What are Some Common Auto Accident Injuries
Millions of people each year suffer car accident injuries. The vast majority of injuries are what is called “soft tissue” injuries meaning that the injury you sustained was to muscle or other tissue that will typically heal without without much medical treatment.
Often car accident injuries or soft tissue injuries will resolve themselves within a few of days without any medical treatment at all. More serious injuries might become permanent and result in some level of physical disability.
The type and severity of injuries suffered in a car accident depend on several factors that including:
- Was the person wearing a seat belt?
- Did the person’s car get hit from the rear, side or front?
- Was the occupant facing straight ahead in the seat? Or was the person’s head or body turned in a certain direction?
- Was it a low-speed collision or a high-speed crash?
- Did the car have airbags?
The general categories of car accident injuries are: (1) impact injuries (such as when your head hits the dash board), and (2) penetrating injuries (such as being cut by flying glass).
Soft Tissue Injuries and Car Accidents
Soft tissue injuries cause damage to the body’s connective tissue, which means muscles, ligaments and tendons. Soft tissue injuries come in many forms.
“whiplash” is a soft tissue injury to the neck and upper back. Whiplash injuries occur when muscles and ligaments are stretched due to extreme movements of the head and neck in the car accident collision. Similar injuries occur to the mid-back and lower back or even other parts of the body. The spinal injuries caused in an automobile accident can cause debilitating pain that lasts for months and even years. You may not feel the pain immediately after the accident. It is not uncommon to notice the pain the next day or even a few days later.
Scrapes and Cuts
In a auto accident, loose objects inside the car, broken glass and even objects outside of the vehicle turn into projectiles that can cause cuts and scrapes. Your airbag may cause injuries as well especially if you have something in your hands when it is triggered. Most often the cuts and scrapes can be cleaned and bandaged with no further treatment required. Occasionally, an car accident victim may require stitches, skin grafts or other medical treatment.
Head Injuries and Car Accidents
Head injuries come in many forms, from relatively minor to life threatening. They occur most often when a passenger’s or driver’s come into forcible contact with the dashboard, window or steering wheel. A concussion may not immediately be apparent. It could be hours or days later before you notice. The same is true with certain types of brain injuries. This is why it is vital to get checked out by a doctor right away if you have suffered any type of head injury, even if it seems minor. More severe collision impacts can cause a closed head injury. In that situation, the fluid and tissue inside the skull are damaged because of the sudden movement or impact of the head. Less severe closed head injuries often result in concussions, while the most severe impacts can cause brain damage.
Broken or bruised ribs, bruised lungs and other injuries to your chest are common in a car accident. The driver of the vehicle are most often the person to suffer a chest injury in an automobile accident. This is because the driver is often forced into the steering wheel on impact but passengers may also have chest injuries by slamming into the dashboard or other objects in a car accident. The seat belt and airbags may also cause chest injuries.
Arm and Leg Injuries
The same accident forces that throw a person’s head about in automobile collisions can do the same to arms and legs. Side impact accidents especially can cause injury to your arms and legs. Passengers often have very little leg room which can mean that legs become trapped or pinned in the vehicle. Depending on the nature of the collision, injuries to your arms and legs might be mere bruises or scrapes, but sprains and even breaks can occur.
A Final Note
Some injuries are not readily apparent following a car accident. Depending on the injury, it may take days, weeks, or even months for symptoms to appear. So if you are in a car accident, it is best to seek medical treatment for even the slightest discomfort or early indication of injury. It is also important to contact a personal injury attorney to help you deal with the insurance company and to make sure that you get the best medical treatment. You should not be charged for an initial consultation and a qualified personal injury attorney can tell you if you have a case without any cost to you.