Car accidents can result in minor to severe injuries. Symptoms may include bruising, swelling, numbness or tingling, weakness, and persisting pain.
Loose items inside the vehicle turn into projectiles during crashes and can easily cut the skin. This includes airbags that can injure the head or neck with force.
A collision can cause broken bones in many parts of your body. The arms and hands are often affected by car accident injuries because the impact can make you instinctively reach out to brace yourself, putting pressure on your bones and joints. The sternum, or breastbone, can also be fractured in front-end crashes. The femur, the long bone that runs from your knee to your pelvis, can also break in a crash.
A doctor will diagnose a broken bone by conducting a physical exam and imaging tests to get a picture of the damage. These tests might include X-Rays, CT scans, or MRIs. A broken bone can require surgery to repair. If you have any symptoms of a break, like increased pain and swelling 24-48 hours after the accident, worsening bruises, or a swollen lump near the wound, seek medical attention immediately and contact a personal injury lawyer Greenville NC. These symptoms could indicate an internal injury and severe bleeding. The spine is especially susceptible to breaking in a crash due to the impact force from the seatbelt or airbags.
Brain injuries are common in car accidents due to the violent motions of the vehicle and impact. While the rest of the body stays strapped to the seat belt, your head and neck can move freely, causing them to hit fixed objects in the vehicle, like the steering wheel or dashboard, during an accident.
The rapid movement can cause your brain to strike against the inside of your skull, damaging tissues, and blood vessels. This can lead to a closed brain injury, such as a concussion, a diffuse axonal injury, or a penetrating brain injury when an external object pierces the skull during a crash.
Closed brain injuries can cause seizures, loss of consciousness, or a traumatic brain injury (TBI). The severity of symptoms like confusion, headaches, and blurred vision categorizes a TBI. A more severe TBI is a subdural or epidural hematoma, a blood clot in the space between your brain and skull.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
A person’s head isn’t designed to withstand sudden, unnatural movement like that caused by an accident. The force of a car crash may cause neck muscles to strain, leading to whiplash injuries. A car accident’s unnatural, sudden changes in direction may also cause the head to impact a windshield, steering wheel, or other component of the vehicle’s interior. These collisions can result in bruises, cuts, and deep lacerations.
A severe car accident can lead to a traumatic brain injury (TBI). Mild concussions that briefly “blackout” sufferers to severe concussions and more debilitating TBIs are examples of this type of injury.
TBIs can also affect a victim’s behavior, memory, and problem-solving ability. These injuries are usually diagnosed with a CT or MRI of the skull and brain. A TBI can cause problems like difficulty thinking and attention deficit disorder in the short term. Over time, it can lead to depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Spine injuries are another common and potentially life-altering result of car accidents. A fractured vertebrae can cause severe nerve damage if it presses on the spinal cord. Fortunately, the discs between the spinal bones act as shock absorbers and prevent many fractures from occurring.
However, head-on collisions and rollovers can cause the spine to compress. This can result in a herniated disc or another type of spinal injury.
The force from a car accident can jar the spine, causing bone fragments to break and move up or down. This can pressure the spinal cord and affect the function of organs like the bladder and bowel.
A car accident can also cause spinal deformity or dislocation, leading to pain, muscle weakness, and even paralysis. Surgery may be required to repair the damaged spine and return to normal functioning. Internal fixation involves surgically putting metal rods, screws, and hooks in the spine to hold it together and prevent further damage.