Car accidents are a common problem in the United States, with about six million occurring every single year. In fact, almost a hundred die from car accidents alone on a daily basis, with many more injured.
Harm to your body from a car crash can range from surface-level cuts to massive internal impairment. Depending on how serious your injuries are, your doctor will form a treatment plan that could require medication, stitches, or even surgery.
It may be a good idea to have a plan of action in case you get into a major car accident. Here are some of the most common car accident injuries, and how you can help your body recover in the aftermath.
The bullwhip effect, also known as whiplash, is often cited as a frequent result of automobile crashes. Although seatbelts do a wonderful job of protecting from many fatal consequences, the sudden impact from behind or in front of the vehicle will cause the neck to snap forward quickly.
The most obvious symptom of whiplash is neck pain. In mild cases, it will often resolve itself with a combination of rest and not straining or stressing your neck. However, you might need to set up an appointment with your physician if the neck pain is severe or does not go away.
Many other health problems can arise as a result of whiplash besides discomfort of the neck region. Some of these include persistent headaches or migraines, and pain that spreads to the area surrounding the neck.
Anxiety and Panic Attacks
Although a physical injury is one of the primary indicators of trauma during a car crash, often an emotional element is involved as well. Many victims of automobile accidents report emotional trauma or even post-traumatic stress disorder afterward.
If you are having trouble driving a car or even riding in one after an accident, you should look into methods for regulating your breathing. Training yourself in breathing techniques has proven results such as reducing your heart rate.
Sometimes self-induced coping methods do not work if you have experienced major trauma following a major car accident. In that case, contacting a therapist or trained mental health counselor can often help you heal emotionally.
When people in a moving vehicle are struck by another car, it often results in broken bones. Some of the most common car accident injuries are a broken neck, broken ribs, or damage to the kneecaps.
Broken bones often involve plaster casts and taking time off of work or school to fully recover. For broken ribs, the prognosis includes quite a bit of rest and lying down, so it is impossible to resume normal activity.
If you have only injured one body part, you may be able to still carry on with your daily routine without too much modification. For instance, a broken ankle usually requires crutches and taking elevators rather than stairs, but you still have mobility.
One of the more serious results of a car crash is damage to the brain. Potential brain bleeds or trauma can occur with no symptoms until it is often too late, which can result in permanent impairment or even death.
Even if you feel completely fine, ask your doctor for a brain scan if they question your mental acuity at all following a car crash. They may do an evaluation involving questions like what year it is, to gauge your brain function.
Brain injuries rarely heal on their own, so you will probably need surgery or another serious medical procedure. You will need to arrange for your responsibilities to be taken care of until you make a full recovery.
Much of the initial impact from a collision will often hit the chest area. Even though wearing a seatbelt is the safest option, the airbag that releases can still cause significant problems in your chest area.
The sudden deployment of airbags often results in burning and damage to your chest wall, or the part of the body encasing many of your vital organs. Left untreated, these can cause major problems.
If you feel any discomfort in your chest following an accident, especially after being hit by an airbag, talk to your physician about getting the area examined. Damage to your chest wall means less protection of your heart and lungs.
Give Yourself Time to Physically and Emotionally Recover
Even if your immediate injuries have healed, you can still suffer from issues long after the car crash. You may be able to use disability insurance or paid time off from your workplace to extend your recovery time.
You should have a discussion with your supervisor if you feel that you cannot work at full capacity. It can be a better solution if you decide to reduce your hours and delegate responsibilities until you are feeling well enough at a later date.
Consult a Lawyer
Whether your recovery is short term or long term, you should consider the legal implications of the car accident. If you did not cause your car accident, then it may be a good solution to find an attorney that specializes in auto collision lawsuits.
If your car suffered damage, then these types of lawsuits can also assist you in paying for the repairs, subsidizing medical costs, or even reward you with enough money to buy a new vehicle.
Car Accident Injuries are Extremely Common
Because auto collisions usually have some sort of impact, many of the drivers and passengers end up with injuries from car accidents. However, even if it seems like you do not have major problems, you should always follow up with a doctor after the event.
Healing from car accident injuries is never an easy task. Once you know the extent of the damage, you will be able to formulate a recovery plan. Working with your place of employment, your medical team, and your loved ones should allow you to eventually resume your normal activities and live your life to the fullest.