Common Vehicle Accident Injuries

vehicle accident injuries

Common Vehicle Accident Injuries

What are the Most Common Vehicle Accident Injuries?

A look at soft tissue injuries and other common kinds of vehicle accident injuries suffered by drivers and passengers.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than three million people are injured each year in vehicle accidents across the country. The different injuries resulting from a car accident can be as varied as the individual circumstances of each collision, but there are some types of injuries that are more common than others.

Some vehicle accident injuries may resolve within a matter of days without any medical treatment at all. More serious injuries might become permanent and result in some level of physical disability.

The type and severity of injuries suffered by drivers and passengers involved in a car accident depend on factors that include:

  • Was the person wearing a seat belt?
  • Did the person’s car get hit from the rear, side or front?
  • Was the occupant facing straight ahead in the seat? Or was the person’s head or body turned in a certain direction?
  • Was it a low-speed collision or a high-speed crash?
  • Did the car have airbags?

There are two broad categories of vehicle accident injuries: (1) impact injuries, and (2) penetrating injuries.

Impact injuries are typically caused when part of the person’s body hits some part of the interior of the car. Often this can be a knee hitting a dashboard or the head hitting the seat rest or the side window. Penetrating injuries are typically cuts and scrapes. Shattering glass or loose objects flying inside the car on impact often cause these types of injuries.

 

Soft Tissue Injuries and Car Accidents

A soft tissue injury is damage to the body’s connective tissue, which means muscles, ligaments and tendons. This is the most common type of injury resulting from a car accident. Soft tissue injuries can take many forms.

A “whiplash” type injury to the neck and upper back is a form of soft tissue injury. In that type of injury the muscles and ligaments are stretched due to sudden movements imposed on the head and neck in the collision. These same mechanisms and forces can cause soft tissue injuries in other areas of the body such as the back. Car accidents often cause mid-back and low-back muscle sprains, and sometimes cause more serious back injuries because of the impact force against the spine.

 

Scrapes and Cuts

In a car collision any loose objects inside the car immediately become projectiles thrown about the car’s interior. This includes cell phones, coffee mugs, eyeglasses, purses, books, dash-mounted GPS systems, etc. If any of these items hit your body, they can easily cut your skin or cause other injury.

Sometimes these scrapes and cuts are relatively minor and require no medical treatment. More serious injuries can result in loss of blood, and may require stitches.

Cuts or scrapes can also result if your airbag deploys in the collision.

 

Head Injuries and Car Accidents

Head injuries can take a number of forms, some relatively minor and others quite severe. A car’s unexpected stop or change in direction often causes the heads of the car occupants to experience sudden and unnatural movements. This can cause muscle strains in the neck and back (as discussed above). But the head itself can also be injured. Impact with a side window or steering wheel can cause scrapes and bruising to the head, or even deeper lacerations. More severe collision impacts can cause a closed head injury. In that situation, the fluid and tissue inside the skull are damaged because of the sudden movement or impact of the head. Less severe closed head injuries often result in concussions, while the most severe impacts can cause brain damage.

 

Chest Injuries

Chest injuries are also common vehicle accident injuries. These injuries typically take the form of contusions or bruises, but can be more severe, such as broken ribs or internal injuries. Drivers often experience chest injuries because of their position behind the steering wheel, which allows very little freedom of movement before the chest collides with the steering wheel. If a person’s body is thrown forward in a collision, even though it might not impact the steering wheel or dashboard, the chest area will still experience a high level of force against the shoulder harness or seat belt, which can cause severe bruising.

 

Arm and Leg Injuries

The same forces that unexpectedly throw a person’s head about in car collisions act similarly on arms and legs. If your car suffers a side impact, your arms and legs might be thrown hard against the door. While positioned as a passenger in a car, your legs typically have very little room for movement. Car accidents often cause an occupant’s knees to hit the dashboard or seats in front of them. Depending on the nature of the collision, injuries to your arms and legs might be mere bruises or scrapes, but sprains and even breaks can occur.

Keep in mind that some injuries are not readily apparent following a car accident. Depending on the nature of the injury, it may take days, weeks, or even months for symptoms to appear. So if you are in a car accident, it is best to seek medical treatment for even the slightest discomfort or early indication of injury.

 

Article originally from NOLO.com


 

If you or someone you know was injured in a recent car accident, we welcome you to contact us to see about your treatment options

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accident injuries

Accident Injuries That Don’t Show Up Right Away

What If My Accident Injuries Don’t Show Up Right Away?

Vehicle accident injuries can be late-appearing. Here’s how to protect your health and your legal rights.

