Car Accident Injuries

Sadly, car accidents are not as rare as we would prefer them to be. In fact, they are quite common, and often result in injuries ranging from mild to devastating. In the state of Florida in 2010, there were more than 230,000 traffic crashes, according to the Traffic Crash Statistics Report of 2010, provided by the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles. As a result of these accidents, more than 195,000 injuries were sustained. That means more than sixty percent of all car accidents resulted in an injury of some kind in 2010. Knowing all of this, here are some of the most common injuries you can sustain from a car accident.

Whiplash

Whiplash is one of the most common nonfatal injuries sustained in a car accident, because in car accidents, the body can be flung forward and backward in sharp, jerking motions. It is this motion that can cause the neck to move past its normal range of motion, straining or spraining the neck. The symptoms of whiplash may not manifest for hours, or even a full day, after the accident. That’s precisely why it’s so dangerous: some victims may not seek the medical treatment they need in time.

Common symptoms of whiplash include:

  • Neck pain and stiffness;
  • Headaches and dizziness;
  • Shoulder and lower back pain;
  • Pain and numbness in the arms / hands;
  • Problems with concentration;
  • Difficulty sleeping and fatigue.

If, following imaging tests such as an MRI or a CT scan you are diagnosed with whiplash, the usual course of treatment is focused on pain management. Usually, whiplash victims are advised to take naproxen or ibuprofen, but may also be recommended for physical therapy and gentle exercises.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

TBI is an injury to the brain caused by some kind of external force, and is usually broken into two main categories: penetrating and closed head injuries. Penetrating injuries occur when a foreign object breaks through the skull and enters the brain; for example, if someone is shot in the head, the bullet is the foreign object that enters into the brain. A closed head injury, the most common in car accidents, occurs when the head suffers a blow, generally from a blunt object. In an accident, this could occur if the driver hits their head against the dashboard, steering wheel, or window.

Primary brain damage, which can be incurred at the time of impact, includes:

  • Skull fracture;
  • Contusions / bruises;
  • Hematomas and blood clots;
  • Lacerations; and
  • Nerve damage

However, there is damage which can be sustained during the accident, but which gets worse as time goes on. This damage can be swelling of the brain, fever, hematoma, epilepsy, and anemia. Symptoms of a TBI can include everything from pupil dilation or nausea, to persistent headaches and convulsions. It is crucial that no time is wasted in receiving medical treatment, as this type of injury is very serious. If any of these symptoms are present, emergency medical attention is required.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal injuries are common in serious car accidents. If the body is jerked in the car, or if pressure is placed on the spine, it can be dislocated or fractured. Usually, the spine is not broken; instead, there’s damaged sustained in the surrounding area, which can press down on nerves or tear spinal tissue. Spinal cord injuries are classed as either complete or incomplete. In incomplete spinal cord injuries, some motor or sensory function is present; when there is no feeling or motor function, the injury would be considered complete.

Signs and symptoms of spine injuries include:

  • Inability to move or feel sensation;
  • Loss of control over bowels / bladder;
  • Exaggerated reflex activities; and
  • Difficulty with breathing.

If there is impaired breathing, weakness, numbness, or extreme back pain, it could be a sign that immediate emergency medical attention is required. Such medical action is geared toward minimizing the traumatic damage, and often involves immobilization. The next step would be to maintain breathing and preventing the body from going into shock and avoiding further damage and complications. From there, it is up to the physician to decide if medication, immobilization, surgery, or experimental treatments are necessary to promote healing.

Looking for an attorney for a car accident in Tampa?

The time following a car accident can be one of the most traumatic and emotionally difficult times imaginable for victims. Because of this, it is recommended that you contact an attorney as soon as possible after an accident. By choosing Distasio Law Firm, you can rest assured knowing we will put you first. We always put the interests of our client in front of our own, and will do everything possible to make sure they receive just financial compensation. If you have been injured in a car crash and need help, please contact us today. We are here to help you. Call us toll-free at 800-319-1877 today.

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