Scared of spiders or flying in an airplane? It turns out the road you drive on can be much deadlier. Did you know that 20-50 million people are injured or disabled every year in automobile accidents?
If you’ve ever been involved in a car crash, you know how frightening and shocking they can be. But do you know the most common car accident injuries to look out for? Furthermore, do you know what you need to after getting involved in an accident?
Let’s get into it.
1. Head Injuries
Head injuries in accidents can range from mild to severe depending on the individual and head placement. While some head injuries are minor, some can be life threatening and should never be taken lightly.
For example, in a minor crash, impact with a window or steering wheel can cause a simple injury resulting in little more than a bump or bruise. However, a severe collision or the car flipping upside down can result in serious concussions or brain tissue damage.
Head injuries can be hard to diagnose at first. They may just feel like a mild headache. That said, anytime you suspect a head injury you should always get a full medical evaluation to rule out any potential problems.
2. Broken Bones
A broken bone happens when the physical force applied to the bone carries more strength than the actual bone. Simple bone fractures refer to the bone breakage without open wounds. Compound fractures, on the other hand, penetrate through the skin.
If you have a broken bone, you probably know it. You won’t be able to move the body part (or it will be extremely painful to do so). A doctor should be able to provide a quick evaluation and diagnosis.
3. Back Injuries
Back injuries, particularly spinal cord injuries, are common after serious car accidents. Severe damage may result in body paralysis. However, milder damage can result in issues like herniated disks.
Like head injuries, back injuries are not always obvious. However, it is essential to receive a thorough screening after your accident.
Whiplash is a common injury that occurs when the neck undergoes rapid back-and-forth movements. It primarily happens in accidents when the driver is rear-ended. Common symptoms include neck stiffness, pain, and headaches.
Pain from whiplash might not be felt until the following day or two after the accident. Most people who experience whiplash feel better in a few weeks. However, in serious cases, the pain can persist for several months or years.
5. Psychological Injuries
Although they may be invisible, psychological injuries can happen after a traumatic event, like a car accident. Some people may develop an aversion or phobia to driving. Others may experience deep depression, especially if other passengers suffered injuries or death.
If you are struggling with heightened feelings of anxiety or depression, seeking professional help through psychotherapy can provide you with the support you need to heal.
What to do if You’ve Been Injured in an Accident
Understanding common car accident injuries can help you understand the steps you need to take if an accident occurs. It also reminds you to be aware of symptoms as they emerge and to reach out for medical attention as soon as possible.
If you have been in an accident that resulted in any type of injury the first step is to get a full medical evaluation. Proper diagnosis will ensure you get the right follow-up care and treatment for your injury. Depending on the type of injury you sustained, treatment may be as simple as applying ice, heat, or resting until recovery. More severe injuries could require physical therapy or surgery.
There is no doubt that car accidents can be terrifying (and expensive), especially if an injury is involved. You don’t have to navigate the aftermath alone. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, make sure you are represented legally.