 

Almost any car accident is a traumatic event. From catastrophic collisions to fender-benders, there is a lot of force involved when a vehicle hits (or is hit by) something. Often, when people are in a car accident that seems minor, they do not notice any injury symptoms right away. This happens for a variety of reasons. In this article, we’ll help you understand the importance of monitoring your accident injuries – for your physical well-being and to protect your legal rights.

 

Car Accidents are Exciting

Not “exciting” in the fun sense, more from a physiological perspective.

Sometimes athletes get injured during a game, and they continue to play without noticing the injury until the game is over. That is because their bodies are generating adrenaline and endorphins. These two chemicals operate to super-charge our bodies and even block pain.

Most car accidents will create a similarly heightened level of excitement. Your body will generate adrenaline and endorphins, which means you feel increased energy and (possibly) a lack of pain. Just because you feel fine immediately following a car accident, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are fine. Once the release of those chemicals subsides, the pain from any car accident injuries could start to set in.

 

Soft Tissue Injuries After a Car Accident

A soft tissue injury refers to damage done to parts of the body other than bone. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments are considered “soft tissue.”

Car accidents, even low-speed ones, generate a lot of force. Drivers and passengers often come to a sudden stop right along with the vehicle in a car accidents; or they may get thrown around the passenger area. This places a lot of stress on joints and other vulnerable areas of the body.

Perhaps the most common – if not the most recognized – type of soft-tissue injury is “whiplash.” This refers to an injury to the neck muscles when the head is suddenly, and forcefully, thrown forward and then back.

Soft tissue injuries typically result in pain, swelling, and reduced mobility, but these symptoms may not show up immediately. They can take days, even weeks, to manifest. In addition, soft tissue injuries are not visible on an X-ray. This makes them more challenging to diagnose and document. Getting proper medical treatment is the key first step, at or even before the first sign of pain or discomfort (more on this below).

 

Concussions After a Car Accident

Your brain is well-protected by your skull and the fluid inside of it. However, if you strike your head, or your body is violently jolted, your brain may strike the inside of your skull with great force. If this happens during the course of a car accident, you may sustain a concussion.

Concussions can be very serious, and the symptoms do not often show up immediately. Sometimes the symptoms are obvious (such as disorientation or even loss of consciousness), but they can also be more subtle.

Here is a list of concussion symptoms:

  • clouded thinking
  • inability to concentrate
  • difficulty remembering new information
  • headache
  • blurry vision
  • nausea
  • dizziness
  • lack of energy, and
  • abnormal sleep patterns (sleeping more than usual or less than usual)

If you exhibit any of these signs following a car accident, you may have a concussion; and you should seek medical attention.

 

See a Doctor After a Car Accident

Following a car accident, you should see a doctor if you feel any level of pain and discomfort. It may even be a good idea to get checked out even if you feel fine. Your doctor will be in the best position to determine whether you sustained any serious injuries in the accident. Your doctor can also give you advice on monitoring symptoms of potential accident injuries, including the sorts of red flags to watch out for.

If you end up making any sort of injury claim after the accident, it’s crucial to be able to document the fact that you sought medical treatment within a reasonable amount of time. If you wait too long to see a doctor, the insurance adjuster is going to argue that you couldn’t have been all that injured.

 

Do Not Settle Right Away

Following a car accident, the other driver’s insurance company may contact you and try to get you to sign a release of any claims you might have. The insurance company may even offer you a sum of money to entice you to sign the release.

You should wait until you have been fully evaluated by a medical professional before signing anything the adjuster puts in front of you. You should also wait long enough to make sure all injuries from the car accident have fully manifested themselves. Your doctor can help you determine how long this needs to be. If you sign a release, and an injury shows up later, you cannot then go back to the insurance company and ask them to pay for your medical treatment. You waive your legal right to pursue that compensation when you sign the release.

If you’ve suffered significant injuries after a car accident, or you just want to make sure the claims process goes smoothly, you may want to talk with an experienced attorney. 

 

Original article: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/what-if-my-accident-injuries-dont-show-up-right-away.html

 


 

If you or someone you know was injured in a recent car accident, we welcome you to contact us to see about your treatment options

216-313-9044

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medical attention

Should I Seek Medical Attention After a Car Accident?

Should I Seek Medical Attention After a Car Accident Even if I Don’t Think I’m Hurt?

 

Without question, there are several weighty medical, financial, legal, and emotional considerations at stake that require adequate attention immediately following an automobile accident. If you overlook any of these considerations after an accident, the mistake could be costly to your overall recovery and well-being for years to come.

 

Should I Seek Medical Attention After a Car Accident?

 

It is prudent to be examined by a doctor or other qualified medical professional as soon as possible after you are involved in a car wreck. You should overcome the natural tendency to avoid going to a doctor or hospital and wanting to avoid the hassle and expense of seeking medical care. Don’t wait even a few days to evaluate how you feel after an auto accident before deciding to seek medical attention. The wait-and-see approach is not the best course of action.

