Most people who have never been in an auto accident think that only the most severe injuries – injured spinal cords, internal organ damage, etc. – are the ones that need a lot of medical care. All injuries need treatment in varying levels, but some of the more common injuries could require a long time to heal as well. Not every injury sustained in a motor vehicle accident will be immediately apparent.
- Whiplash. Whiplash has a “bad” reputation, because there are a lot of people who do not believe it is a real injury. In truth, the rapid back-and-forth motion of the head that occurs in car accidents is quite serious. Whiplash can tear the muscles, tendons and ligaments in your neck, shoulders and upper back. People who sustain this injury may need physical therapy or even surgery.
- Soft tissue injuries. Soft tissue injuries are those that hurt the muscles, tendons or ligaments throughout the body. They are generally sprains or strains, but can also be caused by trauma.
- Broken collarbones. When you break your collarbone, you cannot move your shoulder without pain. The only treatment – provided you do not need a surgical procedure requiring pins – is to immobilize your shoulder completely and wait for it to heal. Since the collarbone does not harden completely until a person turns 20 or so, teen drivers are especially at risk. This type of injury often results in permanent chronic symptoms.
- Broken ribs. There is no treatment for a cracked or broken rib. They usually take a month or two to heal on their own, but during that time walking, sitting, lying down and even breathing can all cause you pain. You will not be able to drive for at least a few weeks, and if the rib itself breaks, you could end up with a punctured lung.
- Traumatic brain injuries. TBIs are one of the most serious injuries you might sustain in a car accident, and they are among the most common. A mild concussion may clear up on its own, or it can result in post-concussion syndrome. A serious TBI can leave a person with permanent brain damage. There is no definite way to determine how severe the effects will be because it varies from person to person. Some traumatic brain injuries are caused in what seem like very minor car accidents, and they can have life-long effects.
After an auto accident, you should immediately seek the advice of a doctor. If the accident was the result of another person’s negligence, you may have legal options. Please contact Plaxen & Adler, P.A. to speak with an experienced Baltimore auto accident lawyer about your case. As one of Maryland’s premier personal injury law firms, we can help.