It can happen in an instant. You are driving or parked at a stoplight. Suddenly another collides with yours, leaving your car damaged and possibly leaving you with a variety of different injuries. These injuries can be relatively minor or they can be life-threatening, and it is essential that you receive medical treatment as soon as possible.
Scrapes and cuts
Whether your skin is scraped by broken glass or by the impact of a loose object in your car, scrapes and cuts are common injuries in a car accident. While they may seem fairly minor, these injuries put you at risk for infections and other issues.
The force of another vehicle crashing into yours can cause a wide variety of different broken bones. These can range from hairline fractures to more severe breaks like broken arms, legs and ribs. Even if you don’t believe that you have a broken bone, it is important to be examined by a doctor after an accident. An undiagnosed break can cause pain and can heal incorrectly, possibly requiring it to be rebroken in the future.
Because a car accident can caused your car to suddenly jolt back or forward, your body can move just as suddenly. Rapid neck movements can cause “whiplash,” or damage to the muscles, ligaments and tendons. Whiplash is especially common in rear-end collisions, and can cause long-lasting pain, limited range of motion and other symptoms.
The impact of a car crash can cause your head to move suddenly or hit the steering wheel, dashboard or window. While this may not cause apparent external damage, the harm to your brain can be severe. A traumatic brain injury can cause cognitive difficulties, headaches, personality changes and a variety of psychological challenges. Worse, these symptoms may not appear immediately, making it easy for your injuries to go untreated.
While not related to their physical trauma, victims of car accidents can experience significant emotional trauma. For many, this can result in post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and a study published in the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease indicates that this can impact as much as 39.2 percent of car accident victims. PTSD can cause significant stress and anxiety and limit victims’ ability to enjoy life,
If you have been in a motor vehicle accident, it is important to seek medical help immediately. Because symptoms may not appear for hours, days or even weeks after your accident, your condition may grow worse because of delays to treatment. Seeking treatment early allows your injuries to be fully understood and for you to seek care immediately, putting you on the road to recovery sooner.