Road traffic crashes are the 9th leading cause of death and account for over 2 percent of all deaths globally, according to the World Health Organization. The ramifications of vehicle crashes depend on many factors—seat belt usage, car speed, car size, impact point, etc. Some lucky people walk away from car crashes without sustaining any physical harm, but many suffer from short or long-term injuries as a result of the crash.
One of the most difficult aspects of car accident injuries is not knowing if an injury will heal on its own with time and treatment or if it will create ongoing problems. The true, long-term impact of injuries may not be fully understood for months after the accident occurs. That’s why medical attention is so critical from the beginning. You need to make sure injuries are properly diagnosed and treated before they turn into chronic issues.
Here’s a look at some of the most common car accident injuries and some of their ramifications:
1. Head injuries. These tend to be the most under-diagnosed injuries from car wrecks, but they also have some of the most severe long-term consequences. Because the head is thrown around unnaturally and at great speed in a car accident, you can develop soft tissue injuries in the neck and back as well as “closed head injuries” that affect fluid and tissue inside of the skull. You may walk away from a car accident thinking you’re fine, only to discover damage ranging from a mild concussion to severe neurological impairment manifesting itself later.
2. Whiplash. When a car rams into you, it can jolt your neck back and forth with tremendous force, hurting the tendons, ligaments and muscles. This can cause you a lot of pain and may take a considerable amount of time to heal. Whiplash is particularly common with rear-end accidents.
3. Slipped disc. Also known as a herniated or ruptured disc, this injury occurs when the impact of the crash puts stress on the spinal structure. When this happens, the small discs that provide cushioning between your vertebrae can slip out of place. This can cause pain in your buttocks and legs if the disk is in the lower part of your back. If it is in the neck, you could experience intense pain in your shoulder and arm. It can also cause numbing or tingling and muscle weakness. Some slipped discs improve with rest and anti-inflammatory medications. Others require physical therapy, steroid injections, and even surgery.
4. Fractured and broken bones. The sudden impact of a crash will throw your body against the interior of the car—or even throw you out of the car. This swift force on your bones can cause them to fracture or break. When front seat drivers and passengers slam into the dashboard and steering wheel, the ribs, as well as the arm, leg, and hand bones, are often compromised. Knee and hip bone trauma are common, too.
5. Lacerations. Your skin may be scraped or torn when you are thrown against the interior parts of the car or when you are hit by shattered glass or loose objects sent flying through the air by the sudden impact. This can require stitches and, in some cases, reconstructive surgery.
While these are among the most common physical injuries from vehicle accidents, there are emotional ramifications, too. Car crash survivors often experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This condition can lead to intense anxiety when you encounter triggers that remind you of your accident and can even cause you to avoid driving altogether.
Don’t forget that your car can be a deadly weapon if you’re not careful on the road. While some car crashes are unavoidable, others can be prevented by observing the following safety tips:
- Always wear your seatbelt—even on short drives.
- Stay alert—pull over if you’re sleepy.
- Observe the speed limit and all rules of the road.
- Avoid distractions such as eating or texting.
- Maintain your care with regular checkups and make needed repairs immediately.
- Avoid driving under the influence at all costs.
If you are injured in a car accident, seek medical treatment immediately—even if you don’t think your injuries are serious. A doctor can often diagnose problems that may not seem evident to you at first.
You should also talk to an experienced auto accident attorney right away to guide you through the process of recovering damages to your property and health due to the negligence of others. They can help you get the compensation that you deserve for lost wages, loss of future earning power, car repair or replacement, medical costs, and more.
Motor vehicle accidents are one of the most common accidents that happen on the road. Most of the time, there is more than one person who is a victim of this accident. The victims would suffer various types of injuries and sometimes the accident could result in loss of life. This infographic presents the different types of injuries sustained by a victim of the vehicular crash.