According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 2.3 million drivers were treated in emergency rooms in 2009 following motor vehicle collisions. As Columbia personal injury lawyers, we know that a serious car accident can have life-altering implications, especially when you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury with long term consequences. In this post, we discuss a few of the more serious injuries that can affect car accident victims. Sadly, these injuries are all too common.
Traumatic Brain Injury
Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) can cause permanent, irrevocable brain damage, but symptoms don't always show up right away. For this reason, if you sustain a blow to the head in a car accident, you should seek immediate medical attention, even if you think you feel fine. "A patient can appear so deceivingly normal at first," Dr. Carmelo Graffagnino, director of Duke University Medical Center's Neurosciences Critical Care Unit, told CNN. "But they actually have a brain bleed and as the pressure builds up, they'll experience classic symptoms of a traumatic brain injury."
Symptoms of a TBI may include headaches, blurred or double vision, difficulty concentrating or remembering, and loss of consciousness. In the long run, TBIs can cause memory issues, cognitive impairment, loss of mobility, sight or hearing problems, emotional disorders, paralysis and even death.
Neck and Back Injuries
Injuries to the neck and back are common in motor vehicle accidents. In many cases, these injuries are caused by the sudden jerking that accompanies a collision. Soft tissue injuries like whiplash can cause muscle spasms, muscle weakness, tingling, numbness, and chronic pain. Injuries to the spinal cord can result in a number of permanent consequences, including nerve damage, loss of feeling in certain parts of the body, and paralysis.
Many back and neck injuries are easy to recognize, but soft tissue injuries are more complicated. The symptoms don't always show up right away - and injuries like whiplash can't be seen on a standard X-ray. Once again, it's best to see a doctor as soon as possible following a crash.
Broken or Fractured Bones
Car accidents can exert an extraordinary amount of force, and vehicle occupants are often subjected to the same level of force. Thus, it's common for accident victims to suffer broken or fractured bones. Under certain circumstances, severe fractures can require reconstructive surgery, rehabilitation, or extended medical care. Victims can experience long-term pain, nerve damage, infection, and a higher susceptibility to arthritis. These consequences can have a permanent effect on the victim's mobility.