A car accident can be a stressful and traumatic experience, and many people who walk away from car accidents seemingly unscathed find themselves unable to get out of bed the next day. Even when a car accident does not cause acute, traumatic injuries, victims can still experience a wide range of possible medical complications in the days and weeks following a car accident.
Common Minor Injuries from Car Accidents
Even seemingly minor fender-benders can cause painful injuries. Some of these symptoms may subside within a few days or weeks while others cause complications for much longer.
- Car accidents can easily aggravate preexisting conditions and recently healed injuries. For example, if a driver recently underwent surgery, the force of a car accident could cause his or her sutures to rupture, requiring immediate medical attention. Another example could be a driver with an injured back suffering worsened symptoms following an accident.
- Soft tissue injuries to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons can be very painful, interfere with basic motor functions, and make it impossible to work or focus for several weeks or longer.
- Some drivers will suffer minor concussions from accidents, even low-speed collisions. The symptoms of a concussion range in severity and can persist for a few days up to several months for some victims.
- Car accidents can easily cause minor cuts, scrapes, and bruises that may appear minor at first but actually indicate more serious underlying medical issues.
Many people who experience car accidents suffer these kinds of personal injuries without realizing it at first. The shock of a car accident can cause a surge of adrenaline that dulls pain sensations, and it is not uncommon for someone who seems and feels relatively unhurt after an accident to experience significant pain the following day. Once the adrenaline in his or her system abates, pain sensations will start appearing more noticeably.
Potential Major Injuries from a Car Accident
Car accidents that occur at higher speeds or those involving larger vehicles like commercial trucks and tractor-trailers tend to cause more serious injuries. Drivers who experience severe accidents can sustain various possible injuries requiring immediate medical attention.
- Bone fractures, some of which may require surgical correction and/or physical rehabilitation.
- Severe lacerations from broken glass and debris, which pose a serious risk of infection and other complications.
- Crushing injuries, some of which may result in permanent disability or even loss of a crushed limb.
- Burn injuries, which can easily cause severe disfigurement and interfere with motor functions in the affected body part.
- Seatbelt Syndrome, an internal condition caused by an improperly fitted seatbelt injuring internal organs.
- Traumatic brain injuries, such as severe concussions or penetrating head wounds that have the potential to cause permanent intellectual impairment and other long-term medical issues.
- Spinal cord injuries, which may result in partial or total paralysis of the limbs.
This is not an exhaustive list, and car accident victims experience a wide range of injuries, some of which require long-term medical treatment or cause permanent impairment on some level.
Seek Immediate Medical Care
It is essential for anyone who experiences a car accident to seek medical care as soon as possible after the accident, even if he or she feels relatively unhurt at first. A doctor can identify hidden medical issues and diagnose problems that may have not yet caused noticeable symptoms. The doctor can provide the patient with a medical report of his or her injuries and recommend the appropriate treatment.
Seeking prompt care not only helps minimize the suffering caused by car accident injuries but also helps the victim’s legal position. If he or she decides to pursue an insurance claim or lawsuit against an at-fault driver, the medical report from his or her doctor will be extremely valuable.
Seeking immediate medical attention indicates personal responsibility, and both insurers and the court will want to see that a plaintiff claiming physical injuries took those injuries serious enough to seek medical attention immediately after his or her accident.