Over 42,000 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2021 alone. These crashes result in millions of dollars spent on hospital bills as you try to recover from your injuries.
A car accident is extremely frightening, even if nobody gets hurt. Unfortunately, these cases are in the minority, with most car accidents leaving people with physical and psychological injuries.
Between all the violent movements, debris, broken glass, and impact, there are quite a few common injuries that come from car accidents. Some injuries like bruising, sprains, and strains are logical, but burn injuries from hot liquid or car parts are just as likely to occur.
If you’ve been in an accident, it’s important that you understand some of the common injuries that occur. So keep reading to find out more about a few types of injuries, how they occur, and what you should do if you’re injured.
1. Whiplash (Neck Strain)
Whiplash is one of the most common injuries as a result of car accidents. This injury occurs when your head is quickly jerked forward and backward. Whiplash is commonly caused by rear-end car accidents, as you’re less likely to anticipate the impact.
Whiplash doesn’t just cause pain; it can damage the muscles in your neck, tendons, ligaments, and facet joints.
Most symptoms of whiplash set in within 24 hours, but the timing depends on your specific injury. Some signs of whiplash include the following:
- Neck pain
- Neck stiffness
- Limited range of motion in the neck
Whiplash doesn’t occur in all car accidents. There needs to be enough force to make your neck whip around. This is why whiplash is more common in high-speed crashes.
2. Back and Spine Injuries
Back and spine injuries are incredibly dangerous if left untreated. This is why paramedics tend to immobilize people that have been in car accidents. This prevents the spine and neck from moving and causing further damage.
The symptoms depend on where the injury happened and how severe it was. Common back and spinal cord injury symptoms include the following:
- Back pain
- Limited mobility
- Weakness in the legs
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
- Loss of mobility
- Circulation problems
Back and spinal cord injuries are more likely to occur if the vehicle rolls due to the accident or if the vehicle occupants are thrown from the vehicle due to the collision. A high-speed crash can also cause back and spinal cord injuries.
Pedestrians, motorcycles, or bicycle users that collide with a vehicle also tend to result in more serious back injuries as they aren’t protected by a vehicle.
3. Head Injuries
Head and brain injuries are a big concern if you’ve been in an accident. Car accidents are one of the leading causes of traumatic brain injury, so you should be extra careful.
The point of impact tends to affect how severe the injuries are. Minor to severe symptoms can occur after a head injury. Some common symptoms include the following:
3.1 Cognitive Symptoms
While most people think of symptoms as things you can see, cognitive symptoms are common when it comes to head and brain injuries. Problems with concentration and memory are natural right after an incident, but some people have memory problems for the rest of their life.
Some people have difficulty speaking after a head injury and also report perception impairments. Head injuries can have a wide range of cognitive symptoms, and it changes depending on each individual case.
3.2 Behavioral Symptoms
After a head injury, some people report behavioral symptoms. Mood swings, anxiety, and increased irritability are all common changes people go through.
If the behavioral symptoms increase and persist, then it might be a good idea to seek further medical help.
3.3 Physical Symptoms
Some common physical symptoms include fatigue, nausea, vomiting, and balance issues. Many patients also have headaches for a while after the accident.
3.4 Severe injuries can affect people’s mobility
Car accident injuries aren’t all physical. PTSD from a car accident is something a lot of accident survivors need to deal with. This can make traveling in a car or being around cars extremely difficult if not handled properly.
Psychological injuries can impact people for years after the incident still. Generally, the psychological effects are more apparent if the person suffered severe physical injuries or sustained permanent injuries.
4. Bone Fractures
Bone fractures are the injury most people expect to come out of a car accident. These injuries can range from fractures all the way to broken or shattered bones.
Bone fractures are more likely to occur when a high-speed accident takes place. Side- or front-impact collisions are also more likely to result in bone fractures than rear-impact collisions. If someone is thrown from the vehicle due to a collision, chances are they’ll suffer some serious bone fractures due to the impact.
The severity of the injury will impact how you perceive the symptoms. A small fracture won’t be as painful as a shattered bone. Some common symptoms include the following:
- Localized pain
- Limited mobility
- Swelling and tenderness
- Nerve and tissue damage
Common Injuries From Car Accidents
When it comes to car accidents, injuries are expected; if you walk away from an accident without a scratch, then you’re extremely lucky. This is why it’s important to know how to deal with the most common injuries that come from car accidents. It’s also a good idea to seek legal help or hire a lawyer if you’ve been in an accident to protect yourself on all sides.
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