Millions of drivers and vehicle occupants are injured in car accidents every year. It wreaks havoc on the body as a result, from broken bones and burns to head and neck trauma to brain, back, and spinal cord trauma.
While the severity of injuries depends on several factors of the accident itself, such as the speed of both vehicles, whether or not seatbelts were worn, and the type of collision – head-on, rear-end, or T-bone – there are common injuries and wear and tear the body experiences when hit by a car.
Signs and Symptoms Your Body May Experience Right After a Car Accident
An adrenaline rush is one of the first things that happens to your body immediately after a car crash. The natural release of the adrenaline hormone from the adrenal glands during a stressful event gives you a physical feeling of intense excitement and stimulation.
Your body is preparing for “fight or flight,” which affects you in these ways:
- Increased blood circulation
- Rapid heart rate and breathing
- Increased carbohydrate metabolism
- Feeling less or no pain
- Increased energy level
- Dilated pupils
- Increased stamina, strength, and awareness
- Heightened senses
An adrenaline rush can certainly help give you the strength you need when you are physically injured, but it can also mask the feeling of pain and serious injuries. That is why it is important always to seek medical attention immediately after an accident and to hire a car accident attorney in Duluth to recover compensation for your injuries and damages.
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What Are Some of the Most Common Injuries After a Car Accident?
The aftermath of motor vehicle collisions and the injuries they cause can affect just about every part of your body. While circumstances vary by accident, some of the more common injuries that people suffer from overall include:
- Spinal cord injuries, resulting from damage to ligaments, discs, or vertebrae that can cause permanent loss of sensation and function
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI) from a violent blow to the head or if an object pierces the brain tissue, leading to long-term medical problems.
- Broken bones, including a break to the arm, wrist, ankle, rib, or leg that will need to be immobilized in a cast or splint and may require surgery
- Injuries to internal organs, caused by your body slamming into another object or from flying debris that results in injuries to the liver, spleen, or kidneys
- Soft tissue injury, including contusions, strains, and sprains that could cause long-term problems with pain and mobility
- Back injuries, like herniated discs and fractured vertebrae
Injuries After a T-Bone Car Accident
T-bone car accidents, also known as side-impact collisions, are the most dangerous, deadly types of crashes – even when vehicles travel at low speeds. This is because there is only the car door (possibly a side airbag) to protect you from the other oncoming vehicle before impact.
Your body could suffer from these potential T-bone car accident injuries:
- Upper body injuries (thorax, pelvis)
- Broken bones
- Crushing of your body, including internal organ damage
- Head injuries
- Neck and spinal injuries
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Injuries After a Head-On Collision
When your body is hit by a car head-on, you are traveling at the same speed as the car moving forward until impact, when all of that energy is now forced between the colliding vehicle and the passengers inside the car.
What Happens If You Were Wearing a Seatbelt in a Head-On Accident?
Wearing a seatbelt in a head-on accident could save your life and prevent you from slamming into the steering wheel, dash, or windshield. Still, common injuries include:
- Broken ribs
- Broken collar bone
- Internal injuries, including a collapsed lung
What Happens if You Were Not Wearing a Seatbelt in a Head-On Crash?
Without a seatbelt, a head-on collision can be deadly – especially if you are ejected from the vehicle, which has a low survival rate.
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Injuries After a Rear-End Collision
In a rear-end collision, the driver and passengers in a car are violently forced backward, putting the most vulnerable parts of your body (neck and head) at risk. Common injuries include:
- Whiplash, a soft tissue neck injury most common in rear-end collisions due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement, like the cracking of a whip.
- Concussion, which happens with direct trauma to the head in a fast acceleration-deceleration collision leading to temporary loss of brain function, confusion, blurry vision, headaches, dizziness, or difficulty concentrating.
- Herniated disc and compression fractures, which occur either when the cushion, or disc, between vertebrae, slips out and onto your spinal cord or when there is a collapse of a bone in the spine.
Signs and Symptoms that Could Relate to an Unseen Injury
After a car accident, you may have injuries and you may not be aware of how severe they are because of your adrenaline rush. Regardless, it is always a good idea to visit an emergency room or urgent care to let the professionals examine you for treatment.
If you have not taken that next step yet, here are a few signs and symptoms that you should:
- You are having sharp pain, maybe one that is new or has shifted to a new area – or your pain is getting worse.
- Your headache will not go away, which moved from shoulder or neck tension that could indicate a sign of TBI.
- You have weakness in your extremities, such as your arms or legs, which could be a sign of a spinal cord injury.
- You are experiencing symptoms of confusion, which could also be a sign of TBI.
- You are having vision or hearing problems, including blurred vision, tunnel vision, or ringing in your ears.
- You have abdominal or chest pain, indicating internal bleeding or organ trauma.
- You are increasingly drowsy, which is serious if it is ongoing and you have difficulty staying awake during routine daily tasks or if a loved one has trouble waking you from naps.
Recovering Compensation for Injuries After a Car Accident
If you have suffered injuries in a car accident because of another driver’s negligent or reckless actions, you may be entitled to financial recovery for your medical bills and property damages. An experienced car accident attorney can help you fight for this compensation in a court of law.