When you look at your car after an accident, you’ll likely see scrapes, dents and serious harm to its exterior. But once you get it to the shop, the mechanic might find far more wrong with it once they remove the body panels.
Injuries are much the same way. You might not see or feel them at first, but with time and under the care of a medical professional, you might realize that you sustained far more injury than you realized at first.
Here are the 5 most common car accident injuries and how you should respond to them.
1. Whiplash or Other Neck Injuries
In a car accident, your whole body suffers an impact. But your head and neck are typically most vulnerable and head injuries can lead to serious complications. A common first symptom that something isn’t right is a headache or immediate neck pain. It might start as something small and nagging but become more pronounced as the day goes on. During the accident, your neck likely moved in ways it isn’t designed to and at speeds that are too great for it. Any signs of stiffness and neck strain could be a sign of neck injury.
It could take weeks to heal from the muscle and ligament strains. Before you resort to heat and ice therapy, check in with your doctor. In some cases, using heat could further harm your body or could make you stiffer. These natural remedies can be great, but just be sure you’re treating your injury the right way by seeking medical attention. In some cases, your doctor might refer you to a physical therapist or chiropractor.
2. Arm and Leg Injuries
Car accidents put so much strain on your body that can lead to broken bones, bruises, sprains and more. Because your arms and legs away from the core of your body, they often suffer during an accident.
Broken bones are easier to detect than muscle and ligament problems. These can start as an achy feeling. But regular aches and pains after an accident should go away after a few days. If you have continued pain, call your doctor and get an assessment.
Much like whiplash or neck injuries you could treat arm and leg injuries on your own incorrectly, which could take them longer to heal than if you call your primary care doctor to get the proper screens and tests.
3. Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI)
Traumatic brain injuries are some of the most severe injuries you can sustain after a car accident. Seek medical attention immediately if you have any of these signs or symptoms.
- Speech problems
- Sensitivity to light or sound
- Blurred vision
- Ringing in the ears
- Bad taste in your mouth
- Concentration or memory problems
- Mood changes
- Extreme sleepiness
Go to an emergency room right away if you experience any signs of a TBI after a car accident. The longer you wait, the more severe the long-term effects can be.
4. Spine Injuries
Spine injuries are the second most severe injury you might suffer from a car accident, right after a TBI. These injuries are common but can be severe and cause paralysis. Paralysis is obvious and easy to detect and known to seek treatment but ailments like a herniated disc can be more challenging to detect but can cause serious pain and health problems.
Back pain that fails to dissipate after a few days is a sign that something isn’t right. You need to call your doctor to complete some tests to better understand what is happening. And once again, icing or applying a heating pad to the area could do more harm than good.
5. Lacerations and Burns
Have lacerations or burns checked out immediately following a car accident. These injuries could lead to serious infections. You should not take a wait-and-see approach. Many car accident lacerations need stitches to heal properly and failing to get stitches could mean longer healing times and only partial healing.
If you don’t ride away from the accident in an ambulance, get to an emergency room or urgent care facility as soon as possible if you’ve suffered lacerations and burns.
Seeking Legal Help After an Accident
The cost of medical care leads 24 percent of people to avoid seeking treatment according to a study. You should not let cost be a determining factor when ensuring that you heal fully from an accident. Seek the medical care you need and contact Stewart & Stewart for a free legal consultation. We’ll help you evaluate the full extent of your losses to seek appropriate compensation to help you recover after a car accident.