 

Medical, legal, and Insurance Concerns Require Obtaining Prompt Medical Care

 

You may not experience pain for one or two days after the accident when back and neck pain is prone to appear and stiffness sets in. Also, a minor injury can worsen during the period following the crash if prompt medical attention is not sought.

Also, waiting too long to get a medical examination after an auto accident could severely harm your opportunity to acquire a fair amount of compensation. The validity of your legal claim may suffer from the delay in obtaining medical treatment. In addition, the other party can more easily argue there was an intervening cause for the pain or injury, or that the injury is fictitious because it was not bad enough to warrant medical attention for hours, days, or even longer. Most auto insurers will interpret a wait-and-see approach as an indication that the claimant has not truly been injured; insurers tend to assume that persons who are seriously hurt after a car accident will obtain the proper medical help immediately.

 

What Should a Person Involved in an Auto Accident Do for Medical Help?

 

If you believe there is any possibility you’ve been hurt as a result of a crash, get prompt medical attention. Accept medical treatment at the scene of the accident when it is offered. Ask to be transported to the emergency room, and accept whatever treatment is offered at the scene. It is best to let the emergency room professionals ascertain the severity of injuries and the proper course of treatment. Beyond that, keep follow-up appointments with doctors, including specialists, if required.

 

As seen on attorneys.com

 


 

If you or someone you know was injured in a recent car accident, we welcome you to contact us to see about your treatment options

216-313-9044


whiplash pain

What is Whiplash?

What Is Whiplash?

Whiplash occurs when the neck and head are suddenly forced backward and then forward, putting the cervical spine through lightning-quick motions and extreme stresses.

Most cases of whiplash are caused by car accidents where the person has been rear-ended. Other potential whiplash causes, while comparatively rare, can include assault, bungee jumping, rollercoaster, football, falls while skiing or during equestrian events, and other high-impact activities where extreme acceleration-deceleration forces might be applied to the cervical spine.

Whiplash is medically known as cervical acceleration-deceleration (CAD) syndrome.

 

Whiplash Symptoms Can Be Extensive

The most common symptom of whiplash is neck pain, which can range anywhere from mild to pins-and-needles tingling to excruciating. Other symptoms can include neck stiffness or reduced range of motion, neck instability, shoulder and/or upper back pain, or headache. There could also be tingling, weakness, or numbness that radiates into the shoulder and/or down the arm.

Whiplash symptoms can be numerous, complicated, long-lasting, and hard to diagnose, which is why they are commonly known as whiplash-associated disorders. Concurrent injuries may also be symptomatic, such as a stinger, concussion, radiculopathy (pinched nerve with radiating pain into the arm), or shoulder injury.

If a whiplash injury causes a person to have reduced physical or mental abilities—even if they are just temporary—it can result in increased social isolation.

 

The Biomechanics of Whiplash

The process of a whiplash injury sustained in a car accident can vary depending on many factors, including the angle of the collision.

Usually, the collision happens from behind, resulting in a whiplash injury that can be considered to occur in five general phases:

  • Car gets hit from behind, which causes the seat to push against the back. The spine then gets loaded with forces that compress the cervical spine upward against the head.
  • The torso (in contact with the seat) continues to accelerate forward but the head (not in contact with the seat yet) does not. As a result, the cervical spine’s natural C-shape (lordosis curve) temporarily becomes an unnatural S-shape. The abnormal compression and shearing forces can potentially damage intervertebral discs, facet joints, and other neck structures.
  • Person’s head slams backward into the accelerating seat. Soft tissues at the front of the neck are likely to be injured here as the neck rapidly extends backward.
  • The head bounces off the seat and now accelerates forward.
  • The seatbelt restrains the body (likely preventing a much worse injury) and the neck rapidly flexes as the head whips forward. Soft tissues at the back of the neck are likely to be injured here.

While the severity of the car crash usually correlates to the severity of the whiplash injury, there are exceptions.

Sometimes a sturdy car does not crunch up and thus shows no significant outside damage, but the forces that were not absorbed by the car exterior were instead transferred through the seat and thus caused worse whiplash. Also, whiplash injuries have been recorded in incidents where the speed at impact was less than 10 miles per hour.

 

The Course of Whiplash Pain

Most people who sustain a whiplash injury will completely recover within 3 months, but some studies show a significant number will have chronic pain or other symptoms that linger longer – sometimes for years.

Factors that increase risk for a longer whiplash recovery include:

  • Severe pain at time of injury
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Older age
  • Female gender

Whiplash symptoms may present at the time of the whiplash injury, or there could be a delay of up to 24 hours before they appear.

