If you or a loved one have recently been in a car accident, your mind might still be racing with thoughts and questions. Once the initial shock wears off, you may wonder if you could have done anything to prevent the accident. You may also worry about how you’ll be able to pay your mounting medical bills when you can’t even return to work yet. Below is a look at the seven most common car crash injuries and the key to ensuring that you are compensated for your injuries after an accident.
What are the most common car accident injuries?
“Americans spend more than 1 million days in the hospital each year from crash injuries…On average, each crash-related ED visit costs about $3,300 and each hospitalization costs about $57,000 over a person’s lifetime.” – Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), car accidents are a leading cause of injury in the United States, totaling over $18 billion in lifetime medical costs for Americans. Injuries tend to be either highly visible, such as open wounds and broken bones, or invisible, such as a concussion or whiplash. Here is a look at seven of the most common car accident injuries.
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1) Broken bones
While broken bones and fractures are typically not categorized as critical or life-threatening, they are painful and require swift treatment by a medical professional. Some bones are more prone to breaks and fractures than others, with the tibia, femur, ribs, hips, and pelvis accounting for many cases commonly treated by medical centers following car accidents.
“Whiplash is a neck injury due to forceful, rapid back-and-forth movement of the neck, like the cracking of a whip. Whiplash is commonly caused by rear-end car accidents.” – Mayo Clinic
Whiplash is a neck injury that involves damage to muscles and surrounding tissues. Commonly caused by rear-end collisions, whiplash injuries can range from mild to severe. Physical therapy is often required to treat moderate to severe cases.
3) Herniated discs
The force of an automobile accident can severely damage the discs that cushion your vertebrae. This damage can cause your discs to shift, bulge, rupture, or slip. When this injury results in significant pain and numbness, it is called a herniated disc injury. Treatment is often needed and surgery may be required in isolated cases.
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A concussion is a serious head injury that occurs when the impact of an accident causes your brain to move violently back and forth. Common symptoms include headache, fatigue, nausea, and vision problems. Physical and mental rest are required to properly heal from a concussion.
5) Broken ribs and chest bruising
Broken ribs and chest bruising often occur in tandem. They are common among car crash victims because there is a limited amount of space between a driver’s chest and the steering wheel, though they may also occur when an airbag is forcefully deployed.
6) Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Motor vehicle accidents are a leading cause of PTSD, which can become a long-term mental health problem if not professionally treated. Symptoms of PTSD among car accident victims include nightmares, heightened fears, and avoidance of activities related to vehicles or driving.
7) Anxiety and other mood disorders
Anxiety, depression, and other mood disorders can have a debilitating impact on a crash victim’s overall well-being. Symptoms include racing thoughts, poor concentration, and sleep disturbances. Symptoms may emerge right after an accident, but sometimes do not develop until weeks after a crash.
What should you do if you are injured in a car accident?
“If you are involved in a crash, stay at the scene and call for help. It’s not just the law – you could save a life.” – State of Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles
If you are injured in a car accident, it is important to remember three things. First, request medical attention right away if you have been injured. Second, try to move your vehicle to the shoulder or side of the road if you can safely operate your vehicle. And third, do not leave the scene of the accident until help arrives. The state of Florida has multiple resources to help keep everyone safe on the roads in case you would like to learn more.
Once you are safely out of harm’s way, the best thing to do is contact an attorney right away. An experienced personal injury lawyer can provide the helpful guidance you need to Most importantly, an attorney will help you receive the proper compensation for your injuries and trauma.