In 2015 alone, there were 6.3 million US auto accidents resulting in fatalities, injuries, and property damage. With roughly 218 million licensed drivers in the US, it is likely you have been or know someone who was injured in a car accident. Car accident injuries can vary in severity, from simple injuries that can be treated in an urgent care clinic to severe injuries that require a full trauma center, sometimes resulting in death.
Regardless of the severity of the injury, you should see a health care provider as soon as possible, and inform the provider that you have been involved in a car accident so you can be thoroughly examined. Often, injuries are not apparent on the scene and only show up days, weeks, or even months later, and can worsen if not properly treated.
Here are the four most common car accident injuries and how they may affect your health:
Neck injuries, in the form of whiplash, are the most common type of car accident injury. The formal name is “hyperflexion-hyperextension injuries.” When your vehicle is hit, your head snaps forward and back, or to the sides, leading to strain and sprain of the neck ligaments and muscles. This can cause stiffness of the neck as well as general pain and swelling.
A more severe form of neck or spine injury is a herniated disc. Your spine is made up of hard bone (vertebrae) cushioned by spinal disks between them. Trauma can damage the disc, causing it to rupture. The damaged disc then leaks material that can pinch or irritate the nearby nerves. It manifests as weakness in the limbs, numbness or tingling in the limbs, or general pain with no explanation.
In addition to the neck and spine, the lower back muscles and ligaments can also be strained and sprained from a car accident. These are harder to detect and may not show up until hours or days later, and they can severely limit your overall mobility.
One of the most debilitating injuries in a car accident is a traumatic brain injury (TBI), which may or may not include a skull fracture. To reduce risks of TBI, many automakers have added airbags in newer vehicles to protect your head from interior surfaces in the event of a crash; however, these airbags do not totally prevent head trauma and TBIs.
A concussion occurs when the brain is jostled inside the skull. One can have a concussion without showing external injuries such as bleeding or bruising. Effects of a concussion may range from a mild headache and dizziness to coma and long-term cognitive problems.
Airbag deployment can also lead to temporary hearing loss and vision problems.
Injuries to the face are common due to flying glass or impact with solid objects in the interior. Typical facial injuries range from scrapes and bruises to dislocated jaw and other dental injuries.
Car accidents can cause damage to inner organs. A severe impact to the chest or abdomen may stop the heart, fracture ribs, puncture lungs, and damage bowels as well as other organs like the liver and kidneys.
Such injuries are often severe and must be treated immediately by medical professionals.
Car accidents are traumatic, and victims may often suffer from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), as well as general emotional distress, anxiety, and depression with long-term impact on quality of life.
If you have been injured in a car accident, and are suffering from any of these injuries, you shouldcontact a personal injury attorney today. Resolving cases with insurance companies (and litigation, if necessary) takes time. The sooner you start, the faster we can help you get the compensation you deserve.
At Saladino & Schaaf, we have years of experience representing Kentuckians in personal injury lawsuits. If you’ve been injured through no fault of your own, contact us online or at (270) 444-0406 to schedule a free consultation today.
Saladino & Schaaf, PLLC is dedicated to providing high quality, aggressive legal representation to victims of personal injury and wrongful death. Since 1984, this firm and its predecessors have had one goal in mind – to help the victims of personal injury put the pieces of their lives back together.
Saladino & Schaaf, PLLC is a Personal Injury Law Firm with offices in Paducah, KY and Murray, KY. We serve clients throughout Kentucky and Illinois.
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