a ligament gets torn or overstretched. A strain happens when a muscle or a tendon gets torn or overstretched, so the two injuries are very similar.
The most common type of soft tissue injury caused by car accidents is whiplash, but we will discuss it briefly.
9. Brain injuries
Finally, concussions and other traumatic brain injuries are invisible injuries that can have severe consequences. The symptoms are often slow to appear, and for many people, they might never go away once they have appeared.
Brain injuries can be difficult to diagnose. If you have been involved in a car accident and received a blow to the head, you should see a doctor even if you feel fine. In fact, since many injuries resulting from car accidents are invisible, you should seek medical attention even if you did not get a blow to the head.