When you get into an auto accident, you may succumb to injuries you didn’t even know you had. Although you might be fine right after the injury, there are various symptoms that might appear days later. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that more than 3 million individuals are injured in vehicle accidents across the nation.
Although not everyone is injured in auto accidents, the majority of people are. Each injury will depend on a number of factors and not everyone will sustain the same ones. In fact, two people in the same accident might sustain the same injuries.
Car accident injuries can vary depending on the type of collision, the force of impact, where the accident occurred and so many more variables that make it hard to really pinpoint the extent of injuries one might face when in a traffic accident.
Some accident injuries can happen immediately, while others might not show up until days later. Also, a few car accident injuries might go away on their own in few days and require no medical attention, while more serious ones might be permanent and can even result in being physically disabled for the rest of your life.
Factors That Go into The Type and Severity of Injuries in An Auto Accident
A few factors that could possibly determine the type and severity of the juries suffered by both passengers and drives in a car accident include:
- If all were wearing a seat belt?
- If the car was hit from the front, side or rear?
- If the occupant was facing straight ahead in the car’s seat or if their body was turned in a particular direction?
- If the car had airbags and they deployed properly?
- If the collision was done at low speeds or was it a high-speed crash?
Categories of Injuries Caused by Traffic Accidents
There are two categories of injuries (that are pretty broad) that occur when one gets into a car accident. The first one is impact injuries, and these happen when part of an individual’s body hits another part of the car’s interior like a steering wheel, dashboard or the glass window. The second is penetrating injuries that usually involve some type of scape or cut, which are usually a result of loose objects flying inside the car or glass shattering because of the impact of the crash.
Common Auto Accident Injury Symptoms
While everyone that gets in an auto accident will have different injuries, here are a few common symptoms many might experience after such an event:
Many involved in car accidents usually complain of a “whiplash” injury, which causes their neck and upper back to experience a soft tissue injury. This happens when their ligaments and muscles are stretched out because of sudden movements that happen during the collision.
But these types of injuries can also happen to one’s lower body, such as their back. People who suffer from a whiplash injury usually complain of nagging pain or stiffness in the region that won’t go away.
Cuts and Scrapes
Those involved in car accidents might come out with cuts and scrapes due to losing objects flying around in the car. This can include things like phones, mugs, purses, books and the like. Basically, anything that’s loose in the car can hurt a person. While many cuts and scrapes are minor, some can be serious and require many stitches. A person can also have cuts and scrapes when the airbag deploys in the crash.
Concussions, Headaches and Brian Damage
If a person injures their head in a traffic accident, they might complain of headaches right after the crash. These headaches might continue for a few days. If the injury was severe, they might have a concussion or even brain damage. Impact with a steering wheel or side window can cause cuts to the head or even very deep lacerations. A closed head injury occurs when one’s tissue and fluid inside their skull becomes damaged.
Chest injuries are quite common in car accidents and can cause you to have chest pain, in addition to bruises or contusions. However, severe chest injuries can include internal problems like broken ribs.
Usually, drivers experience chest injuries due to their position behind the wheel, which can hit the body when their body is catapulted forward in a crash. When this happens, the chest area will experience a great level of force, which will require immediate medical attention.
Depending on the force of the crash, drivers and passengers might experience broken limbs. Arms and legs can easily be thrown hard against the dashboard or door, causing bones to break or become dislocated.
Depending on the type of impact, a person can experience a small hairline bone fracture or a severe breakage that will require surgery. The pain from a broken limb will be apparent and will need medical treatment fast.
It’s good to note that these are a few common injuries that can occur when involved in an auto accident. There are many more depending on the nature of the crash and how severe it was. Also, some injuries won’t become apparent after the incident and might start to show a few days, weeks or even months later!
While the majority of symptoms after an auto accident may be physical, you might also experience mental injuries that might require you to see a counselor or therapist. When you’re in a car accident, it’s always best to seek medical attention for even the smallest injury or at the first sign of any discomfort.