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Over 3 million people are injured in car accidents every year. Almost 2 million of those people end up with permanent injuries they have to live with for the rest of their lives.
If you get out of a car accident with just whiplash, you should consider yourself lucky.
We’ve put together a list of the top five most common car accident injuries below.
So let’s take a closer look.
The Five Most Common Car Accident Injuries
The types of injuries you get from a car accident depend on a number of things. A person who’s been involved in a bad crash can walk away with only minor scraps while someone involved in what seems like a small crash can sustain serious injuries.
It comes down to factors like what kind of car you have, what your body position was, what else you have in the car, etc.
But in general, there are some car accident injuries that happen more often than others. If you sustain any of these injuries, you should consider getting a car accident settlement.
But first, let’s take a look at the five most common car accident injuries.
Most people who’ve been involved in a car accident develop some type of whiplash.
This happens when the car stops, turns, or jolts suddenly, making your neck whip back and forth. The movement stretches the muscles and ligaments in your neck, which can result in stiffness, pain, and loss of your range of motion.
Some cases of whiplash are minor and will heal on their own in a few days. Others require medical attention.
You might not notice whiplash symptoms until the morning after a car accident. That’s why it’s important to get medical attention after an accident as soon as possible even if you don’t feel any pain. Your body might have injuries you just haven’t noticed yet.
Even if your head doesn’t hit the steering wheel, windshield, or another surface in your car during an accident, you can still end up with a concussion.
As your head gets tossed back and forth, your brain can move around inside your skull. This can cause it to slam against your bone and develop a concussion.
Pay special attention to any symptoms you notice after a car accident that could be a result of a concussion. This could include seeing stars, ringing in the ears, confusion, nausea, amnesia, mood changes, headaches, changes in your sleeping pattern, and seizures.
If you lost consciousness in an accident, you might have a concussion. You should seek medical attention right away.
3. Broken Bones
The blunt force trauma of a car accident can break almost any bone in your body. Again, it just depends on the crash and your position in the car.
For example, if you get rear-ended by another vehicle, the force and how you’re holding the steering wheel can cause your arms, wrists, or fingers to break.
Other common bones that break in car accidents are your ribs.
This can happen in a number of ways.
There isn’t a lot of space between a driver’s body and the steering wheel. If they’re thrown forward during an accident, their ribs can slam against the steering wheel.
Seatbelts are another common culprit. As you jolt forward in an accident, the seatbelt locks in place to help protect you. Unfortunately, the pressure can also cause some of your ribs to break.
4. Cuts and Bruises
There are a number of ways you can end up with cuts and bruises from a car accident.
Pieces of the car might break or warp, causing you to cut yourself against them during the impact. Glass from the windshield or review mirror can also fall on you and cut your skin.
Even the airbag can cause cuts when it deploys.
But another way you can get cuts and bruises from a car accident is from the items you keep inside your car. Let’s say you have a water bottle, a cellphone, a purse, a computer, a lunchbox, or whatever else you take with you when you’re driving.
If you get into an accident, these items can fly around the inside of the car. This can lead to cuts and bruises should these items hit you during the crash.
Again, the seatbelt is another common cause for bruises. Your body falls against that seatbelt hard, so if you don’t end up with broken ribs, you might get bruises instead.
5. Psychological Damage
Some people can get into car accidents and walk away from them without a second thought. Other people struggle with psychological damage following a crash, even if their physical injuries weren’t serious.
And that’s okay.
Feeling anxious after a car accident is normal. It’s important to recognize this feeling and give yourself time to recover mentally as well as physically.
Psychological injuries need the same attention as physical injuries. Unfortunately, psychological injuries aren’t as noticeable, even for the one suffering from them. Some people can develop serious cases of PTSD after an accident.
Because of this, you should consider therapy if your symptoms of anxiety and other mental damage doesn’t go away on its own in the first few weeks.
Dealing with Common Car Accident Injuries After a Crash
Again, seeking medical attention should be your first priority after a crash, even if you don’t feel any pain. You might not realize the extent of your car accident injuries.
Give yourself plenty of time off work and away from normal responsibilities to heal both physically and mentally.
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