Car accidents can cause a multitude of different types of injuries. Here are some of the more common injuries that occur as a result of a car accident. If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, a personal injury attorney may be able to help. Learn more.
Whiplash is a common complaint following a car accident. It is most common in rear end car accidents. The symptoms of whiplash are often minor and resolve on their own in a few weeks, but in some cases it can be serious and have lasting effects. Signs of whiplash include neck pain or stiffness in the neck – especially when trying to turn the neck, loss of range of motion in the neck, shoulder and upper back pain, headaches, and dizziness.
A concussion is a traumatic brain injury that can impair brain function. It is caused by a bump blow or jolt to the head or by a hit to the body that causes the head to move back and forth rapidly. Concussions are serious injuries that can cause long-term complications. Symptoms of a concussions include severe headache or pressure in the head, nausea or vomiting, sensitivity to light and noise, confusion or memory problems, and dizziness or balance problems.
More serious car accidents, such as a collision, can result in fractures and broken bones. Sometimes these injuries are not discovered until after the accident when pain persists. Broken ribs are a common complaint of those involved in car accidents as the seatbelt can put pressure on the chest during a sudden stop. Symptoms of a broken bone include intense pain, swelling, bruising, numbness and tingling, and limited mobility.
Car engines get hot and there are also liquids within the engine that get very hot. When in a car accident, there could be contact with parts of the car that are normally contained. In addition, flammable liquids in a car such as gas and oil can leak and cause fires during a car accident. This can result in burns on the body. Symptoms of burns include red or blistering skin and pain in the skin.
Injuries to the back can be debilitating. Suffering from slipped or ruptured disc or nerve damage can cause pain throughout the body. It can even affect the ability to walk. Common symptoms of back injuries include pain and tenderness in the back, stiffness or difficulty moving, difficulty standing or walking, bruising, and swelling.
In addition to concussions as listed above, there are other types of head injuries that can occur in a car accident. These include visible injuries such as cuts, scrapes and burns, but also non-visible injuries like skull fractures, bleeding in the brain, cognitive changes, numbness or tingling, difficulty breathing, or loss of movement. Symptoms of head injuries depend on the type of injury but can range from dizziness and confusion to loss of consciousness.
Brain injuries can occur due to a bump or blow to the head. Concussions are a minor form of brain damage. More serious, traumatic brain injuries can also occur during a car accident. This would involve major damage to the brain that can cause lifelong problems. It may take some time for brain damage to be seen and diagnosed. Common symptoms of a traumatic brain injury include loss of consciousness, persistent headaches, nausea or vomiting, convulsions or seizures, or dilation of the pupils.
Car accidents can have a lasting effect, not just physically, but also mentally. Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can cause on-going problems long after the accident. Common symptoms of PTSD include being easily startled, trouble sleeping and concentrating, and irritability.