Would you be surprised to learn that Americans spend 1 million days a year hospitalized as a result of car crash injuries? 2.5 million Americans were taken to hospital emergency rooms as a result of a car accident. Of those brought into the hospital, 200,000 were actually admitted for overnight care. Now you might be thinking, sure serious car accidents can cause significant injuries. So, you also might be surprised to learn that many of these are a result of minor car accident injuries.
Unfortunately, there are a whole host of injuries that can come as a result of even a minor car accident. These injuries after a minor car accident might be considered minor, but can have a real impact on the person suffering from them.
Read on to learn about the different types of car accident injuries and what you might feel if you’re suffering from one of them.
Whiplash is a common injury even in the most minor of car accidents. And whiplash happens when your head moves with great force forward then back again. This often occurs when one car hits another. The force from the hit launches your head forward and as the vehicle stops, it also jerks it to a stop.
Often whiplash after a minor car accident causes muscle, ligament, and tendon injuries. This can cause soreness in the neck, head, and shoulder region. Common symptoms include:
- Blurred vision
- Neck pain and neck stiffness
If you have been in a minor car accident, you should know that sometimes whiplash doesn’t present itself immediately and you may find these symptoms show up hours after the accident has cleared.
Soft Tissue Injuries
Whiplash is just one type of soft tissue injury that can come as a result of a minor car accident. Soft tissues in the body include skin, muscles, tendons, or ligaments.
- Range of motion issues
- Popping or snapping as muscles move
Soft tissue injuries present themselves often as lacerations, avulsions, abrasions, contusions, and muscle sprains following an accident.
Scrapes and Cuts
Scrapes and cuts are another type of minor injury from an accident. They often result from either broken glass from the accident or from objects that are flying inside the car when the accident happens.
Sometimes this type of injury requires wound care and some covering the wound. If the cut is more significant, stitches may be necessary.
Head injuries can be the type of injury that presents itself as minor at the scene of the accident, but then quickly turns to something more significant following the accident.
Thus, head injuries might include a concussion, a traumatic brain injury, a closed head injury, or even a brain bleed.
If you’ve been in a minor accident, you might at first think you just bumped your head. But the truth is you should always have this type of injury checked out at the hospital as it’s a hidden injury that can have a lasting impact.
Chest injuries can often happen when there is an impact between two vehicles, even in a minor accident. Additionally, chest injuries might present themselves with these symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Bruising, swelling
- Changes in heart rate
- Numbness or tingling
- Shallow or fast breathing
- Crackling sound in the chest
These can happen when the chest hits the airbag, steering wheel, dashboard, or even from a seatbelt jerking the body. A common chest injury from a minor crash might include a broken rib from the impact.
Arm and Leg Injuries
It’s not uncommon for extremities to get tossed around in an accident causing arm and leg injuries. Even minor accidents will find victims with knee injuries from hitting the steering column during the accident.
Injury to the back is another common consequence of a minor car accident. Your back wasn’t meant to handle the kind of impact and jerking motion that often comes from a car accident.
It’s not uncommon for bruising or straining of back muscles to occur. More significant injuries might include vertebrae breaks or herniates.
Many of the above injuries come as a result of impact during a car accident. One common injury that can happen with impact is internal bleeding. It’s not really a minor injury, but it can go unnoticed while you’re paying attention to the more visible injuries you sustain.
If you’ve been injured and suffered any kind of impact, you should be checked out to make sure you don’t have any type of internal bleeding. This can quickly turn into a serious injury if left unnoticed.
What Should You Do If You’ve Been in an Accident?
While being in an accident can be scary and upsetting, you should know what to do if it happens to you. First, you want to make sure you and everyone else involved is okay. Call for medical attention right away if anyone appears to have injuries.
You’ll need an official police report for insurance purposes, even for the most minor accidents. So, you need to call for the police to do an investigation of the scene of the accident.
You need to exchange information with the other person involved in the accident. Get their name and insurance information. Limit talking to them to just the exchange of information and certainly don’t admit any kind of guilt.
If possible, take pictures at the scene of the accident from a variety of different angles.
Even if you feel like your injuries are minor, you should always be checked out by medical professionals. Often more severe injuries can remain hidden.
Claims Following an Accident
Car accident injuries, even minor ones, can have a lasting impact on your life. You will need to notify your insurance company of the accident. You may also want to seek legal help, especially if you have bills that pile up and find that the involved insurance companies are being resistant.
A personal injury attorney can help you to sort out who pays for the expenses as a result of the accident. They can also help get you the compensation you deserve.
You should be able to be compensated for:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Pain and suffering from the accident
It’s important to talk with an attorney as soon as possible following your accident. They are experienced in dealing with insurance companies and can help you navigate the process.
Be Prepared If You’re in a Car Accident, Know About These Minor Car Accident Injuries
Even minor car accident injuries can have a real impact on your life. Don’t underestimate the significance of these injuries and ignore them.
If you need helping because you’ve been in an accident, we can help. Contact us today for a free consultation about your case.