5 Common Car Accident Injuries and What They Mean for Your Health
On average, there are about 2.35 million people injured from car accidents each year. These injuries can range from mild to severe. Some may last only a few days, while other injuries will last a lifetime.
Many injuries, such as whiplash and back pain, aren’t instantly curable and require people to tend to their injuries to reduce the pain. It’s important to understand what your injuries mean for your health now, and how they can affect you in the future. You may need to make some lifestyle adjustments depending on which injuries you have.
There are two categories that car accident injuries fall under. The first is impact injury, which refers to injuries that occur when the person’s body hits a part of the car at the moment of impact. The second category is penetration injury, which is when something penetrates the body, such as glass or metal. Penetration injuries need to be treated right away, while impact injuries are usually the ones that will linger well after the accident.
If you have been involved in a car, motorcycle, or bus accident and are suffering from injuries, it’s important you hire a personal injury lawyer. Medical bills, physical therapy, and visits to the chiropractor can really add up and cost you a fortune. Make sure you get compensated so you won’t have to worry about how you’re going to pay for your medical care.
By understanding the different types of accident injuries, you can learn about the implications your injuries may have for your current and future health. Here are the 5 most common car accident injuries that you should know about.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Soft tissue injuries are one of the most common auto accident injuries. Soft tissue injuries occur when there is damage done to connective tissue including muscles, tendons, and ligaments. These injuries can happen from even the smallest of car accidents.
Whiplash is a common soft tissue injury that affects the back and neck. It occurs when your car is hit by another vehicle causing a rapid movement of the connective tissue in your neck and back. The muscles and ligaments in this region are stretched causing damage and pain that can last well after the accident.
More serious cases of whiplash can result in a serious mid- or lower-back injury that may even last a lifetime. These severe cases can result in back sprains and spasms that are more difficult to treat.
Depending on the severity of your soft tissue injury from the car or bus accident, there are different treatments you should consider. Gentle exercises are recommended and should be used until you feel recovered from the injury. Physical therapy is a great option in the beginning, but it’s also a good idea to follow that up with daily yoga and regular massages.
Cuts and Scrapes
These external injuries are treated right after the accident and generally don’t have a last effect on your health. Cuts and scrapes occur when loose objects in the car hit the passengers, or when their body hits part of the car on impact.
Minor cuts and scraped need to be treated with anti-infection cream and bandages, while more severe injuries may require stitches. Once these exterior injuries are healed, there shouldn’t be any lasting health effects afterward.
Head injuries that happen during vehicle accidents can be mild or severe. They occur when a passenger’s head hits a part of the car or is hit by a moving object. Bruises, scrapes, and cuts are common, but the more severe injuries are the ones that aren’t externally visible.
Severe head injuries occur inside the head, better known as a closed head injury. When someone has a closed head injury, the tissue and fluid inside the skull are damaged. In more minor cases, this results in a concussion. More serious head injuries, however, can result in permanent brain damage.
If you suspect you have a concussion after a car accident, it’s important to see a doctor right away. Make sure you treat the concussion properly so you can help heal your head faster and avoid further damage to the brain.
Chest injuries occur when the chest suddenly hits part of the car on impact. These injuries are usually caused by the driver hitting the steering wheel, the airbags, or the seat belt. Chest injuries are generally exterior and come in the form of bruises, cuts, and scrapes.
The most severe chest injuries will cause deep bruising and can even lead to injuries to the organs in the chest area. Severe impacts can cause the ribs to fracture or bruise, which can cause serious damage to your lungs.
Over time, you should be able to fully heal from even the most severe chest injuries. These injuries are extremely painful immediately following the accident, and can even make it painful to breathe. As the bruises heal, the pain will decrease and eventually fade away.
Arm and Leg Injuries
During an accident, your arms and legs may have been hit by the other car or were slammed against your own car. This can lead to mild injuries such as scrapes or light bruising, but can also lead to more severe issues. Serious injuries include sprains, breaks, and ligament tears. These injuries will heal over time, although serious knee injuries may lead to mild pain that won’t ever go away.
Some Injuries Aren’t Apparent Right Away
If you start suddenly experiencing pain a few days after a car accident, it’s important to see a doctor right away. Many injuries, particularly neck and back injuries, may not be apparent right after an accident. You may be doing something around the house when all of the sudden you have severe back pain. This is a delayed injury that is still directly caused by the accident. Don’t ignore your injuries. If they suddenly get worse or aren’t getting any better, you need to take medical action to avoid further injury.
Haley is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in mental health counseling and hopes to become a mental health therapist. She enjoys writing, traveling, holistic health, and learning new things. Follow me on Instagram and Facebook