If you are in a car accident, you should always get checked out by a medical professional. Some of the most common car accident injuries, such as whiplash, may not show up immediately. If paramedics come to the scene, never refuse the offer to be checked out. The most common type of car accident is a rear-end collision – and this usually happens when someone is tailgating. This means that there’s a possibility of getting hit at higher speeds, which could cause several of these injuries, depending on the circumstances.
Brain and Head Injuries
Brain injuries include blows to the head, such as hitting your head on the windshield, or if something pierces your head in an accident. These are referred to as traumatic brain injuries. Some traumatic brain injuries may be mild, such as a mild concussion. More severe brain injuries may result in impaired concentration, speech, memory, vision and emotional control. Additionally, you may suffer from other injuries, including eye injuries, ear injuries, fractured face or jaw bones and dental injuries.
A concussion is when the brain is severely shaken inside the skull that usually results in bruising (contusions). A mild contusion might cause bruising on your brain and you may need to rest for a while. Serious contusions might cause headaches, severe nausea, vomiting and disorientation. If you have serious pressure or bleeding in your brain, you may have to have surgery. If you suffered head trauma that was bad enough to make you black out, you should definitely go to the emergency room or urgent care clinic.
Neck and Back Injuries
Neck and back injuries are also common during accidents. While vehicle manufacturers are installing different types of headrests that help prevent whiplash, they are not standard equipment on many vehicles. Additionally, they are often only in the front seats. Whiplash is when your neck stretches and then quickly snaps back in place during an impact. Whiplash is not necessarily just damage to your neck – it includes damage to the spinal cord, vertebrae, ligaments or disks.
Loss of function in one or more of your limbs and/or other parts of your body and chronic pain are side effects of whiplash. You may need physical therapy and other medical care for injuries related to whiplash. Often, you may not even realize you have whiplash until days or even weeks after an accident. Keep records of all doctors’ appointments, especially those regarding pain and other issues with your neck and back.
Leg and Knee Injuries
In most cases, if you suffer leg or knee injuries during a car accident, it is because your legs and knees smashed into something in the vehicle. Wounds could be as minor as bruising to multiple fractures. You could also suffer from a meniscus tear – a torn cartilage in your knee. You could also injure your ankles, toes and feet in a car accident. You could use a cane, crutches, walker or even a wheelchair until your injuries heal, depending on the extent of the injury.
Chest injuries may happen whether or not you wear a seat belt, but are more common if you don’t. Chest injuries have also decreased because vehicles now have airbags in the steering wheels and dashboards. Internal injuries and fractures may still occur, even with seat belt and airbag use.
If you suffer from broken bones during a car accident, you will need emergency care. Some bones may be healed with surgery and some may only require a cast, depending on which bones are broken and how they break – a crack, a complete break or multiple breaks. A compound fracture – when the bone sticks out of the skin – is a major emergency due to the high risk of infection and extensive amount of pain.
Accidents and Depression
You should always go to the hospital, even with what seem to be minor injuries, since injuries could be internal or become a significant problem over time. It’s always safest to get scanned to determine whether you have internal bleeding or injuries.
In some cases, people may suffer depression after an accident because of their injuries, chronic pain or because they are not able to do their jobs or activities that they are used to doing. If you suffer from injuries – even minor injuries – you should contact a car accident lawyer. Always keep track of all doctors’ visits, including therapists you may visit for depression. If you are entitled to personal injury compensation because of pain and suffering and your injuries, you will need proof of medical care for injuries and depression that are related to the vehicle accident.
An attorney is there t help you avoid having to do all these tasks yourself and follow your treatment so you can focus on recovering.