You know that heart-pumping, quick-thinking, adrenaline-pumping feeling you get when you sense danger or feel threatened? That same feeling arises after experiencing a traumatic event, such as a car accident. While this natural defense mechanism can protect you in a dangerous situation, it can also mask the severity of injuries after a car accident. That’s why people report feeling fine immediately after a crash or other accident, but start to feel pain two to three days later.
Below we describe some of the most common injuries caused by car accidents.
HEAD AND NECK INJURIES
TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY
A traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a sudden event that affects the brain, abruptly changing a person’s life. TBIs affect an injured person’s cognitive, physical, behavioral, and intellectual abilities. No two traumatic brain injuries are the same, and recovery can be a slow, arduous, and often frustrating process. TBIs range from mild to severe.
A concussion is a mild traumatic brain injury caused by a blow to the head. Concussion symptoms can mirror those of more severe traumatic brain injuries, such as confusion and memory loss, as well as speech, vision, and balance impairments.
Whiplash is one of the most frequently experienced car accident neck injuries. It is caused by abrupt forward and/or backward movement of the head and neck. Symptoms of whiplash include neck pain and stiffness, headaches, dizziness, and inability to sleep.
CHEST AND BACK INJURIES
Broken or fractured ribs are painful and can ache with each breath. This chest injury usually occurs from the impact of the chest hitting the steering wheel or from the restriction of movement caused by the seat belt. Symptoms of broken or fractured ribs include chest pain when coughing, laughing, or taking a deep breath, localized pain where the individual rib is fractured/broken, and upper body pain during movement.
Damage to the chest and sternum during a car collision can cause serious injury to the heart and lungs, often mimicking the symptoms of a heart attack. Chest pain should always be checked by a medical professional as soon as symptoms begin. Chest injury can also affect the liver, spleen, and kidneys.
Herniated discs can occur in the upper (cervical) part of the spine and in the lower (lumbar) part of the spine. A herniated disc is a rupture of the vertebrae of the spine, causing back pain and numbness or weakness in the arms and legs.
HANDS, ARMS AND LEGS
SPRAINS, STRAINS AND FRACTURES
Common injuries to the upper and lower extremities of the body include sprains, strains, and fractures, as well as lacerations and bruises. Large areas of bruising may indicate internal bleeding and require immediate medical attention.
SYMPTOMS OF INJURY MAY NOT BE IMMEDIATE. DO NOT DELAY MEDICAL ATTENTION AFTER AN ACCIDENT.
Car accidents are a pain in the neck…and spine, arms, and chest. More than 2.35 million people in the United States are injured or disabled by car accidents. As a no-fault state, Florida drivers, passengers and pedestrians can and should see a doctor within 14 days from the date of the accident, regardless of whether or not they caused the accident.
If you were injured in a car accident due to the negligence of another driver, you may be eligible to receive financial compensation for your injuries, lost wages, pain and suffering.