A Springfield car accident can leave you shaken and injured. You may be unsure of what you need to do to safeguard your future. The most important place to start is to see a medical professional regarding your injuries. Whether your injuries are minor, severe, or catastrophic, your life will likely be altered to some extent.
What Are the Most Common Injuries from Car Accidents?
While every car accident is different, there are certain injuries that are seen more often than others.
Most car accident injuries are minor. They include “whiplash” type symptoms, with sore muscles, a headache, stiffness, and minor loss of muscle strength or range of motion for a few weeks or months. These strains and sprains are typically low grade, and may be accompanied by bruising, swelling, and other soft tissue symptoms. Occasionally, the force of impact causes the head to snap back and forth, causing concussion. Other times minor cuts and lacerations occur, causing the need for cleaning and/or stitches.
Physicians have grading systems for sprains and strains, that are somewhat similar. According to Medicine.net:
- Grade 1 sprains exist when fibers of a person’s ligament are stretched, but not torn
- Grade 2 sprains occur when the ligament is partially torn
- Grade 3 sprains occur when the ligament is completely torn or ruptured.
Similarly, strains occur when there is an injury to a muscle. According to Harvard Health, physicians will often classify strains into three grades:
- Grade 1 strains are mild, and occur when a few muscle fibers are stretched or torn but the muscle retains its strength
- Grade 2 strains are moderate in nature, with a greater number of injured fibers and swelling; there is often a noticeable loss of strength and more severe pain
- Grade 3 strains occur when the muscle is completely torn, or ripped away from the tendon, typically causing loss of the muscle function and often causing obvious deformities that are visible to the naked eye.
At times, more severe injuries are sustained. These injuries include:
- Traumatic Brain Injury—According to the CDC, auto accidents are among the most common causes of traumatic brain injuries in the U.S. The impact from the accident can cause the brain to strike the hard bone of the skull. In turn, this can damage brain structures, tear nerve tissues, and disrupt the brain’s chemical and communication processes. A traumatic brain injury can also cause impaired motor function.
- Spinal Cord Injuries—According to the Mayo Clinic, auto and motorcycle accidents are the primary cause of spinal cord injuries. In fact, these types of accidents account for half of all new spinal cord injuries each year. Spinal cord injuries can cause an inability to move the body below the injured area. Paraplegia prevents movement from the waist down, while quadriplegia prevents movement from the neck down. Spinal cord injuries can result in:
- Loss of bladder and bowel control
- Pressure injuries resulting from loss of skin sensation
- Low blood pressure and other circulatory control problems
- Difficulty breathing or coughing
- Loss of muscle tone and muscle atrophy
- Increased risk of osteoporosis
- Pain in muscles and joints that are now overused
Internal Injuries to the organs in the abdomen or chest can occur from a high-impact car accident. Any level of chest, stomach, or groin tenderness should trigger immediate medical attention. Symptoms of internal injuries may seem minor but can worsen quickly. Among the most common internal injuries from car accidents are:
- Broken ribs that place pressure on or pierce the lungs
- Damage to kidneys and liver
- Ruptured spleen
- Abdominal aorta rupture
- Brain bleeds and TBI
- Damage to the blood vessels causing internal bleeding
Symptoms of internal injury can include abdominal pain, feeling cold, lightheadedness, excessive thirst, unusual fatigue, or a pale complexion.
Broken Bones and Fractures are among the most common injuries sustained in a car accident. When the force exerted on a human bone is stronger than it can bear, a break or fracture occurs. Bone breaks and fractures can heal or may end up requiring significant medical intervention. During a car accident, a bone may break due to:
- The body being violently thrown forward or backward at the time of impact
- Hitting the dash or windshield
- Bending or twisting of limbs in an abnormal way at the time of the collision
- The body being thrown out of the vehicle and striking pavement or another hard object
Most commonly, thigh bones, arm and wrist bones, clavicles, hip bones, ribs, and facial or skull bones are broken during a car accident. Spine and neck fractures are also common following a rear-end or head-on collision. Symptoms of broken bones and fractures can include:
- Discoloration or bruising
- Visible deformity
- Tenderness or swelling
- An inability to bear weight on the injured area
- Pain that worsens when touched or with movement
Loss of Limbs and Amputation affect more than two million Americans and about 185,000 amputations occur each year. About 45 percent of amputations are the result of trauma, particularly car accidents. When a limb becomes damaged beyond repair, it can be unsalvageable. Sharp metal objects can cause deep lacerations in a limb or sever them entirely. When a limb is lacerated, bacteria can also enter the bloodstream, causing an infection. In addition to coping with the traumatic loss of a limb, amputees can face extremely high medical costs related to:
- Surgery costs related to the amputation
- The cost of additional surgical procedures
- Initial cost of prosthetics and replacement prosthetics
- Therapy for mental health
- Pain medication costs
- Ongoing physical therapy costs
How Can Noll Law Office Help Me?
Following a car accident, your injuries may be serious, and the bills can quickly pile up while you are off work for medical treatment. This can be a difficult time for you and your family. The Noll Law Office can step in with the insurance companies, negotiating on your behalf and compiling evidence in the event that litigation becomes necessary. The attorneys at the Noll Law Office are experienced litigators, with a long history of aggressively representing central Illinois families. Located just across the street from the Sangamon County Courthouse, you will speak directly with an attorney from the day of your first meeting. The Noll Law Office prides itself on outstanding communication with clients, explaining the claims and litigation process so that you can make informed decisions throughout the litigation process. Call today for a free consultation.