Types of Car Accident Injuries
Car accidents are a leading cause of injury in the United States, causing hundreds of billions (that’s billions with a B!) in medical bills, lost wages, productivity loss, and other damages. While every accident and the individuals involved are different, there are some fairly common injuries. This article will address some of these injuries and what you should do to ensure that you are fully recovered and your bills are paid.
Head, Neck, & Back Injuries: Head injuries often result from the driver or passenger striking their head against the dash, steering wheel, windows, or head rests. This can cause traumatic brain injuries (TBI), from concussions to permanent physical damage, skull fractures, and hearing/vision problems. These injuries require careful monitoring and, occasionally, extensive treatment.
Whiplash is perhaps the most recognizable neck injury resulting from car accidents, describing a range of injuries that result from a sudden strain to the muscles, bones, and nerves in the neck. Sudden movement of the head and neck can cause serious neck muscle and ligament damage. Generalized pain and muscle stiffness are also very common. Chiropractors advise patients that failure to treat neck issues can lead to health problems throughout the rest of the body.
Back injuries are also relatively common in car accidents. Injuries can range from mild (generalized pain, tight muscles), to serious (fractured vertebrae, herniated discs).
Other Injuries: Many painful and sometimes severe injuries result from blunt force trauma to the chest. High velocity impacts from the steering column can cause fractured ribs, collapsed lungs, and even cardiac arrest.
Injuries to the arms, legs, hands, and feet are also common, especially for pedestrians or motorcyclists.
Emotional distress: Witnessing or being involved in a traumatic event can leave emotional scars, from generalized anxiety to panic attacks and post-traumatic stress disorder. This distress often requires counseling and is compensable as a natural consequence of accident. Clients quickly realize that the most difficult aspect of their injuries to overcome is the pain. A combination of acute damage and muscle stiffness leave many people unable to sleep and suffering for weeks or months on end. Treatment often requires a mixture of medication, heat/ice therapy, medical treatment, counseling and patience.
What Can I Do?: To ensure that you are able to heal, and your medical bills are paid, we recommend you do the following:
- Don’t rush treatment. Follow the recommendations of your Doctor, Chiropractor, and/or Massage Therapist, among others.
- Don’t speak to the other person’s insurance adjuster. One of the main goals of an insurance company is to spend as little money on you as possible. Sometimes injuries take a week or more to fully manifest. Adjusters will often attempt to record statements when you are in shock and your injuries are not clear in order to deny coverage later on. We encourage you to tell the adjuster that you will have your attorney call them and hang up. A good personal injury attorney will be able to protect you from the insurance company and take care of much of the paperwork so that you can focus on healing.
- Keep a daily journal, detailing your pain and the limitations caused by your injuries. This can be in a notebook from the store or an app on your phone. Taking five minutes to do this every day can help us get you compensation for your medical bills AND your pain and suffering.
If you find yourself injured in an accident of any kind, call us for a free consultation at 206-706-2909.