 

When Whiplash Is Serious

Anyone who experiences physical symptoms after a motor vehicle accident is advised to see a doctor for a checkup. However, any of the following signs require immediate medical attention:

  • Severe pain
  • Neck instability
  • Pain, tingling, numbness, and/or weakness that radiates into the shoulder, arm, and/or hand
  • Problems with balance or coordination
  • Mental health issues, such as increased irritability, depression, trouble sleeping, reduced concentration, or other drastic changes in behavior

Seeking treatment early for whiplash is recommended. Delaying treatment can reduce its effectiveness in some cases.

As seen on Spine-Health: http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/neck-pain/what-whiplash

 


If you or someone you know was injured in a recent car accident, we welcome you to contact us to see about your treatment options

216-313-9044


car accident police report

Car Accidents: How Police Reports Are Used

Car Accidents: How Police Reports Are Used

We recently ran across this article* online and thought it would be a great share to our blog, especially for those looking for more information after experiencing a car accident.

Car accidents can be scary, especially when there are any injuries to yourself. Most people focus on their vehicles when in reality, they need to take care of themselves and get the medical attention they need.

If you are seeking medical attention due to a car accident, please give us a call here at Core Chiropractic & Rehabilitation, and let us help you with our chiropractic services.

216-313-9044

Driver Suffering From Whiplash After Traffic Collision

Here is all you need to know and understand about the importance of getting a copy of your police report after a car accident

If you’ve been in a car accident where anyone was injured – whether a driver, passenger, or pedestrian – or there was significant damage to one or more vehicles, chances are that an officer from a local law enforcement agency came to the scene.

If and when that happens, it means that the police have conducted at least a cursory investigation of the accident and that a report has been generated in connection with that investigation. That report can come in very handy if any insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit is filed over the accident. 

 



If you need a copy of your police report, get yours FREE now by calling 1-877-576-7005



Car Accidents and Police Reports

If law enforcement responds to the scene of your accident (and when we say “law enforcement” we’re including local police, county sheriffs, state police, and highway patrol officers), the officers involved in the investigation will write up some sort of report detailing the accident. This is commonly called a “police report.”

If an insurance company gets involved after a car accident – a claim has been made by you or the other driver, for example — you can bet that the adjuster will get his or her hands on the police report. You and/or your attorney can also obtain a copy of the police report by contacting the law enforcement agency that came to the scene and following their protocol.

Usually, these reports are a matter of public record and are available for a small fee (to cover copying, preparation, and mailing). But some police reports might not be available to the public – for example, when a criminal prosecution is involved, or when the reports are confidential in nature for some reason. In that case, the report can usually be obtained through discovery or subpoena (which is the court-backed process for obtaining information once a lawsuit has been filed).

 

Contents of a Police Report

After a car accident, a police report generated over the incident typically contains the following information:

  • date, time and location of the accident
  • details of the accident, including a diagram of the accident scene (showing the intersection, lanes, position of the vehicles, location of skid marks and debris, etc.)
  • names of all parties and witnesses who were involved in and who observed the accident, including the owners and drivers of vehicles, and any passengers
  • names and addresses of all injured parties (and possibly a summary of their injuries), whether they received medical attention, and whether they were transported to a local hospital
  • description of weather, lighting and road conditions
  • description of property damage sustained, and
  • description of the vehicles involved in the accident.

Note that the report won’t necessarily include the responding officer’s opinions or conclusions about how the accident actually happened, whose action (or inaction) may have been the primary cause of the accident, or whether any driving laws were violated in connection with the accident. Sometimes this kind of information is included in the report, but it’s not universal law enforcement policy.

 

What if you disagree with something contained in the report?

If you think there are factual inaccuracies, like the date of the accident or the time of day that it occurred, or incorrect identifying information related to the parties or vehicles involved, you may be able to get the report changed or amended. But if you dispute the officer’s findings, or have an issue with a statement from a witness or other driver, you probably can’t get that information altered.

The best you can probably do is ask the law enforcement agency if you can give your own statement, and have it added to the report. There’s no guarantee that the agency will comply with your request, however.

 

If The Police Don’t Come to The Scene

In larger cities and other areas, even when you call your local law enforcement agency and let them know a car accident occurred, they may not send an officer to the scene unless someone was injured or there was significant vehicle damage.

This is when it becomes that much more important that you conduct your own on-scene investigation and preserve as much evidence as possible of the accident and how it happened. 

 

Questions for Your Attorney

Police department staff told me I couldn’t get a copy of an accident report. What should I do?
How much weight does the accident report carry in court cases?
My accident occurred in a shopping mall parking lot, and I think the private security guard wrote up a report. How do I get a copy?

 

* http://personal-injury.lawyers.com/auto-accidents/auto-accident-how-are-police-reports-used.html

 



If you need a copy of your police report, get yours FREE now by calling 1-877-576-7005




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