Car accident injuries are incredibly common in Texas, as one person is injured in a car accident every two minutes and three seconds according to the Texas Department of Transportation. Whether hit by a distracted driver at an intersection or rear-ended by a speeding driver on the highway, all car accidents cause some form of damage. The most visible damage is typically from the impact to your car, but car accidents can also cause serious damage to your body that may not be immediately visible.
Car accidents involve a large amount of force being applied very quickly during a collision that can cause serious damage to your body by bending and twisting it in unnatural ways. Though all car accidents are different, there are many common injuries associated with them. It is essential to know what kinds of injuries are possible and what symptoms to look for. Here are seven of the most common car accident injuries:
- Bruising and Contusions: Even the smallest fender bender can cause serious bruising. Collisions can slam your body into the seat belt, steering wheel, or side window. While your seat belt can help prevent serious harm, it can leave you with bruising that can last for days to weeks after the crash. Bruises should heal within a few weeks; however, if you have bruising that does not heal or is extremely painful, it may require medical attention as it may mean something more serious is going on.
- Whiplash: When the force of a car accident causes your neck and upper back to suddenly move back and forth, stretching your muscles and ligaments beyond their normal range at speeds at which they should not move, this can cause serious damage. The pain and discomfort felt in your neck and upper back after a collision come from the muscles and ligaments being strained and can take several weeks to recover. Whiplash can be very painful and while rarely permanent, may require physical therapy or other means of pain management. Whiplash may also be delayed in appearing. Immediately following a car accident, your body is full of adrenaline and you may be in shock. Some injuries, including whiplash, may not appear until the next day or a few days after the crash when you suddenly start to feel pain and lose range of motion in your body. If you were not evaluated by a medical professional after the accident and you begin to feel pain, go to your medical provider immediately to be treated.
- Neck, Back, and Spine Injuries: The force of a car accident can also cause more serious neck and back injuries that may not be immediately apparent. How your vehicle was hit can make a difference in what type of neck or back injury you have sustained. The collision can cause herniations or ruptures of the discs in your spine that will be incredibly painful and can severely limit your mobility. These injuries take time to heal and typically require medical attention, pain management, physical therapy, and sometimes surgery to fix. Seek medical attention immediately following a car wreck to be evaluated for neck, back, and spine injuries.
- Broken Bones: The forceful impact of a collision can put your body under a great amount of stress that’s so significant it can leave your skeleton unable to handle the pressure. When this happens, your bones may break. Your arm may be pinned between your body and the steering column causing a fractured wrist or your body may slam against the seat belt so hard that ribs break. Broken bones are very common in car accidents and, while rarely life-threatening, take significant time to heal. Many broken bones require surgery to fix. If treatment goes well, you may only need a couple of months to recover.
- Internal Bleeding: The force from a car accident can cause serious damage to your internal organs and cause them to bleed. Organs are delicate and if injured, they need to be quickly treated by a medical professional to prevent permanent damage or death. Internal bleeding injuries are common in high-speed car accidents. If you feel weakness on one side, pain in your abdomen, dizziness, or exhibit deep purple bruising after a car accident, seek medical attention immediately as you may have internal bleeding.
- Concussions: During a car accident, you can hit your head on various parts of a car, causing a concussion. A concussion is essentially your brain hitting the sides of your skull and can cause memory loss, headaches, brain fog, sensitivity to light and sound, and many more neurological symptoms. Concussions are serious head injuries and should be treated promptly. The symptoms of a concussion may not start until a few hours after a car accident. Be sure to speak with a medical professional if you believe you hit your head during a wreck.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries: A traumatic brain injury occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to your brain. In a car accident, this could mean your head hit an object or an object pierced the skull and entered the brain tissue. Symptoms of a traumatic brain injury can range from mild to severe depending on the extent of the damage. Symptoms can include loss of consciousness, headache, confusion, lightheadedness, blurred vision, ringing in the ears, a change in sleep patterns, behavior or mood changes, and trouble with attention and critical thinking. Traumatic brain injuries must be treated by a medical professional for the best chance to fully recover. Some car accident victims never fully recover from a traumatic brain injury and are left permanently disabled.
Houston Car Accident Lawyers
You may recover from less serious car accident injuries within a few days; however, many car accident injuries require professional medical evaluation and treatment for the victim to fully recover and some are so severe that a full recovery isn’t possible. Remember – not all injuries appear the day of the accident. If you start to feel pain or find yourself having trouble concentrating after a Houston car accident, seek medical treatment immediately. To learn more about your legal rights after being injured in a car crash, contact our Houston car accident lawyers today for a free consultation.