Common Car Accident Injuries and Identifying Their Symptoms

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Common car accident injuries include soft tissue damage like sprains, strains, and whiplash, plus bruises and broken bones. Traumatic brain injuries such as concussions are also common. It’s important to acknowledge any injury symptoms after a car crash and visit a doctor immediately.

Do you think you can sleep off the ache and pains of a motor vehicle accident? Think again. Common car accident injuries, even as minor as bruises, should receive immediate medical attention. Without the guidance of a medical professional, you might suffer severe injuries with lasting repercussions.

Take a look at the most common car accident injuries along with the symptoms to watch for after an accident. If you believe you’ve sustained any of the below injuries or the following symptoms feel familiar, do not hesitate to seek medical care and retain a personal injury attorney.

first aid training transfer patient loss feeling loss normal movement paramedic team transfer man ambulance stretcher into emergency car

Most Common Injuries Sustained Through Car Accidents

Motor vehicle accidents involve more than 3,000 pounds of steel, often traveling at dangerously high speeds. When the weight of one vehicle meets another, it’s nearly guaranteed that both drivers will suffer some type of injury. Even car crashes at low speeds can damage soft tissues or break bones.

Here are the 10 most common car accident injuries reported after a collision.

  1. Contusions: A medical term for bruises, contusions are a collection of broken blood vessels beneath the skin often caused by bumping into other objects inside of the vehicle, like the steering wheel.
  2. Lacerations and Abrasions: A laceration is a deep cut, and an abrasion is a scrape. Both are frequently caused by shards of broken glass shattered by a car accident.
  3. Strains and Sprains: A strain is a tear in a tendon, and a sprain is a tear in a muscle or ligament. Both are types of soft tissue injuries and are the leading cause of muscle pain after a crash.
  4. Whiplash: An umbrella term for a soft tissue injury caused by the rapid forward and backward motion of a collision, a whiplash injury impacts muscles, tendons, ligaments, and even spinal joints in the neck.
  5. Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI): A traumatic brain injury like a concussion occurs when sensitive brain tissue becomes bruised, swollen, or damaged. Like a contusion, brain injuries are often caused by slamming the head against other objects in the vehicle.
  6. Fractures and Dislocations: A fracture is a broken bone, and a dislocation is a bone that has shifted out of place. Both crash injuries are common in the hands, wrists, shoulders, ankles, and spine.
  7. Herniated Disc: A herniated disc occurs when one of the intervertebral discs in the spine ruptures and the inner material leaks into the spinal canal. This injury can happen anywhere between the base of the skull and the lower back.
  8. Pinched Nerve: A pinched nerve typically results from a herniated disc or another back injury that compresses a nerve root and causes burning or tingling pain.
  9. Internal Injuries: An internal injury can impact any organs located throughout the chest and abdomen, including the liver, kidneys, and lungs. Traumatic accidents may cause organ compression or force an organ to rupture.
  10. Spinal Cord Injuries: A spinal cord injury occurs when the sensitive bundle of nerves within the spinal canal is punctured or damaged. This injury is one of the most severe on the list and may cause permanent paralysis.

If you are suffering any of the above car accident injuries, do not hesitate to seek immediate medical attention. If you’re unsure if you’ve been injured and have not yet visited a doctor after a collision, monitor the following symptoms.

black man suffering back pain

Symptoms to Watch for After a Crash

After a crash, it’s important to listen to your body and watch for any unusual or unpleasant feelings. Some common car accident injuries symptoms may be delayed, which means they may not appear for days or weeks after the crash. Be sure to monitor any of the below symptoms, no matter if they develop immediately after the crash or in the days that follow.

Common car accident injuries symptoms to watch after a crash include:

  • Fatigue
  • Stiffness
  • Headaches
  • Neck pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Upper back pain
  • Lower back pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Muscle spasms or cramps
  • Limited range of motion
  • Swelling and inflammation
  • Bruising, redness, or discoloration
  • Tenderness or sensitive to touch
  • Changes in eating and sleeping habits
  • Changes in personality or behavior
  • Vision issues or double vision
  • Dizziness or disorientation
  • Tinnitus and ringing ears
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Memory loss

Remember, these symptoms may not begin at the scene of the crash. Monitor your health over the next few days to watch for the development of symptoms, and visit a doctor to ensure you have not received any serious injuries.

Easily Missed Symptoms of Major Injuries

It’s easy to want to shrug off minor aches and pains after a crash. Following the stress of the collision itself, you might believe that recurring headaches or even flashbacks are all part of the healing process. Do not be mistaken. Many major car accident injuries have easily missed symptoms that mask the severity of the underlying damage.

Keep an eye out for personality changes and behavior changes. Symptoms of anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and even nightmares may all be related to a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Other changes in behavior, like memory loss or constant headaches, are also whiplash symptoms.

In addition to personality and behavior changes, watch for other easily missed symptoms of major injuries like changes in eating habits. Stomach pain, bloating, and appetite loss can indicate internal organ damage. When left untreated, compressed or ruptured organs can cause internal bleeding or blood clots that may be life-threatening.

When Should You Call a Doctor?

You should call a doctor immediately after an auto accident. The faster you see a medical professional, the quicker you know if you’ve been seriously injured. A doctor can perform an MRI, X-ray, or CT scans to identify and diagnose any present damage. Then, they can begin a paper trail of medical evidence to support your injury claim.

If you do not seek immediate medical care, call a doctor as soon as you believe you have suffered an accident injury. Visit a doctor if you wake up the morning after an accident feeling sore, stiff, or swollen. Reach out to a physician even if pain settles in weeks after an accident. Never let any pain symptom go ignored, and always call a doctor to be safe.

When Should You Hire an Attorney?

You should hire an attorney if you were injured in an auto accident and your injury treatment costs more than $1,000. Kentucky is a no-fault state, which means that your injury treatment will go through your own Personal Injury Protection (PIP) coverage first. Once you’ve exhausted PIP coverage, you should not be left responsible for additional medical bills.

A car accident lawyer will deal with the insurance companies so that you don’t have to. They will help you quantify all of the damages in your injury case, including medical expenses like X-rays, surgery, or physical therapy. At Bryant Law Center, our attorneys are knowledgeable in motor vehicle accidents and can help you receive fair compensation for your crash injuries. They will fight for you, so you can focus on healing.

If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident that was limited or no fault of your own, do not suffer from injuries in silence. Seek medical care as soon as possible to protect your health and wellness. Then, retain an attorney to protect your legal right to fair compensation. Contact Bryant Law Center today to speak to an attorney in your area.**

Mark Bryant
About the Author
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