Vehicle accidents account for 3 million injuries annually in the U.S., with 2 million permanent injuries. The injuries resulting from a car crash range from mild to serious, but some occur more frequently.
Whiplash is the most common injury after motor vehicle accidents. The impact of the accident forces the neck muscles out of alignment, which often causes intense pain.
Some other symptoms of whiplash include worse pain when moving neck, less range of neck motion and headaches. The driver may think they are fine after the accident, but whiplash symptoms may lie dormant for several hours or days.
A herniated disc is caused by the cushions in between vertebrae getting damaged and protruding through the spine. This injury often causes a sharp pain radiating on one side down the buttocks and legs caused by nerve damage and muscle weakness.
If a seat belt does not properly restrain the driver, it can cause a compression fracture. A compression fracture is a small break in the spine, which commonly causes pain from taking a breath or more pain when walking or sitting.
Traumatic brain injuries
A traumatic brain injury occurs from blunt force trauma to the skull, such as hitting a dashboard and damaging the brain. A TBI is usually mild, occurring with or without losing consciousness, but a moderate to severe TBI requires hospitalization.
An example of a mild TBI is a concussion, which may cause dizziness, light sensitivity, vomiting, nausea and headaches. A more serious TBI is a diffuse axonal injury, which occurs from the brain shifting and tearing the axons.
An injured driver or passenger may seek compensation from the at-fault driver in an accident. However, they should seek medical attention as soon as possible after the crash in order to provide proof of the injury.