Car accidents cause painful injuries, which can affect for many days, weeks, and even years. According to the National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), auto accidents affect over three million people each year. These accidents, on the other hand, cause different injuries, which depend on the type of accident. However, certain car accident injuries are very common, regardless of the type of accident.
It’s important to note that specific injuries resulting from car accidents can resolve within a few days—and the patient won’t require any medical attention. However, others can lead to permanent injuries, which lead to some sort of physical disability.
The severity and type of auto accident injuries sustained by passengers and drivers depend on certain factors, which include:
- The type of accident
- Was it a high-speed or low-speed collision
- Was the car fitted with airbags?
- Was the occupant’s seat belt on?
- Which direction was the occupant facing? Was their body or head turned towards a particular direction?
With that said, let’s look at the common car accident injuries
This is one of the most common car accident injuries. Typically, whiplash happens when your neck experiences sudden back-and-forth movements and it results from rear-end collisions. Dr. Verg, a car accident chiropractor, says that whiplash can lead to soft tissue injuries, mostly in the neck area and upper back. At times, whiplash can lead to severe back injuries, especially if the collision was a high impact one.
Common symptoms of whiplash include pain, headaches, and neck stiffness. Sadly, most car accident victims don’t experience these effects until a day or two after the car accident. You should expect to feel better after a few days if you experience these symptoms. However, whiplash effects can last for several months, or even years in certain cases.
Cuts and scrapes
When a car accident happens, any loose item inside the car turns into a projectile that’s thrown around inside the vehicle. Some of these items include cell phones, eyeglasses, coffee mugs, books, dash cams, and purses, among others. These objects can easily cut or scrape your skin if they hit your body. Moreover, they can cause serious injuries if they have notable weight.
Mostly, cuts and scrapes resulting from an auto accident tend to be minor, and they don’t require medical attention. However, if such injuries are severe, they can lead to serious loss of blood, and the doctor might need to stitch the affected area. Also, deploying airbags can cause cuts and scrapes.
Mostly, this happens when the victim is thrown back-and-forth. A concussion is a very serious injury, and it can happen even if you don’t hit your head on any object. At times, you might experience the symptoms immediately, it can also take some hours for them to be evident.
Some of these symptoms include dizziness, seeing stars, temporary loss of consciousness, headache, the constant ringing of the ears, or head pressure. You should never take concussions lightly. Therefore, consider seeking medical attention the moment you notice that you are having challenges with focus, concentration, or memory.
Mostly, chest injuries are the cause of bruises or contusions. However, these injuries can be serious—especially if the accident was severe. Some of the severe chest injuries include injuries to the internal organs, as well as broken ribs.
Chest injuries mostly affect drivers because of the small space between the steering wheel and their chest. In the case of a head-on collision, seat belts tend to cause bruising. A deploying airbag can also cause chest injuries, especially if the car was at high speed when the accident happened.
This type of injury affects the muscles, tendons, ligaments, or nerves. Mostly, they happen if your body is compressed, bent, or stretched in the event of an accident. Musculoskeletal injuries can affect your mobility in case the injuries are serious.
Some of the common signs of musculoskeletal injuries include inflammation, redness, swelling, and pain that increases with certain activities. Mostly, this is an indication of soft-tissue injuries. Therefore, you should seek the necessary medical attention to prevent long-term or permanent damage.
Head injuries caused by an auto accident come in different forms. Some of these injuries are minor, while others are very serious. When the car experiences a sudden change in direction or stop, the heads of the vehicle occupants also experience unexpected and abnormal movements.
Apart from the back and neck muscle strains, your head can be injured. Impacts from the steering wheel or side window can cause bruising and scrape to the head, or deeper cuts. However, the victims can also suffer from a closed head injury, especially if the impact was high.
In this situation, the tissue and fluid inside the head can be damaged due to the impact or sudden movement of the head. Mild closed-head injuries mostly lead to concussions. Nevertheless, brain damage can happen in case of a severe impact.
These types of injuries happen as a result of compression or the blunt force of the accident. It’s important to note that almost any bone can break after an accident. However, the most common bone fractures affect the hands, arms, legs, and feet.
Forward collisions are the most culprits of bone fractures. The force resulting from the impact causes the bones in the driver’s hands to break because of how they are positioned in the steering wheel. Common signs of bone fractures include redness, swelling, deformity, bruising, severe pain, and loss of function.
Your doctor should assist you in determining the right treatment—and this will depend on the location and severity of the fracture.
Although you might not see them, it’s possible to sustain psychological injuries if you get involved in an auto accident. Car accidents can be traumatic, and some people tend to develop phobia or aversion to driving. Others experience depression, particularly if the accident caused injuries or death to other people.
You should seek the necessary professional help if you realize that you are experiencing anxiety or depression after an auto accident. Today, we have professional psychologists who assist people with accident-related trauma.
Dislocated or broken hips
The unexpected impact of an auto accident can dislocate or break the hip. Sadly, a broken or dislocated hip takes a long period of time to heal—and a patient might need to undergo several surgeries for the hip to be restored. If you sustain a hip injury after a car accident, you need to consider the long recovery time when making your insurance claims.
Also known as bruising, internal bleeding can be very serious, and even fatal at some time. Therefore, you should seek immediate medical attention after being involved in a car accident. Some injuries, such as internal bleeding are not visible, but they pose a severe threat to your life. Always make sure that you get the necessary medical care and tests required to rule out the possibility of bruising.
The impact and stress of a car accident can make your spine to shift abruptly. This can lead to serious spinal injuries and herniated discs. These injuries are excruciating, and they take longer to heal. Some of the common problems that you might experience if you have spinal injuries include tingling, numbness, and nerve pain.