Car accidents can result in many different injuries all ranging in severity, from minor scratches to paralysis. In 2019 alone, about 4.4 million people were injured seriously enough in car crashes to require medical attention, according to the National Safety Council (On The Road). The number of injuries in Florida alone was over 200,000 according to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (Crash and Citation Reports & Statistics, 2019). This post will outline some of the most common types of injuries and what symptoms can be expected from each. As always, if you are injured in an accident it is important to see a physician in order to properly assess your injuries. Also, have a consultation with a Personal Injury Lawyer. We at DR Law Center are always here to help.
One of the most common injuries resulting from a motor vehicle accident is whiplash. Whiplash occurs when the head is thrown back and forth upon impact. This causes injury to the muscles and tendons in the neck. Common symptoms include neck pain and stiffness, loss of range of motion, and worsening of pain with increased movement. Some cases of whiplash can heal overtime, while others are more severe and will require significant medical attention. Always see a physician if you experience whiplash resulting from a car accident.
Another common injury seen as a result of an MVA is a concussion. When most people think of concussions, they think of it being caused by hitting your head hard on an object or surface. While this is true, concussions can also be caused by the head being forcefully thrown back and forth similar to whiplash. Signs of a concussion may present immediately, however, in some cases it may take hours to see signs. The signs of a concussion include headache, pressure in the head, temporary loss of consciousness, blurred vision or seeing “stars”, dizziness, and/or ringing in the ears. Concussions, if untreated, can be dangerous and cause significant long-term damage. If you notice any of the signs following an accident, see a doctor for a neurological evaluation to determine the best course of action.
Bone fractures and sprains are also common injuries that are seen in people who are in car crashes. These types of injuries are most commonly seen in one’s extremities: hands, arms, feet, and legs. They can be caused by both the blunt force of the accident and by compression seen in many accidents. An example of this can be seen in many rear-end crashes. Due to the position of the hands on the steering wheel, and depending on the force of the crash, we see broken or sprained arms, hand, and wrists. Symptoms of a break or severe sprain include bruising, redness, swelling, deformity, severe pain, and/or loss of function. In order for the bones to heal correctly, it is important to see a doctor so they can assess the injury and set it if necessary.
When most people think of typical back and neck pain and soreness, they are typically thinking of musculoskeletal injuries. These injuries affect muscles, ligaments, tendons, or nerves anywhere in the body that were stretched, compressed, or bent in the accident. These types of injuries can be just as painful as broken bones depending on severity. Musculoskeletal injuries can limit one’s ability to participate in daily activities and to perform simple tasks. Symptoms include pain that worsens with activity, inflammation, redness, and swelling. As with any injury, see a doctor for evaluation.
It is also common for many crashes to result in spinal injuries such as disc bulges or herniation which could potentially require major surgery to correct. These injuries are caused by the force of the accident putting pressure on the discs of the spine. This is especially common in those over 65 due to age related degeneration that is preexisting. Symptoms may vary depending on the location of the injury. Injury to the lumbar region of the back or the lower back is typically painful in the buttocks or thighs while injury to the cervical spine or neck is felt in the shoulders and arms. The pain is usually described as shooting, sharp or burning. This type of injury can also result in radiating numbness or tingling and weakness.
Last but certainly not least are emotional injuries. Injuries that are caused by motor vehicle accidents are not only physical, but can be emotional as well. Depending on the severity of the crash, it is possible to experience symptoms of anxiety and depression. It is also possible to develop PTSD following an accident. This can cause a person to avoid driving near the area of the crash or to stop driving all together. A person may have nightmares replaying the crash over and over in their mind. It is also important to get treatment for these types of injuries as well.
Regardless of the type of injury, it is important to see a doctor if injured at all. If you are ever in a car accident and injured, whether severely or not, it is important to seek treatment. Also have a consultation with a Personal Injury Lawyer as soon as possible after the crash. DR Law Center offers free consultations so there is no harm in getting an opinion on your case. We are always here to help!
On The Road. (n.d.). Retrieved October 16, 2020, from https://www.nsc.org/road-safety/safety-topics/fatality-estimates
Crash and Citation Reports & Statistics. (2019, June 14). Retrieved October 19, 2020, from https://www.flhsmv.gov/resources/crash-citation-reports/