It’s an unfortunate fact that a majority of U.S. drivers will get into at least one car accident at some point in their life. A 2020 study revealed that 77% of drivers had experienced at least one crash. Although driving cautiously and obeying the rules of the road can substantially decrease your odds of getting into a wreck, the actions of other motorists are oftentimes out of our control. Dangerous roads, reckless drivers, and defective vehicles can cause problems for even the safest drivers on the road.
In this article, we discuss some common warning signs that you may have suffered injuries in a collision. If you have been in a crash, it’s always wise to seek medical assistance immediately and speak to a car accident lawyer in Atlanta as soon as you are well enough to do so.
Common Car Accident Injuries
A motor vehicle collision subjects the human body to extreme forces that it is not meant to handle. Even with standard safety measures such as seatbelts, airbags, and crumple zones implemented into most cars, it’s possible to suffer severe or even fatal harm in a collision. Some of the most common car accident injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Injuries to the face
- Head, neck, or spinal cord injuries
- Stress-induced heart attack
- Bruised or broken ribs
- Soft tissue injuries
- Other broken bones or dislocated joints
- Organ damage
- Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Many injuries are very obvious after a car crash. A broken bone, for example, may cause the accident victim incredible pain and be visibly out-of-place in the aftermath of the wreck. Other injuries, however, can go undetected for hours or even days following the accident, which puts the victim at risk of further harm or death. For this reason, it’s essential to seek medical care after a crash, even if you feel like you escaped serious injury. In the following sections, we discuss some warning signs that you’ve been hurt in a crash.
If you didn’t suffer from chest pain before an accident and find yourself in discomfort after the crash, it’s likely that the onset of pain is related to the collision. Persistent chest pain can be caused by broken or bruised ribs, internal injuries caused by your seatbelt, or damage to the lungs.
Sudden Inability to Sleep
Everyone experiences the occasional night of restless sleep, for one reason or another. However, if you begin to experience difficulty falling asleep right after a car crash, the two factors may certainly be connected. An inability to sleep can be caused by a brain injury, which is a serious condition that requires immediate medical treatment. Other crash victims may suffer from PTSD, which deprives them of their usual rest.
Persistent headaches are one of the most common symptoms of a concussion. A concussion is a type of brain injury that is caused by a blow to the head or violent shaking of the head and upper body. When properly managed, the effects of a concussion are generally temporary and may include headaches, memory problems, issues with balance and coordination, and an inability to concentrate. Even if you don’t recall hitting your head during the crash, the violent forces of a collision are more than capable of causing a concussion.
Joint Pain or Stiffness
Even if you are fortunate enough to escape a car crash without any broken bones, the violent impact of a crash can wreak havoc on sensitive joints in the human body. Ankle, elbow, knee, shoulder, and wrist injuries are commonly caused by motor vehicle collisions. Your joint may be visibly displaced or covered in heavy bruising, or there may be no visible signs of injury. Even if you cannot see the injury, joint pain or stiffness can indicate that you’ve suffered harm.
Pain in the Lower Back Region
One of the most common injury symptoms after a car accident is pain in the lower back. This can signify a wide range of injuries, from damage to the spinal cord to broken bones. If you find yourself experiencing severe back pain after a crash, it’s essential to see a doctor to have them determine the cause of your discomfort.
Similar to back pain, many car accident victims experience neck pain in the immediate aftermath of a wreck. In some cases, neck pain may simply be a symptom of soreness in the aftermath of a physically traumatic event. However, neck pain can also be a sign that you suffered a serious head, neck, or spinal cord injury. Persistent neck pain after a crash should never be ignored.
Swelling or Bruising
Particularly in a high-speed crash, some degree of bruising is to be expected if parts of your body make contact with the interior of the vehicle. However, excessive swelling and bruising can signify that you’ve suffered moderate or serious injuries in the crash. If you observe swelling in your limbs or around the joints, you may have suffered a fracture. Swelling around the abdomen or chest can signify internal injuries or organ damage.
Protecting Your Health After a Crash
After a collision, it’s essential to go to an emergency room or see your doctor as soon as you are able to. Even a low-speed collision can cause significant injuries, and you don’t want to waste any time before beginning an effective treatment plan.