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Common Car Accident Injuries and What They May Mean for You

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Vehicles are an important part of our lives—unfortunately, this means that car accidents are as well, and they can be seriously frightening to witness and panic-inducing to be a part of. Damage to your vehicles will mean a loss in both time and money to fix them, but there’s another car accident possibility that ups the terror: injuries.

Car accidents can cause injuries in many different places, and the severity can range from minor to life-altering. Understanding what some of the most common car accident injuries are can help you notice symptoms, seek attention sooner, and inform you of what to watch for with those involved. We’ll begin by discussing some of the head injuries you may sustain.

Head Injuries

Head injuries are some of the most severe injuries you can sustain, so it’s important to know which head injuries are common so you know what symptoms to watch for. Traumatic brain injuries, despite the name, can be minor, but they can also be, well, traumatic. 

They’re called this because they are caused by the trauma of your brain impacting your skull, which can be caused by your neck and head suddenly being jolted in a direction and impacting something. An example of a TBI that you’ve probably heard of before is a concussion. 

Other common head injuries may include bleeding, broken bones, and bruises. Some of these are easier to recognize than others, so if you think your head hit a surface pretty hard, be sure to tell any first responders on the scene, whether they be the paramedics or the police. They should be able to either help you or get you the help you need.

Neck and Back Injuries

These two are grouped together for one main reason: the spine. A common type of spinal injury that car accidents can cause is a bulging or herniated disk

You know your spine is made of vertebrae, and in between each of these small bones is a disk that prevents the bones from rubbing together. When one of these disks bulges and presses against the spinal cord or nerves, you’ll experience pain. When bulging disks bulge out too far, they are called herniated disks. 

Other neck and back injuries you could experience include sprains and strains, bruises again, bleeding, and a lumbar fracture, which is when the vertebra of the lumbar spine are damaged because your upper body was thrown forward while the lower body was held in place. The pain from one will get worse the more you move and should be treated as soon as possible to ensure you don’t experience some of the consequences of it affecting your spinal cord or nerves.

Seat Belt Injuries

Before we begin this section, we will make one thing clear: we are not advocating against the use of seatbelts. They can and will save your life in a car accident by holding you in place. However, it’s important to know that this life-saving action can cause injuries sometimes. 

There are a few types of injuries seat belts can cause, but most are minor. If you’ve ever pulled your seatbelt out too far or too quickly, then you are aware of what it would do during an accident—lock up and prevent you from pulling more belt. This sudden stop can cause bruising along the shoulder belt path. If the force is great enough, it could even break a bone or dislocate your shoulder. 

The lap belt can cause or make internal injuries worse as it digs into your stomach and holds your lower half in place. If something hurts somewhere, make sure to tell the police or paramedics as soon as possible, as it could mean there is a more severe or invisible issue present.

Airbag Injuries

Once again, we are not advocating against the use of your vehicle’s safety features. We’re simply highlighting some of the injuries you may experience in a car accident and some of these can come from the safety features such as the airbags. 

Some injuries that airbags cause aren’t from the bag itself or the impact of hitting it but are instead caused by the chemicals used to inflate them. Skin and eye irritation are examples of this, though you could also experience burns or asthma attacks. The sudden impact of hitting an airbag can cause fractures or broken bones, eye trauma, and neck injuries as well. 

The best way to avoid these is to locate where your airbags are located and to ensure there is a safe distance between your body and the airbags so that if they do deploy, your risk of injury is decreased.

Steps to Take

It’s important to understand what to do if you’re in a car accident so you can be prepared to help where necessary. The first step is to check yourself. If you can move and there isn’t a loss of feeling anywhere, then carefully get out and check on everyone else if possible. 

Help the injured as soon as you can, which may mean helping them out of the car, stopping bleeding, or any other number of emergency and first aid actions. Call 911 once you can and explain the situation and your location as calmly as possible. 

Once paramedics arrive, be sure to answer their questions and inform them if you feel pain anywhere or if you don’t feel anything at all somewhere, as this information may help them treat you properly. Before the paramedics arrive, try and get as much information about the accident as you can, as this will help you later.

Getting The Protection You Need

The final step after receiving the necessary medical attention is to consider hiring a car accident attorney. They’ll be able to investigate the accident and obtain evidence that you couldn’t and build a case. 

After that, they’ll tell you your odds of success and calculate what you may be owed—they’ll then help you in the fight to get what you’re owed. Even if you don’t file a suit, they can help you get the money you need from the appropriate insurance provider. 

While we hope you never need to use this information, at least you now know what injuries to watch for after a car accident.