It is advisable to go see a doctor after a traffic collision, so they can advise you of any injuries that you sustain. Do this even if you feel fine after the collision. It is possible that the shock of the accident makes you unaware of any injuries you sustained. Some common car accident injuries are not even obvious to those around you. This means that you could have a serious injury and neither you nor anyone else you interact with would even know it. It is important that you don’t downplay your symptoms when talking to your doctor. It is important that they understand how you feel.
In this article, we will discuss some of the most common traffic collision injuries. Additionally, we look at how professionals treat those injuries, and potential compensation you are eligible for as a result.
One of the leading causes of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in the United States is motor vehicle accidents. Medical professionals often see TBIs even in closed head injuries (as opposed to a skull fracture, where they are likely more obvious) in conjunction with whiplash. They are the result of a sudden change in speed, causing your neck to whip forward then back extremely forcibly and rapidly. A TBI can cause immediate symptoms such as loss of consciousness or concussion, or the effects may not be noticeable until much later.
The repercussions of TBI can be serious, sometimes can be life-long, and at times deadly. These problems can include cognitive impairment, difficulties with sensory processing, communication problems, seizures, diffuse axonal injury, or life threatening injuries. The brain is the organ that controls all the other parts of your body, so it stands to reason that if there is even the slightest chance of a traumatic brain injury, it should be followed up on right away to make sure that any damage is caught early. The road to recovery may be long, but recovery is possible.
The sudden change in speed previously discussed that goes with traffic collisions also can cause serious injuries to your spine. Because of the flexibility and range of motion of the spine, sudden changes in movement can cause the spine to flex beyond its natural range resulting in damage. Common spinal injuries include but are not limited to whiplash, cervical fracture (a fracture to one or more of the seven vertebrae in the neck), spinal strain, herniated discs (an injury to the “cushion” between two vertebrae), fractured cervical or lumbar vertebrae, or nerve damage. It goes without saying that these types of injuries can cause lifelong pain or disability. These injuries routinely interfere with the activities of daily living, including hindering your ability to work.
Treatment of spinal injuries are done in a number of ways. Chiropractic care, massage, traction, and physical therapy are all types of conservative care. Sometimes, a doctor will recommend epidural steroid injections to reduce inflammation, or radiofrequency ablation (using heat to temporarily cauterize the facet nerves) or rhizotomy (physically severing nerve roots) to eliminate pain, or several types of surgeries to repair or stabilize the condition, depending on numerous factors, including the injury severity.
One type of collision injury that is rarely discussed is the psychological trauma that might occur after a traffic crash. You do not have to suffer a physical injury to have a psychological trauma. In some cases, whether or not a physical injury exists, the psychological trauma is much worse. Some of these traumas may include emotional distress in either the short or long term, anxiety which can manifest as discomfort riding in a vehicle to a full blown panic attack when revisiting the scene of the accident. Even PTSD can develop after a significant traffic collision.
Treatment often includes behavioral therapy and/or medications to help manage symptoms. Psychological Injuries can become chronic and debilitating if not properly treated. It is important to remember that your mental health is just as important as your physical health, so it should not be overlooked after a traumatic event like a car accident.
What does your attorney do?
A personal injury attorney will do their best to recover for you the cost to repair or replace your personal property, and regarding you personally, your past and future lost wages or loss of earning capacity, past and future medical expenses, past and future pain and suffering (physical and emotional), past and future disability if any, and loss of enjoyment of life caused by your accident-related injury. Your spouse or child may also have a claim for loss of consortium, the loss of affection, companionship, society and services.