Five Common Car Accident Injuries and How to Spot Them

Car accidents are a major source of pain for millions of Americans. 4.8 million Americans sustained injuries after car accidents in 2020. Meanwhile, the estimated medical costs from car accidents totaled more than $470 billion.

The physical pain from a car accident can cause a lifetime of issues.  Unfortunately, the financial impact from car accidents can be equally devastating.

To protect yourself, it’s important to take steps to avoid accidents and reduce the damage should one occur. It’s also important to get a personal injury attorney to protect your financial interests and hold the insurance companies accountable throughout the entire ordeal.

In this article, we will explore the most common car accident injuries.

What are the most common injuries, and what are their signs? What accidents cause these types of injuries? Which ones require medical intervention?  When is it a good idea to get a personal injury attorney on your side?

Understanding these answers could prevent a car accident from derailing your life. Here are the five most common car accident injuries.

1. Whiplash

Whiplash occurs when the neck moves back and forth forcefully. Tissues in the neck can tear, causing pain and impairing movement.

Whiplash can occur after any accident, including rear-end collisions and low-speed crashes. At first, you may not think that you were injured. But in the hours after the accident, you may encounter neck pain and dizziness.

Pain can also occur in your shoulders and lower back, especially if you jumped up in your seat. Some people may have memory problems, blurred vision, or ringing in their ears as well.

Most cases of whiplash resolve themselves in a few days, while others last for months and are debilitating. If you experience neck or back pain after a crash, you should go to your doctor.

The symptoms of whiplash can overlap with other back injuries. You may have a torn muscle or a pinched nerve in addition to whiplash. Get a full medical examination from your doctor and receive an MRI so you can have a full view of your soft tissues.

2. Concussions

Your brain does not remain stationary inside your head. If you receive a violent blow to your head, your brain can collide against the walls of your skull. This can cause brain cells to become damaged or torn, leading to a concussion.

The signs of a concussion may not be immediately apparent. Most people with a concussion experience a severe headache and confusion hours after an accident. They may not remember the accident they got into, even if someone shows them footage of it.

Someone may lose consciousness after an accident. When they regain consciousness, they may seem confused and disoriented. They may struggle to concentrate on basic things, or they may be hypersensitive to light or noise.

Concussions are among the most serious car collision injuries. Anyone who has signs of a concussion needs to go to the hospital immediately.

3. Post-traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can surface after any traumatic incident. Many people with PTSD after an accident avoid driving or become extremely anxious when they do drive. They may avoid the location they had their accident in, even if it is on the way to work or home.

Most people also have flashbacks or bad dreams in which they relive the accident. Despite having flashbacks, they may have trouble remembering the accident. They may become startled by small things like loud noises, and they feel on edge continuously.

After an accident, you may feel shaken or concerned. This is an understandable reaction. But if you continue to feel anxiety after a few weeks, you may have PTSD.

You should get help from a mental health counselor and a car accident attorney. Insurers try to make a profit by offering the lowest settlement possible. Yet bills for treating PTSD can be extensive, and you will need a lawyer to get all the money you can get.

4. Internal Bleeding

A blow to your chest, arm, or leg can break a blood vessel underneath your skin. Blood can pool in cavities in your body or beneath your skin.

Internal bleeding can cause lightheadedness, especially if the bleeding is rapid. You may feel pain in the area where you are bleeding or elsewhere in your body. You may also have a tingling sensation in your feet, as your body redirects blood from your feet to essential organs.

Chest and brain bleeds can cause organ damage and lead to death. You should get help from an expert in treating car accident injuries right away.

5. Spinal Cord Injuries

You can receive a few different spinal cord injuries from a car accident. You can break a vertebra after a rear-end collision.

In a head-on collision, your spinal cord may be split in two. If your car rolls over, you may sever your spinal cord and hit your head against the roof of your car. This can give you a concussion in addition to spinal cord damage.

Spinal cord injuries can induce significant pain. Some people find it hard to breathe or move. You may find it hard to lie on your back or sit down without feeling severe discomfort.

Any damage to the spinal cord is a medical emergency because damage can lead to paraplegia. You should call 911 and remain still until paramedics come to you. Moving around can cause broken bones, torn muscles, and further damage to your spinal cord.

Protecting Yourself From Common Car Accident Injuries

Car accident injuries can cause a major disruption to your life and financial security. Whiplash creates significant neck and back pain, even when you are sitting down. Concussions can cause memory loss and disorientation.

PTSD may not be apparent for months after your accident. But you may not be able to drive or work properly.

Internal bleeding and spinal cord injuries can be life-threatening. You need to go to the hospital, then you need to pursue a civil case to cover your bills.

If you or a loved on have been injured in a car accident, let our team of experienced personal injury attorneys protect your health and financial future.  You could be entitled to much more than you realize.  Don’t hesitate to get help when you’re hurt. Let us speak for you.  Roberts Markland LLP serves Texas and the Houston area. Contact us today.