If you have ever been in a car accident, you may have suffered an injury or two. There are common injuries from a car accident that can range from mild to life changing and permanent.
When you have been in a car accident, one of the first things you need to assess is any injuries you’ve sustained. If you have passengers, you’ll also need to assess their injuries too. The severity of the injuries will depend on the way the accident happened and how many cars were involved. For example injuries in a head-on collision with another car will likely be different than in a rear-end crash with two or more vehicles.
Most car accident injuries fall into one of two categories:
• Impact injuries caused by a body part hitting some part of the car, such as an arm hitting the car door interior
• Penetrating injuries, such as a flying loose object inside the vehicle or flying glass shards that cause cut injuries
A car accident can lead to multiple types of injuries, but some are common to car accidents.
Soft Tissue Injuries Including Whiplash
A car accident happens suddenly, and the violent jarring and shaking can twist and turn the body in multiple directions that it’s not built to withstand. This leads to soft tissue injuries such as damaged muscles, tendons, and ligaments.
Whiplash is a form of soft tissue injury that happens when the head is tossed around during and after the impact. It can happen whether someone is wearing a seatbelt or not, even at low speeds like 15 mph. Someone with whiplash will most likely experience head and neck pain for some time after the accident. The good news is that on its own, it’s not usually permanent and heals within several weeks.
In an impact injury, broken bones can take the form of broken fingers and wrists or larger bones such as upper legs and arms, ribs, and even skull fractures. In higher-speed crashes, broken ribs may also injure internal organs. This needs immediate attention to discover the depth of breaks and if internal organs are at risk for injuries, including internal bleeding.
Bruises and Lacerations
Even slower-speed accidents can leave drivers and passengers with cuts and bruises. They are usually not serious and generally heal on their own without medical attention. However, most people in an accident rarely suffer only bruises and lacerations. That’s why it’s vital to seek medical attention immediately.
Concussions and Traumatic Brain Injuries
This is one of the more serious impact injuries that can result from a car accident. The sudden change in direction violently throws the head into multiple directions in the same way that causes whiplash.
A concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury (TBI) that can lead to temporary cognitive symptoms (such as amnesia) and headaches. Although doctors call them “mild” injuries, they can lead to more serious symptoms. Even though it’s considered a “closed head injury,” the hard movements literally shake the brain around inside the skull and can cause damage. Fortunately most people eventually recover from concussions.
Other TBIs can lead to permanent brain damage, affecting the way a person’s brain functions. They may not be able to process information as they did before, have permanent periods of amnesia, and possibly experience personality changes. A person with TBI may require lifelong treatment following a car accident.
Anxiety, PTSD, and Other Psychological Distress
While Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, is generally associated with military combat veterans, it can happen to anyone after a traumatic event, such as a car accident.
Someone involved in a serious car accident may develop a fear of driving again, fear of certain sounds, or other “triggers.” They may experience flashbacks or nightmares following the accident, or experience personality changes. Some may experience suicidal thoughts.
Those who have been through a serious car crash may also develop things like anxiety, depression, irrational fears, or other symptoms of mental illness. These may become disabling. Like the other injuries, psychological injuries also require treatment to heal.
Do Seatbelts Help?
While you can’t always prevent injuries, wearing a seatbelt is one of the most important preventative measures drivers and passengers can utilize. The CDC reports that driving with a seatbelt in place increases your risk of surviving a car crash by 45%, and reduces the risk of serious injuries by 50%.
Although more than 90% of Americans buckle up every time they drive, a full 10% don’t. Continued research clearly shows that seatbelts help prevent more serious injuries and fatalities in car accidents. Driving unrestrained allows you to be thrown around violently during the impact with no way to stop the motion.
West Virginia law requires all drivers and vehicular passengers in the front seat to always wear a seatbelt and having small children in appropriate car seats.
Let The Love Law Firm Help After A Car Accident
If you were involved in a car accident and suspect you may have one of these common injuries from a car accident, you may want to contact a lawyer like Chad Love who is experienced in this type of case. For more than 25 years, Mr. Love and The Love Law Firm have helped West Virginians after unfortunate car accidents. Dealing with insurance companies or suing in court, we’re ready to help you receive the compensation you need. You may need help with medical bills, lost wages, and even long term rehabilitation. Don’t say anything to anyone—or speak with any insurance adjuster—until you speak with West Virginia car accident attorney Chad Love first.
Do not hesitate to contact us at The Love Law Firm, or call us at (304) 344 5683. Let us help you decide what to do. Your consultation is free and we only get paid if we win your case.