Car accidents ranks as a leading cause of injuries in the U.S. About 5 million accidents are regularly reported each year. Injuries differ from one person to the next and from crash to crash. However, accident victims experience one or more types of common injuries. These injuries can involve the back and head, neck and chest, or laceration or tears.
Types of Car Accident Injuries
Car injuries usually affect he head and back because of the trauma experienced from this type of impact. Patients may often suffer neck and chest complaints, including whiplash. The following information elaborates on the various types of car injuries.
1. Head Injuries
Head injuries rank as the most serious of injuries in an accidents. Drivers often strike their head against dashboards, windows, or dashboard in high-speed collisions. The injuries may result in traumatic brain injuries, which range from a mild concussion to a coma and ongoing cognitive problems. Usually, long-term medical care is required after these injuries. The head injuries suffered in a car accident can also lead to vision difficulties, hearing loss, and skull fractures.
2. Back Injuries
Back injuries are common injuries in car accidents. Any damage to the spinal column causes substantial nerve damage. Patients may experience less sensation over the control of legs, feet, hands, and arms. Some of the more serious back injuries lead to permanent paralysis.
3. Herniated Disc
A herniated disc is often diagnosed after a car accident. This type of injury id less severe than a head injury or spinal damage. Nevertheless, the patient frequently experiences numbness, muscle weakness, tingling sensations, and leg or arm pain. This type of injury results when a victim is hit from the back, or may happen if the driver twists or turns when being struck.
4. Neck Injuries
Many people associate car accident injuries with whiplash. Any sudden movement of the neck or head (such as rear-end impact) can lead to ligament and muscle damage to the neck. A whiplash injury may vary from one person to the next, depending on the health of the individual and the severity of the crash. Generalized swelling and neck pain denote this injury. Some patient experience vocal cord paralysis when they injure their neck.
5. Chest Injuries
Many of the serious injuries involving car accidents affect the chest area. Any blunt force trauma may cause collapsed lungs or fractured ribs. In addition, injuries to the internal organs, the abdomen, or pelvis may occur when the chest is injured in a car wreck.
Other Car Accident Injuries
- Pedestrian Injuries – Injuries to the hands, legs, and arms are common in car accidents. When the accident involves a pedestrian, he or she may suffer both foot and leg injuries.
- Injuries to Motorcycle Riders – When the injuries involve motorcyclists, the motorcycle rider can suffer a number of significant injuries. Motorcyclists are vulnerable as they are not contained within their vehicle. Therefore, injuries may involve broken bones, severed limbs, or ligament injuries, such as torn ACL. Fatality rates for motorcyclist are notably higher than they are for other drivers.
- Psychological Injuries – When a person crashes in a car, not only is his or her body affected, he can suffer psychologically. Many car accident victims receive treatment or counseling for psychological conditions, such as post-traumatic stress disorder or similar psychological disorders.
Symptoms of Car Accident Injuries
The symptoms a patient experience depends on the site of an injury and its severity. Because many injuries involve the neck and back, the patient may experience pain in the neck region or lower back and suffer from chronic pain for a long time. Below, symptoms are listed in relation to the type of injury.
Symptoms to the head may include the following:
- A headache
- Temporary ringing in the ears
Neck Injury Symptoms
- Aches and stiffness in the neck region
- Spinal dislocation
- Rupture disc
Back Injury Symptoms
- Pain in the upper, mid-region, or lower back
- An inability to straighten the back
- Pain that radiates down the back of the leg, which can be quite severe
- Problems with balancing
Chest Injury Symptoms
- Difficulty breathing
- Severe soreness in the chest region
- Chronic pain and aches
General Treatment Options for Car Injuries
The treatments you receive for a car injury will depend on the injury and the site of the damage. Most treatments, however, are chiropractic in nature, as the back or neck are often affected in car wrecks. Some of the general treatment options follow.
- Chiropractic Care – Many car accident victims must receive chiropractic care after a car accident. This type of care enables a patient to gain pain relief in the areas of the spine, neck, or lower back. Patients who suffer from whiplash or back injuries often resort to chiropractic care for rehabilitation.
- Physical Therapy – Car accident victims find pain relief by scheduling physical therapy. This type of treatment allows a patient to improve the use of his or her limbs or back so he can walk or function with greater ease. Physical therapists show patients what exercises facilitate relief from chronic or acute pain.
3. Pain Relief Medications – To endure any chronic or acute pain during the healing process, doctors prescribe medications to offset any type of discomfort. Pain medications are prescribed or patients gain relief by taking other-the-counter OTC drugs as well.