Man Suffering From Whiplash

Automobile accidents can have a devastating effect on your life, depending on their severity. However, even relatively mild or low-speed car accidents can result in injuries that negatively affect your life. Not only can such injuries cause you pain, you can suffer from emotional distress such as anxiety and insomnia. Medical care and loss of wages can also impact your finances. Contacting an accident attorney about your injuries can at least help with the effects the injuries may have on your finances.

Below are four common car accident injuries and how they can affect your life.

Whiplash

One of the most common injuries from an automobile accident is whiplash, especially with rear-end car accidents. During the accident, the head is whipped first back then forward while the torso remains stationary thanks to the seat belt. The whipping motion can cause injury to the cervical bones, the discs between the vertebrae, muscles, ligaments, and nerves.

The symptoms of whiplash naturally include neck pain and stiffness. They can also include headaches, dizziness, and blurred vision. Whiplash usually resolves in a few weeks. During that time, your head and neck movements will likely be restricted, though the doctor may suggest physical therapy exercises. Most patients make a full recovery, but some suffer lingering damage.

Disc Herniation

The neck isn’t the only part of the spinal cord that may be affected by the sudden stop in a car accident. The same motion that causes whiplash can also cause disc herniation anywhere within the spine, though it’s most common in the lower back. As the disc becomes displaced, it can push on the surrounding nerves and other structures.

The symptoms of a herniated disc depend on its location. Higher up, you might experience arm pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness. Those same sensations will affect the legs for a lower disc. The treatment depends on the severity of the herniation, ranging from pain relievers and muscle relaxers to surgery.

While you’re experiencing the symptoms, you’ll need to restrict your movements. If surgery is necessary, you’ll have to follow all post-operative procedures. Patients can make a full recovery, but sometimes damage is permanent.

Concussion

Concussion is another common car accident injury. It can occur during the whiplash incident, or it can occur if you hit your head. During the accident, the brain is forced from one side to the other within the skull, potentially causing bruising or bleeding. Concussions have three grades, ranging from no loss of consciousness or amnesia to loss of consciousness and persisting amnesia.

A concussion can have a significant impact on your life. Symptoms include headaches, blurry vision, nausea, and dizziness. More severe concussions can affect your sleep patterns and mood. Sufferers can also experience light or noise sensitivity and anxiety.

While you’re experiencing concussion symptoms, you’ll need to rest and take non-NSAID pain relievers. Most symptoms resolve within one to four weeks. However, severe concussions can result in long-lasting and even permanent impairment.

Seat Belt Syndrome

Wearing a seat belt saves lives. However, the force of the body’s impact against the restraint can result in seat belt syndrome, an umbrella term for a collection of injuries. Seat belt syndrome typically includes a bruise in the shape of the seat belt and can include intra-abdominal organ injury and vertebral fractures.

The symptoms vary depending on the severity of the syndrome. You’ll likely feel tenderness and bruising where your body impacted the seat belt. Abdominal pain, especially if it worsens, can be a sign of intra-abdominal organ injury. Pain, numbness, and weakness in the lower back can signify a spinal fracture, as can bladder issues.

The external bruising and tenderness will go away on its own. The internal injuries associated with seat belt syndrome are more significant. If the vertebrae damage the spinal cord, temporary or permanent paralysis can occur. Internal bleeding can result in death.

An automobile accident can wreak havoc on your life. If you are involved in a car accident, the Law Offices Of Wells and McElwee, P.C. can help you file a lawsuit.