In the aftermath of a car accident, some injuries are obvious, but it is not unusual for a driver or passenger to be disoriented enough that car accident injuries go unnoticed for minutes, hours or even days. While many of these are minor injuries that go away after a short time, it is important to evaluate anyone involved in the accident for serious problems that require medical attention. It is a good idea to seek medical attention immediately, even if you don’t think your injuries are serious, and to just as quickly seek out a Spartanburg car accident lawyer. The seriousness of injuries varies based on factors such as seat belts, airbags, head and body position at the time of the accident, speed and direction of the impact, but the most frequent car accident injuries include:
Soft Tissue Injuries
It is very unlikely that you’ll leave an accident without at least some minor soft tissue injuries, even if these are only bruises along the path of the seat belt or where your hands hit the wheel or the dash. Soft tissue injuries are any car accident injuries that appear in muscle, tendons and ligaments—any of your connective tissues. These can be caused either by impacts or stretching and pulling; an example of the latter is whiplash, where the muscles and other connections in your back and neck are sprained or pulled suddenly. These will be sore for a few days and normally clear up pretty quickly, but you should have a medical examination as soon as possible, since the same motions that caused them can also cause more subtle and serious injuries to your spine and other parts of your back.
Cuts, Scratches, Scrapes
If your airbag goes off, it’s probable that you will find yourself with rug burn-like injuries, scrapes and maybe small cuts where you hit the bag. You may also get small scratches and cuts from any part of the car that you struck, or from anything in the car that wasn’t nailed down and briefly became airborne during the accident. Most of these are minor, but you should check to be sure that these cuts and scrapes scab over properly, and you may want to dab a little antibiotic ointment on them to prevent infection. Deeper cuts, especially cuts that don’t stop bleeding quickly, should be looked at by a medical professional, since they may need stitches.
Chest and Shoulder Injuries
A seatbelt can save your life, and it’s definitely better to hit a seatbelt than the dashboard or windshield. Nevertheless, some of the most common car accident injuries come from the way your body is thrown against the seatbelt. Bruises or contusions are likely, but you may also sustain broken ribs, injuries to the internal organs or damage to deep tissues in the torso. These are even more common for drivers who are thrown into the steering wheel.
There is a wide range of injuries to the head and neck that can occur during an accident, from neck muscle strains, scrapes and bruises to serious cuts, some of which may bleed quite a bit. Concussions and brain injuries can occur whether or not your head actually struck something, since the sudden stop can “splash” your brain and fluid against the interior of your skull.
It cannot be emphasized enough that you should seek medical attention as soon as you can for car accident injures. Too many types of injuries are not noticed right away, and many of them can grow worse if left untreated. Find a trusted Spartanburg car accident lawyer as soon as you know that you are injured, even if this information comes days or months after your accident. Contact Harris and Graves for more information or to schedule a consultation about your case.