Even seemingly minor car accidents can leave drivers and their passengers feeling stiff and sore for weeks. These jarring, impact events wreak havoc on the musculoskeletal system and cause problems like whiplash, concussion, and decreased mobility.
Although many people make the mistake of skipping medical exams, you don’t have to have deep cuts, dark bruises, or broken bones after a collision to be injured. The risk of severe injury increases when one or more drivers is traveling at high speeds, when larger vehicles are involved, and when autos flip or spin out of control.
At Attorney Jeff, we want our clients to recognize the challenges that collision-related injuries can cause, and the importance of seeking prompt medical attention no matter how you feel after an accident. Following are several common car accident injuries and the effects that they can have on your health, your finances, and your ability to get things done.
Whiplash and Other Forms of Joint Dysfunction
Nothing will make you appreciate the function and flexibility of your neck like whiplash. Although whiplash might not cause significant discomfort or noticeable losses in neck mobility on the actual day of your accident, it can leave you unable to even slightly turn your head the next.
Caused by the back and forth rocking motion of the head that occurs when a vehicle is brought to a sudden stop, whiplash is easily one of the most common car accident injuries in the nation and throughout the rest of the developed world. This is an injury that can occur even when both drivers are traveling at relatively low speeds and when no other injuries are sustained.
The symptoms of whiplash include:
- Difficulty moving the neck
- Headaches that start at the base of the neck
- Shoulder and upper back stiffness
- Tenderness in the upper, rear portion of the arms
Whiplash makes it virtually impossible to drive given that motorists cannot check for clearance before making lane changes or backing up. Even simple activities such as showering, getting dressed, and preparing food can be challenging as well.
Moreover, throughout the healing process, many people are advised to keep their necks completely mobilized to avoid inadvertently exacerbating the problem. Thus, whiplash can result in missed hours at work and the inability to stay on top of other basic responsibilities.
Bruises, Broken Bones, and Crushing Injuries
Collisions at high speeds always spell disaster. Bruises and broken bones are incredibly common car accident injuries. With more people driving larger trucks, SUVs, and crossovers, physical damages are often compounded by the extra weight and greater force of heavier vehicles.
In the adrenaline fueled-shock that occurs in the aftermath of injury accidents, minor breaks such as fractures and contusions can be easily overlooked. Apart from swelling and slight discoloration, some victims may not realize that they’re seriously injured at all.
In other instances, broken bones are impossible to ignore. Bones may be protruding, or the jagged edges of a break could be placing pressure on the lungs or other vital organs.
Crushing injuries commonly occur when vehicles roll over, are T-boned, or get sandwiched between other cars or other stationary objects (like walls, trees, and guardrails). Unlike broken bones, crushing injuries cannot be set. When a hand, foot, or other body part is effectively crushed, the risk of losing the injured body part is always high.
Concussions and Severe Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Concussions are medically recognized as traumatic brain injury. Although the effects of a minor concussion are unlikely to be long-lasting, many experts argue that each concussion a person sustains has a permanent impact on their long-term brain health.
When the head and brain move rapidly back and forth, swelling typically occurs. These rapid and jarring movements cause metabolic and chemical changes within the brain cells that inhibit normal functioning. They also cause brain tissues and brain cells to change shape.
The resulting symptoms include:
- Difficulty focusing
- Short-term decreases in cognitive functioning
- Light (photo) sensitivity
- Sensitivity to loud noises
- Hypersensitivity to excess stimuli
- Memory troubles
- Blurry vision or double vision
Given that both whiplash and concussion are caused by the rapid, back and forth movements of the head, these two injuries frequently occur together. While the effects of minor concussions are usually temporary, severe concussions can result in lifelong learning, memory, and other cognitive challenges.
Severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) may occur when drivers are traveling at excessive speeds, when multiple cars are involved, or when automobiles roll over. Severe TBI is an incredibly common car accident injury when passengers vehicles are struck by commercial trucks, or when larger SUVs and other heavy vehicles are involved.
Like whiplash, spinal subluxation ranks among the most common car injuries in all the world. Worse still, subluxated areas of the spine are unlikely to be identified during emergency room visits or in follow-up appointments with general physicians.
Spinal subluxation occurs when one or more vertebrae are forced out of their natural positions. Subluxation can result in pinched or compressed nerves, chronic pain, headaches, limited mobility, sleep difficulties, and more.
Given that the spine is the superhighway across which all nerve to brain and brain to nerve communication occurs, spinal subluxation can even cause problems in general functioning. These include mood balance issues or mood swings, chemical imbalances, digestive distress, and lowered immune function among other things.
When subluxations are not identified and treated, they can additionally cause a variety of secondary problems such as muscle spasms as other body parts are forced overcompensate.
Debilitating and Disfiguring Injuries
Crushing accidents are one type of debilitating injury as is severe TBI. However, flying debris, broken glass, and impact forces can also result in lost fingers or other missing digits, damaged orbital sockets and eyes, and other functional problems that affect a person’s ability to perform in various life areas.
When car accidents leave behind noticeable facial or bodily scars, or result in the loss of limbs, these are known as disfiguring injuries. While disfiguring injuries can affect a person’s ability to function normally, they can also have a lifelong impact on self-esteem.
Sadly, with more motorists driving larger vehicles and traveling at increasingly high speeds, disfiguring and debilitating injuries are also becoming common.
Contact Attorney Jeff Today
At AttorneyJeff, we’re committed to ensuring that our clients get the best possible settlement outcomes. We know just how devastating car crashes can be, especially for victims who are forced to miss work and other important personal and professional opportunities.
Whether you’ve sustained whiplash, broken bones, a concussion, or a disfiguring injury, we’re here to help. Get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation appointment.
Car Accident Injuries FAQs
Why do car accident victims work with chiropractors?
Chiropractors perform a more thorough and careful assessment of the musculoskeletal system than do ER doctors and general practitioners. Thus, chiropractors have a higher likelihood of identifying spinal subluxations, whiplash, and other musculoskeletal issues. At Attorney Jeff, we always advise our clients to seek all of the medical attention they need for identifying their full range of injuries, and for getting the best and most needs-specific treatment types.
Why is it important to always go to the emergency room after car accidents?
Physical injuries caused by car accidents don’t always cause intense pain. It is not necessary to have bruises, lacerations, or noticeably broken bones to have sustained severe harm. Going to the emergency room is the best way to rule out problems like internal bleeding, concussion, severe TBI, and other problems that are not readily apparent. It also creates a solid record of your injuries that can be used as evidence for your car accident claim.
Can I request additional money if new problems arise after I’ve already settled out?
You only get one chance to settle your claim for a car accident. Caving to pressure from claims adjusters and accepting a settlement offer too soon could leave you having to pay for any future health problems and medical treatments out-of-pocket. Many car accident victims suffer from latent pain and injuries. These are problems that do not manifest until several days have passed.