Most Common Injuries After a Car Accident
Due to the sudden force involved in a typical car accident, injury can occur to nearly any part of the body. However, there are some common injuries that our team of car accident lawyers frequently encounter in representing injured victims. If you or a loved one have been injured in a personal injury accident, give our family of lawyers a call today at 419-900-0955 to schedule a free, no risk consultation.
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Injuries after a car accident can range in severity from fatal injuries to post traumatic stress disorder. Our team of personal injury lawyers have helped hundreds of injured victims recover after they have been hurt by another’s negligence. Some of the most common injuries our client’s deal with after a car accident are as follows:
Traumatic Brain Injuries
Traumatic Brain Injuries are some of the most devastating and long lasting injuries that can occur as a result of a car accident. The human body is flexible, but it’s not designed to endure powerful and sudden impacts related in a typical car accident. Due to these sudden impacts, the brain is particularly susceptible to trauma. According to the Mayo Clinic:
Traumatic brain injury usually results from a violent blow or jolt to the head or body. An object that goes through brain tissue, such as a bullet or shattered piece of skull, also can cause traumatic brain injury.
Mild traumatic brain injury may affect your brain cells temporarily. More-serious traumatic brain injury can result in bruising, torn tissues, bleeding and other physical damage to the brain. These injuries can result in long-term complications or death.
Common symptoms of a traumatic brain injury are as follows:
- Nausea or Vomiting
- Drowiness or Fatigue
- Speech Problems
- Vertigo, Dizziness or Loss of Balance
- Sensory Issues – such as Blurry Vision, Ringing in the Ears or an Odd Taste in Your Mouth
- Sensitivity to Light or Sound
- Loss of Consciousness
- Loss of Motor Skills
- Sudden or Unexpected Mood Changes
- Problems Sleeping
- Convulsions or Seizures
- Slurred Speech
- Unusual Agitation
The spinal column is uniquely designed in humans – since we are bipedal (or upright) walkers. As a result, weight and pressure is typically evenly distributed among spinal vertebrae in a healthy back. However, due to the sudden impacts this important vertebrae alignment can be easily damaged in a car accident, leading to a whole host of potential back problems. Common back injuries after a car accident are as follows:
- Back Strains
- Back Sprains
- Slipped or Herniated Discs
- Ruptured Discs
- Pinched or Compressed Nerves
- Other Nerve Damage
Burns are unfortunately rather common after car accidents for a variety of reasons. In many instances, the car or gasoline lights on fire due to sparks caused by the accident. Other times, car accident victims will experience friction burns from airbags deploying or seatbelts. Depending on the severity and location, many burns unfortunately do not entirely heal – no matter what course of treatment is used. According to the Mayo Clinic, some common treatments of burns are as follows:
- Water-Based Treatments
- Intravenous Fluids (To Prevent Dehydration)
- Burn Creams and Ointments
- Antibacterial Drugs
- Tetanus Shots
Spinal Cord Injuries (Quadriplegia/Paraplegia)
One of the most serious injuries caused by car accidents are those caused to the spinal cord. These injuries often result in permanent disability. Depending on the severity of the injury, a car accident can result in partial or total paralysis below the level of the spinal injury. The degree of paralysis is broken into two categories:
- Tetraplegia. Also known as Quadraplegia, this type of injury means that the arms, hands, legs and pelvic organs are all affected by a spinal cord injury.
- Paraplegia. This type of paralysis after a car accident results in partial paralysis of certain body parts.
Fractures and Broken Bones
Broken bones are common after a serious car accident. Most commonly, we see injuries involving broken legs, arms, ankles or pelvis after a car accident. Depending on the severity of the broken bone, treatment can range from a cast to surgical repair of serious breaks or compound fractures.
Neck Injuries and Whiplash
One of the most common forms of injury after a car accident is a neck injury known commonly as “whiplash.” The term whiplash is used to approximate the motion of a whip in snapping back and forth. In a sudden impact collision, the body often continues to move forward while the vehicle stops. Assuming a seat belt is used, it will abruptly stop the body from moving forward, which jolts the neck severely. The architecture of the neck cannot withstand this extreme force, and this often results in a neck injury that can be extremely difficult to diagnose and treat. According to the Mayo Clinic:
Whiplash is a neck injury due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip.
Whiplash is commonly caused by rear-end car accidents. But whiplash can also result from sports accidents, physical abuse and other types of traumas, such as a fall. Whiplash may be called a neck sprain or strain, but these terms also include other types of neck injuries.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – or PTSD – is commonly caused by startling or traumatic events. Car accidents are a leading cause of PTSD. It’s important to remember that not all injuries are physical. Victims of car accidents report all sorts of mental harms caused by the stress of the incident and the recovery process. In general, symptoms of PTSD following a car accident are as follows:
- Recurring, distressing memories of the Car Accident
- Upsetting nightmares about the Car Accident
- Avoidance of Car
- Avoidance of talking about the incident
- Difficulty sleeping
- Mood, behavior or personality changes
- A sense of hopelessness
- Feeling detaching from family and friends
- Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Sensitivity to light or noise
- Feelings of sluggishness
In general, these signs and symptoms will appear shortly after the injury occurs. However some people don’t notice at first how bad the symptoms are. This can take some people hours or even days to realize. Many victims might feel a little confused and dazed after a car accident only to start becoming withdrawn in the days or months following a car accident. If you or a loved one suspect are having mental health issues after a car accident, it’s important to get medical treatment right away.
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Dennis P. Sawan
Licensed in Ohio and Georgia
Christopher A. Sawan
Licensed in Ohio and Michigan