The sudden impact of a car collision can leave you with lasting bodily injuries. Even if you don’t feel as though you have been hurt, the damage may reveal itself later. You could be left with chronic pain, numbness, or dizziness. Know the top five common car accident injuries and be ready to take precautions and appropriate steps to ensure that you are able to recover your health and financial security after an incident.
Whiplash occurs when the ligaments in your neck are strained and damaged. In a car accident, the weight of your head violently pulls on your neck due to the sudden changes of speed. Bones and tissues are not always strong enough to resist this external pressure, and tearing can occur.
The problem with whiplash is that it may not manifest itself right away. It could be several hours or days after the accident that you start to feel pain. You could experience reduced movement and suffer from a sudden onset of headaches. This injury may resolve itself over time with enough rest, but it will negatively affect your ability to concentrate or perform work.
A concussion is bruising of the brain. Normally, these injuries occur when your head strikes something with sufficient force. A side impact collision may throw your head into the glass, or you may hit the dash board if your airbags don’t stop you in time. You may experience drowsiness from a mild blow to the head, but severe head injuries are life threatening.
Even if your airbag does deploy, you are not automatically immune to a head injury. Your brain hits the inside of your skull as your head is brought to a violent halt. This does enough harm without leaving any visible signs of trauma. An emergency responder should check you for a concussion, and you need to follow any directions they give to seek additional medical help.
Always wear your seatbelt. Everyone knows that, but many do not realize that they often wear their seatbelts the wrong way. The force of an impact may cause your body to slide out from underneath your restraints. When this happens, your legs become crushed under the dashboard. In modern cars, a padded knee board is put in place to help deflect your movement should this occur, but damage to your knees joints is still likely. A long and slow recovery is difficult and painful.
Even when your seatbelt holds you securely in your seat and saves your life, it isn’t always enough to prevent every possible injury. Your spine is particularly vulnerable to the sudden force of a collision. The mass of your body moving against your restraint system can push your spinal column out of place. Like whiplash, these injuries may not manifest themselves right away. The pain of a herniated disc could surprise you later while performing a seemingly routine physical task. Moving a couch or working in the garden may be enough to trigger a trip to the emergency room for the back injury you sustained during a collision.
Your seatbelt runs across the soft middle of your body. In a crash, your internal organs are crushed against it, causing damage. Even though your harness saves your life, severe injuries like these need immediate medical attention. Emergency responders are trained to look for victims who exhibit signs of abdominal pain or internal bleeding.
If you have been involved in a vehicle collision, it is important to be evaluated by a doctor. Even if you feel fine, the symptoms of your injuries may not be immediately apparent. Never put off getting help because of fear of mounting expenses. An attorney can help to advise you on your rights following an accident and ensure that you receive the care you need.