Being involved in a car accident always has the potential to cause injuries. The most obvious are dents and scrapes to the vehicle. Damages caused to a person’s body are not always so obvious. Sometimes, people may feel like they have walked away completely unharmed but days later experience side effects, such as discomfort in the abdomen or neck pain. Others might immediately feel side effects, like headaches or back pain. If a person experiences symptoms after an accident, it’s essential to get proper medical attention because these symptoms are indicative of injuries. Below are some common injuries after a car crash.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
Automobile collisions happen quickly and involve a great deal of impact as two or more vehicles collide. The car can quickly change directions or come to a forceful stop, which can cause a person to move in ways their body wasn’t designed to. A common occurrence is a sudden jerk or a blow to the head. That impact can cause the brain to move and injure brain cells or break blood vessels. This is known as a traumatic brain injury, or TBI for short. A TBI can have potentially life-altering effects. Some people experience loss of memory, severe headaches, and even irritability and mood changes.
Whiplash and Neck Injuries
Even with traveling at speeds as low as 15 mph, the sheer force in a car accident can cause the body to move in ways it shouldn’t. When a person experiences discomfort or pain in the neck or back, it can be a sign of whiplash. Whiplash is essentially a strain on muscles and ligaments. These strains can be very painful and can lead to severe disk injury or cervical dislocation in certain circumstances.
Like whiplash, the intensity of a car crash can impact the spine and cause back pain. Back pain can be severe and even limit a person’s mobility. The impact can cause herniations or ruptures to spinal discs. This is usually a sign of a back injury. While not always permanent, a back injury can require medical attention as well as physical therapy and will take time to heal.
Even minor accidents can cause bruising. The force can cause seat belts to tighten, and that impact can cause bruising. Bruises are rarely an indication of serious injuries. However, if bruising hasn’t healed within two weeks, you should seek medical attention.
Limb Loss and Amputation
A force from a collision can cause your body to hit other parts of the car, even if you were wearing a seat belt. The impact can place stress onto a person’s body that it can’t withstand. For example, if the car was traveling at a high velocity, the impact from the seatbelt can cause fractures to the ribs. Or, depending on how the car moved during the collision, a person’s arm or leg could be pinned by a door or another vehicle part. This can lead to broken bones and even limb loss or amputations.
Spinal Cord Injury or Paralysis
Blunt force or damage to the spine can result in a spinal cord injury. The impact of a car crash can fracture or dislocate the vertebrae in the spine or cause tears in the spinal cord tissue. These injuries are serious can result in partial or total paralysis.