Car accidents can result in several types of injuries. Depending on the impact of the collision and type of accident, injuries can range from mild to severe. Some injuries are obvious, while others do not manifest immediately.
In any case, it is important to be alert to body aches and pains and consult a medical provider immediately to prevent injuries from causing permanent damage. Being aware of some common injuries that occur during car accidents can increase one’s ability to recognize symptoms, take action, and seek appropriate treatment.
Head injuries are very common in automobile accidents. A driver’s or passenger’s head can collide with the dashboard, windshield, windows, doors, airbag, or steering wheel with high impact. These head collisions can cause damage to the brain, concussions, and closed head injuries when the fluid in the brain that protects it is damaged. One could also suffer lacerations, cuts, and bruises to the head. More severe injuries, such as skull fractures, brain damage, and traumatic brain injuries, can also occur. These injuries may cause loss of consciousness, memory, and require immediate medical attention.
Neck injuries are likely to happen in accidents. The most common neck injury from a car accident is whiplash. When the body moves around suddenly during a collision, the head and neck muscles are severely strained, causing damage to the bones, muscles, tendons, and tissues of the neck.
Whiplash symptoms can include stiffness, neck pain, upper back and shoulder pain. Treatment can include rest, physical therapy, and pain medication to manage the pain. Whiplash symptoms can be temporary or last for a long period of time. Though whiplash may seem minor, it should not be ignored.
Car accident victims can also get chest injuries. Chest injuries mostly occur when a driver collides with the steering wheel of the vehicle. Chest injuries can include minor scrapes and scratches, bruises, and broken ribs. Some accidents can cause internal bleeding when ribs are fractured due to the impact. Sometimes, the injuries to the chest can cause cardiac arrest. Also, parts of the vehicle can penetrate the chest area, causing organ damage and severe bleeding.
Accidents can also lead to broken bones. The impact of an accident can cause bones in the neck, spine, arms, and legs to break. Fractures can occur in the head as well. Fractures take a long time to heal, may require surgery, and can cause severe pain.
Automobile accidents can cause injuries to the spine. Some injuries may be minor, such as a whiplash, however, more severe injuries can lead to paralysis. When there is an injury to the spine, the victim loses sensation and loss of movement to the extremities.
Other spinal cord injuries may result in a herniated disc injury. This type of injury results in the disc in the vertebra, and causes it to bulge, leading to radiating pain, tingling, and numbing sensations down the back and leg. Treatment for spinal injuries entails physical therapy, surgery, and pain medication.
Spinal cord injuries, such as whiplash and herniated discs, may not manifest immediately after an accident. These injuries take time to heal and should be reported to a medical provider so that appropriate medical care and attention are provided. Ignoring symptoms can lead to life-long pain and discomfort.
Most often, blunt force trauma happens in accidents. Blunt force trauma occurs when objects in the vehicle collide with the vehicle. The force of the object can cause bruising and tenderness. More severe force can cause broken bones, fractures and organ damage. Symptoms include soreness, bluish or purple bruises, tightness, and swelling to the area where trauma occurred.
Accidents can also impact the joints of the body. Often, in an accident, one can damage the knee during impact. Other joints, such as the shoulder girdle or elbows, can be injured. Joint injuries may require surgery and several months of physical therapy to alleviate the pain, restore its normal range of motion, and function.
Sometimes, car accidents can lead to fires due to the combustion of gasoline in the vehicle. Severe burns can be devastating injuries, requiring skin grafts and plastic surgeries.
Unfortunately, mental injuries are common in car accident victims. Accident injuries can lead to severe emotional and psychological trauma. Often, victims of car accidents suffer physical injuries, job loss, financial strain, and trauma from the memory of the accident that can lead to psychological issues. The circumstances following an accident can cause anxiety and depression. One may not recognize his or her emotional and mental trauma and fail to seek medical attention. However, it is important to know that accidents can lead to emotional and psychological ailments that should be taken seriously.
Seek immediate medical attention following an accident. Pay attention to all aches and pains and know that some injuries do not show immediately. Seeing a medical provider immediately can also help identify injuries that are invisible.
Additionally, a medical provider can provide important documents that can be useful in proving injuries, should the victim decide to pursue medical claims through insurance for disability or litigation.
Many of the injuries outlined above can be prevented when drivers follow safety measures and precautions. Always wear a seat belt, do not drive under the influence or while drowsy. Avoid distractions while driving, practice driving according to the speed limit, and ensure that the vehicle is well-maintained.
Often, when there is liability in an accident, the factors examined to determine liability include whether the drivers of the vehicles were following safety measures, such as wearing a seat belt and following the speed limit.
If a driver gets into a car accident, he or she may be entitled to compensation for the injuries. A driver may be able to make a claim with his or her insurance company or may be able file a personal injury suit. A dedicated lawyer will help with a claim.
Car accidents can lead to devastating injuries. Our Pittsburgh car accident lawyers at AlpernSchubert P.C. specialize in car accidents and have extensive experience in negotiating with insurance providers and opposing counsel to ensure that our clients get compensation. For a free consultation, contact us online or call us at 412-765-1888. Located in Pittsburgh, we serve clients throughout western Pennsylvania, including Allegheny County, Lawrence County, and Washington County.