No matter how careful we are, road accidents sometimes cannot be avoided. According to the National Safety Council, 4.4 million people were seriously injured in car crashes in 2019. Meanwhile, an estimated 38,800 perished.
Being involved in serious car crashes can be traumatic. It can result in injuries that may have lasting effects. If you have been injured in a car accident, contact a personal injury attorney or an auto accident lawyer immediately.
The severity of the injuries sustained may depend on the following factors:
- The speed of the two (or more) vehicles involved in the accident.
- Proper use or misuse of the seatbelt, child’s car seat, and other safety restraints.
- The direction of impact. Was the car hit from the rear, front, or side?
- The position of the occupants of the car.
Other factors, such as the make and age of the car and installation of airbags, can affect the outcome of car crashes.
Typical Injuries that Result from Car Crashes
Injuries that result from car crashes may differ from victim to victim. Each accident is unique, with different circumstances that can have different results. But there are still injuries that are common in accidents, no matter how minor or severe. If you have been involved in a car accident lately, be sure to be on the lookout for the following injuries. The symptoms of some of these can manifest days after the accident, so it is vital to be aware of them.
Whiplash is one of the most common neck injuries that victims of car crashes suffer from. Whiplash occurs because of the sudden and rapid jerking of the neck caused by the impact of the crash. It commonly results from rear-end accidents.
The following signs and symptoms usually develop days after the accident.
- Neck pain
- Neck stiffness
- Headaches that start at the base of the skull
- Painful or loss of neck movement
- Painful shoulders
- Blurred vision
- Memory problems
The force of the crash can cause broken bones to the occupants of the vehicles involved. The impact of the crash can break the arms or wrists of the driver. The common bones that are most likely to be broken in a collision are the tibia or fibula, femur, ribs, hip, pelvis, back, and the skull. Symptoms of a broken bone include redness, swelling, bruising, severe pain, and deformity.
A concussion is a severe injury that can occur even if your head doesn’t have any contact with anything inside the vehicle. It can be caused by an impact to the head or from a violent shaking of the head.
A concussion is a traumatic injury that can affect brain function. Symptoms can be immediate, and it can include dizziness, ringing in the ears, and seeing stars after the impact.
Other signs of a concussion include nausea, blurred vision, vomiting, and confusion. It is essential to seek medical care if the victim experiences any of the following:
- Repeated vomiting
- Worsening headache
- Slurred speech
- Passes out for more than 30 seconds
- Changes in behavior
- Eye disturbances
- Difficulty with physical coordination
- Memory problems
Cuts and Lacerations
Cuts and lacerations in car accidents can be caused by broken glass, blunt trauma, and broken vehicle frame. Minor lacerations can be treated without the need for hospitalization. Severe cases of lacerations, however, can require intensive hospital treatment. These are the types of cuts that are deep and must be cleaned thoroughly to avoid being infected.
Long-term Effects of Car Crashes
The following are the long term effects of car crashes on the victims and the people involved.
1. Physical Disability
Depending on the circumstances of the crash, some car accident injuries can result in a permanent physical disability. Some result in amputation and paralysis, which can significantly affect the victim’s quality of life and ability to earn income.
2. Emotional Effects
The trauma that a life-changing accident can bring does not only affect its victims physically. Many suffer long-term emotional effects that can be debilitating, and that can impact how they live and relate with others.
Some emotional effects that can result from a car crash include:
- Mood swings
- Emotional distress
- Sleep loss
The emotional side effects of car crashes can sometimes make it difficult for the victim to drive a car in the future.
3. Psychological Trauma
Some victims of life-threatening car crashes develop post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. PTSD can severely affect how a person functions and his or her relationships at home and work. Some symptoms of PTSD include but are not limited to the following:
- Flashbacks or nightmares of the accident
- Difficulty sleeping
A car crash can have lasting impacts on the lives of everyone involved. If you have been in one, seek medical attention and contact a car accident attorney immediately.