A car accident can happen to anyone at almost any time. No matter how good of a driver you are, how clean your driving record is, or what kind of car you drive, there’s still a chance that an erratic driver on the road could crash into you.
It pays to be familiar with some of the most common car accident injuries that one can sustain, so you have a better chance of addressing those injuries and making a full recovery.
So, what are those common car accident injuries and how do you treat them?
After the Accident
In the aftermath of the accident, there are a few priorities you’ll need to address. First, you’ll need to get to safety, pulling your car to the side of the road or getting out of harm’s way. This is important for your safety, the safety of other people involved in the accident, and even the safety of the bystanders around you. Once you’re somewhere safe, call for help. Depending on the severity of the accident, you may need to call an ambulance.
With help on the way, it’s a good idea to contact the police and file a police report. If you’re able to walk around, you should also collect evidence, taking photos and videos of the scene and writing down important information like license plate numbers and names of people involved.
After that, contact a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Your personal injury attorney will help you understand your rights, your position, and the potential legal action you could take.
Sometimes, they can help you negotiate a better offer from your insurance company. Other times, they can sue for greater damages. Either way, they can help you get the money you need to fully recover from your injuries.
The Most Common Car Accident Injuries
These are some of the most common car accident injuries people sustain:
- Brain and head trauma. It’s common for people in car accidents to experience brain and head trauma. If you hit your head on the steering wheel, or if a foreign object collides with you, you might end up with a concussion. Brain injuries are very serious, since they can have lasting consequences, so it’s important to get immediate medical attention and attend all your follow-up appointments.
- Whiplash. Whiplash is a specific neck injury that happens in response to a rapid back-and-forth, jerking movement in the neck. When rear-ended, your head may jerk forward, then back in rapid succession. As a result, you may deal with chronic pain for an extended period of time – and possibly for the rest of your life. Early treatment from a medical professional can help you recover quicker in most cases.
- Other neck and back injuries. Whiplash is a technical term, and it’s just one of several possible neck injuries you can experience. You may also experience a neck strain or sprain, and it’s possible to injure your back in a similar way. Because your neck and spine are so important for controlling and facilitating signaling throughout the rest of your body, these injuries can be very serious, so it’s important to get them treated right away.
- Bone fractures and sprains. Depending on the severity of the crash and your position in the car when it happens, you may experience some bone fractures and/or sprains. While painful, these types of injuries rarely have long-term complications if treated properly. For the most part, you’ll need to keep body parts afflicted with these injuries still and in the proper position so they can heal correctly. After that, you may require a bit of physical therapy to get back to normal.
- Internal organ damage. In severe car accidents, people can suffer internal organ damage. As a result of the forces of collision, you could end up with a ruptured spleen, or damage to your kidneys or liver. Emergency medical intervention may be necessary if this is the case.
- Bruises, cuts, scrapes, and strains. In minor car accidents, the most common injuries are mere bruises, cuts, scrapes, and strains. You might be sore, but these injuries will almost certainly fade on their own in a matter of days to weeks.
- Psychological damage. Though not as readily apparent as a physical injury, it’s possible to experience mental and emotional injuries as a result of a car accident. In extreme cases, you may even develop symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A psychological professional can help you process these issues.
Driving safely and paying attention to the road can help you avoid most car accidents, reducing your chances of injury. But if you are involved in a collision, understanding your risk factors and getting immediate treatment can expedite your recovery and make the process much smoother.