The Hidden Dangers of Car Accidents
Most people who've been involved in a car accident think they know what it's like. Even if you've never been in one, you've probably seen enough on television and in movies to imagine one. A car accident is a loud, scary ordeal, and for the most part, that is true — but there are some things about car accidents that you might not expect.
There's a lot more that happens during a car accident than just the loud noises and damage to your vehicle. Your body reacts in ways you might not expect.
In this article, we'll discuss common car accident injuries. We'll also look at some of the things you should be aware of in case you are ever in a car wreck. This may sound negative, but it's important to know what to expect so that you're not caught off guard if it ever happens to you.
The Dangers of Car Accidents
Did you know that nearly 3 million people in the United States are injured each year in car accidents? Many of these injuries are minor, but many are serious; the symptoms do not immediately appear. If you have been in a wreck and experience any pain or soreness, it is important to see your doctor as soon as possible.
While the aftermath of any car accident is a time for medical attention, it is also a time for caution. You may have sustained an injury that you are unaware of. Some don't seem like they could have anything to do with a car crash. There are some steps you can take to protect yourself.
It's important to see a doctor if you experience any of these symptoms after an auto accident:
- Back pain
- Neck pain or stiffness
- Numbness in the limbs or extremities
- Dizziness or lightheadedness
- Vision problems
- Hearing loss
- Sleeping trouble, especially insomnia
- Memory problems
- Anxiety or depression
Common Injuries in Vehicle Crashes
Injuries from car accidents can be very serious and complex. In addition to fractures or broken bones, you can suffer from soft tissue damage, back injuries, head or neck injuries, and even internal organ damage. If you were in a car accident and have been injured, visit your doctor right away to ensure your injuries are properly diagnosed.
Some of the most common car accident injuries include:
One of the most common injuries in a car accident is whiplash. This occurs when your head is forced back and forth, causing damage to your neck and shoulders. Go to a doctor immediately after your accident if you feel any pain or stiffness in your neck or shoulders. Even if you don't feel pain right away, it's important to visit your doctor within two days of your accident to get checked out.
Many people don't realize that they have suffered from whiplash until hours or even days after their accident. Symptoms of whiplash include:
- Neck Pain
- Stiff Neck
- Weakness in the Arms
- Memory Problems
The symptoms of whiplash can be similar to those associated with concussions, so it's important that you seek medical attention after your car accident. It's also important to keep accurate records about how you feel when you first experience symptoms and how long symptoms persist in providing this information to your Atlanta car accident attorney later on.
In a car accident, one of the most dangerous types of injuries is a traumatic brain injury, TBI for short. A TBI injury can have long-term consequences and, in many cases, can be deadly.
A blow to the head or violent shaking of the brain can cause a traumatic brain injury. A TBI injury can impact both children and adults. In fact, motor vehicle accidents are among the top causes of TBIs among children younger than 5 years old.
The symptoms of a TBI may not be immediately present after an accident. In many cases, symptoms do not show up until hours or even days later. For this reason, it is essential for anyone who has been involved in a car accident to seek medical attention immediately following the accident. Even if you do not think you were seriously injured, having your doctor evaluate you after an accident can help prevent long-term problems from developing.
Spinal Cord Injury
Spinal cord injuries differ from other types of injuries due to the nature of the injury. Because the spinal cord is such a vital part of the nervous system, its damage can affect almost every aspect of life.
The spinal cord itself is a bundle of nerves that runs down the middle of the back and through the neck. The cord comprises bones, muscles, and ligaments that protect these nerves. When one or more parts of this complex system are damaged, it can lead to partial or total paralysis, leaving people unable to move some or all parts of their bodies. Injuries can also cause numbness, weakness, and loss of muscle control in certain areas. These injuries are often permanent and irreversible.
A spinal cord injury can result in partial or total paralysis, loss of motor functions and reflexes, and other problems such as difficulty breathing and bowel or bladder control issues. In some cases, people with a severe spinal cord injury may require life-long care and treatment.
There are two types of spinal cord injuries:
Tetraplegia – An injury to the cervical (neck) area of the spine that causes a loss of function below the neck
Paraplegia – An injury to the thoracic (trunk) or lumbar (lower back) area of the spine that causes a loss of function below that area
In addition to these unfortunate symptoms, people with a severe spinal cord injury may suffer from other health complications, including:
Pressure ulcers – bedsores caused by lying in one position for too long
Pneumonia – an infection caused by bacteria entering your lungs from breathing or eating contaminated food or liquids.
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) - Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a serious condition that occurs when a blood clot forms in a vein located deep inside your body. Most deep blood clots occur in the lower leg or thigh. But they can also happen in other parts of your body, like the pelvis, arms, and abdomen.
Internal injury is any kind of injury that an accident victim suffers internally — in other words, it is not readily apparent because it does not show up on the surface of the body where it can be seen. While these types of bodily injuries are frequently overlooked in car accidents and other personal injury cases, they can be incredibly dangerous and even life-threatening if left untreated.
Internal bleeding occurs when an injury damages blood vessels and causes blood to leak inside your body. Internal bleeding can occur anywhere in your body but is most commonly found in the abdomen or head. If left untreated, it can cause other complications such as shock from blood loss, infection, or anemia.
If tissue within your body has been damaged during the accident, then you may experience organ damage or failure. The liver and spleen are the most commonly affected organs in car accidents due to their locations within the body and proximity to impact areas.