When a car accident happens, there is a wide range of injuries that those involved may suffer, but there are several common injuries everyone should be aware of. It is important to note that some auto accident injuries may go unnoticed at first, although they may pose a severe risk to the individual.
Many car accident injuries require minimal medical treatment, and recovery may be swift. Others, however, can require surgery and other costly medical procedures to resolve. In some cases, the individual may never fully recover from injuries sustained in an accident.
What Are the Most Common Causes of Car Accident Injuries?
When automobile accidents occur, the driver and their passengers may sustain injuries, as well as other motorists and pedestrians. The injuries these individuals suffer may be minor, but sadly, they are often severe or even fatal. Typically, injuries fall into one of two categories.
- Penetrating injuries. This type of injury is one that results from items penetrating a person’s body. In an accident scenario, there may be outside objects such as road signs, trees, parts of vehicles, or shattered glass that injure the individual.
- Impact injuries. Injuries that occur as a result of impact include those sustained when the person’s body hits the dashboard, windshield, steering wheel, airbag, seatbelt, or any other part of the car. If the individual is ejected from the vehicle, an impact injury may occur when they hit the ground or another surface outside the car.
Three Common Categories of Accident Injuries
A car accident can cause multiple injuries to anyone involved, depending on the unique circumstances of the collision. Consider the following types of injuries that often result from an accident.
- Scrapes and cuts, arm and leg, and soft tissue injuries.Soft tissue injuries are common, even in very minor auto accidents. Such injuries may affect ligaments, tendons, muscles, or skin. One of the most common types of soft tissue injury is whiplash. This occurs when muscles and ligaments in the head and neck are stretched or strained. Other types of muscle strains, contusions, abrasions, and lacerations also occur in many cases. Signs of soft tissue injury may include:
- A snapping or popping sound or sensation
- Limited range of motion
When skin is scratched or torn in a car accident, abrasions and scrapes occur, whereas longer, narrower incisions are referred to as cuts. When accidents happen, objects within the car often become flying hazards and cause such injuries. Anyone who has sustained this type of injury should seek further medical attention if they notice symptoms such as:
- Pus draining from the injury
- Worsening redness around the injury
- A scab that has enlarged
- Additional swelling or pain 24-48 hours after the accident
When the circumstances of a car accident cause the involuntary movement of extremities such as the arms and legs, they may sustain injuries other than cuts, scrapes, and bruises. In some cases, individuals suffer broken bones and may even lose limbs in extreme cases. If a person suffers arm or leg injuries, they should keep an eye on worsening symptoms such as:
- Limited range of motion
- Head, chest, and back injuriesSome of the most serious car accident injuries are those that affect the brain. In many cases, head injuries sustained in car accidents result in fatalities. If an individual suffers minor lacerations, scrapes, or bruises to their head in a car accident, it may not result in any long-term damage. However, in cases where the individual suffers brain damage, traumatic brain injury (TBI), or concussions, the consequences may be dire. It is vital to be aware of symptoms such as:
- Blurred vision
- Difficulty speaking
- Loss of coordination or balance
- Memory loss
- Behavioral changes
- Feeling distracted or confused
- Passing out
- Feeling nauseous or sick
Car accident cases in which an individual sustains chest injuries often require surgery. Such injuries may range from simple bruises, which are typically minor, to contusions, or even more severe issues such as internal bleeding, collapsed lungs, broken ribs, and internal organ damage. Chest injuries tend to be common to drivers in auto accidents because the individual’s chest is in close proximity to the steering wheel. In some cases, seatbelts and airbags may cause chest injuries to passengers and drivers alike. If an individual suffers any type of chest injury, it is crucial to monitor any sign of:
- Low blood pressure
- Crackling sounds in the chest
- Rapid changes in heart rate
- Coughing up blood
- Fast or shallow breathing
- Tingling or numbness
- Swelling or bruising
- Shortness of breath
Back injuries also account for some of the most common and potentially severe car accident injuries. The spinal cord can be damaged easily because the spine is not equipped to handle heavy impacts. For this reason, even minor crashes may result in spinal injuries, which may not be apparent for days or weeks after the crash. It is crucial to watch for:
- Popping or snapping sounds
- Inability to maintain normal posture
- Muscle spasms
- Internal injuriesOne of the most common reasons that individuals need surgery after a car accident is internal injuries. Such injuries may occur due to the individual hitting an object inside or outside of the car, as well as by flying debris. If an individual sustains internal injuries in an accident and doesn’t receive immediate medical attention, the consequences may be fatal. Symptoms to look out for include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Deeply purple skin around the affected area
- Abdominal pain
Trust Your Case to a Skilled Car Accident Attorney
Car accident victims often suffer injuries that aren’t immediately noticeable or apparent. It can sometimes take several weeks for an individual to realize they sustained a serious injury in a crash. For this reason, it is essential to seek medical attention immediately after an accident and be aware of any changes or symptoms that become apparent.
If you have been injured in an auto accident, you may be able to seek compensation for the damages you suffered due to these common types of car accident injuries. The experienced legal team at Peach & Weathers can handle your case with integrity and seek the best possible outcome while you focus on your recovery. Visit our website today to see how we can help.