There's no way to predict exactly how a person is injured in a car accident. Every accident comes with its own set of circumstances, and injuries vary depending on numerous factors, such as how fast you were going, the size of the vehicles involved and whether or not you were wearing your seat belt. However, it is possible to look at the most common injuries treated by medical offices around the county.
Here are the five most common vehicle injuries and what they mean for your health:
Whiplash (a type of neck injury) is perhaps the most common type of vehicle injury. Whiplash happens when a collision causes the head to suddenly shake forward or towards the side. This puts incredible pressure on the ligaments of the neck, causing strains and/or sprains. The most serious neck injuries, such as those that lead to disc herniation, might require extensive physical therapy and sometimes even surgery.
Injuries to your back and spine can be very delicate. While minor injuries such as strains and sprains often require supportive care, blunt force can also cause serious injury to the spine and lead to chronic pain and even loss of mobility.
Broken bones always require emergency care. Some can be repaired with a cast, while others might require surgery and hospitalization. This, in part, is determined by which bones have been broken but also how they're broken. Bones that break in more than one piece are difficult to piece back together and might require the use of metal plates or screws.
The most serious types of bone fractures are "compound fractures," where the bone pierces the skin and sticks out. This is considered a major emergency because of the pain involved and the high risk of infection.
Concussions occur when the brain is shaken severely inside the skull. This is often the result of hitting your head on the window or the steering wheel after a serious collision, but it can also happen without your head ever hitting any other surface.
Mild contusions often require lots of rest and sleep to allow the bruising on your brain to heal. More serious contusions might require hospitalization, especially if you're experiencing symptoms like vomiting, severe nausea, headaches and disorientation.
Traumatic brain injuries and severe contusions might require surgery to alleviate any serious bleeding or pressure that appears on the brain after the accident.
Any head trauma that causes you to black out (even for a few seconds) is serious enough to warrant a visit to an emergency room or urgent care clinic.
Leg and Knee Injuries
Most people think of the upper body when they think of car injuries, but major accidents commonly result in knee and leg injuries as well. This is usually the result of part of the car getting smashed into the driver or passenger and can lead to everything from cuts to bruises to broken bones. The knees are especially prone to tearing and dislocation, but it's also possible to injure your ankles or break toes during a car accident.
Carlson & Burnett represents injured victims of car accidents in Nebraska and Western Iowa. If you or someone you love has been injured in a car accident and you have questions or need legal representation, contact Carlson & Burnett at (402) 810-8611 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.