Drivers and passengers can suffer an array of injuries in a car accident. Some of them may be obvious immediately. If you’re bleeding or it brings you pain to move one of your limbs, you know right away.
However, other injuries may not become apparent until hours or even days later. This is why getting medical attention after an accident is important.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injuries or TBIs happen when the brain is suddenly jolted. It is often the result when the head hits the side window, dashboard, or steering wheel. However, your head doesn’t have to make contact with any object to suffer TBI. It can also happen when your neck snaps forward with the impact of the crash.
Considered a mild TBI, a concussion is still a serious matter. If you feel confused, dizzy, nauseous, have a headache, vision disturbances, or loss of balance, make sure you seek immediate medical care.
Spinal Cord Injuries
In severe car crashes, spinal cord injuries are common. You may have no feeling below the area of the injury or partial feeling. Paralysis doesn’t always happen immediately. If something feels off to you, you should make sure to have a full medical examination.
Often, bruising and bleeding are the hallmarks of a car accident. While those may subside in time, you could have eye damage, broken facial bones, or permanent scarring that will forever remind you of your accident.
Neck and Chest Injuries
With the momentum of being thrust forward in an accident, your seatbelt or steering wheel can cause injuries. While that’s certainly better than being thrown from the vehicle and onto the road, you will want to check for chest injuries, which can be fatal.
Bruised or Broken Ribs
Bruised ribs happen quite often in car crashes. Some car accident victims are more unfortunate than others, though, since broken ribs are more serious. If you have any chest pain following your accident, don’t ignore it. You may have a broken rib puncturing one of your internal organs.
When the neck whips backward or forward in a sudden motion, this is known as whiplash. The weight of your head strains the neck muscles, and it can be incredibly painful. Fortunately for most people, it’s easy to recover from whiplash in a few weeks, though others may have a longer recovery ahead.
Sprains and Strains
Sprains and strains don’t just sound similar in name. They are similar injuries with a notable difference. A sprain can occur between two bones of a shared joint, such as your elbow or your knee. Meanwhile, a strain happens within the muscle or connective tissue that joins the muscle to the bone. These are certainly less serious in nature, but you should still be treated for them. Continuing to go about your day as if nothing happened when you have a strain or sprain can cause deeper injuries.
Bruising occurs in most car accidents, even for less serious injuries. Some car accident victims are left with the telltale bruises from the seatbelt that saved their lives. Most bruises heal just fine on their own, but again, you may have other injuries that might not be initially obvious. It’s best to get checked out so you can have peace of mind.
When cars crash into one another, broken bones are a common resulting injury. You’ll likely know you’ve got a broken foot or leg if you can’t stand on it. However, other bones can break, for example, the ribs, which may not be noticeable right away.
When two bones that come together at a joint are pulled apart, it’s known as a dislocated joint. If you feel pain in a joint, make sure you have it looked at right away.
Loss of Limbs
In severe accidents, it’s not uncommon for victims to lose limbs. This can be caused by the trauma at the scene or by complications later on. A severed limb on the scene is considered a significant injury that requires urgent medical treatment.
Some car crashes will leave victims with a foreign object puncturing the body. Loose objects in a car can quickly become projectiles. Even parts of the car itself can fly around in the cabin and stab into you or your passengers. You should never remove an object from a puncture wound without medical direction. Doing so could result in rapid blood loss.
Puncture wounds can impact organs, though many times, blunt force trauma is to blame. When you have organ damage, it can lead to internal bleeding. Left untreated, this could turn into blood clots and be a potentially fatal situation. Most often, the liver, spleen, and small intestine are the organs that are impacted. To be on the safe side after your accident, let the paramedics check you over to be sure you don’t need further evaluation.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Accidents can also leave you emotionally scarred. Whether you have endured physical injuries or not, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may affect you. This health issue is common after experiencing a traumatic event. Car accidents are one of the most common causes of PTSD. Since it has no physical symptoms, it can be difficult to diagnose.
Symptoms of PTSD may include having nightmares or unwanted memories of the accident, anxiety, depression, or actively avoiding situations that bring back memories of your accident. It is imperative that you seek help if you are having emotional trauma following the crash.
No matter what injuries you have endured in your accident, don’t let those medical bills stress you out even more. Contact an attorney to help you get compensation to cover those bills and the other damages that resulted from your accident. If you sustained injuries in your car accident, contact 1-800-Injured, an attorney and medical referral service, to find professionals in your city.