You may obey every posted speed limit, keep your eyes on the road, and stay alert and attentive. But unfortunately, car wrecks are unavoidable in some cases. You could be rear-ended while stopped at a traffic light, T-boned by an inattentive driver at an intersection, or struck in a head-on collision.
Should you be involved in a car wreck, it’s important to understand how it can affect your body and why you should always seek medical attention.
Injuries while wearing a seatbelt
Many of today’s vehicles are designed to absorb a significant amount of impact in the front end of the vehicle. Additionally, your seatbelt can help prevent your face or head from making contact with the windshield, steering wheel, or airbag.
An article by Student Edge breaks down the anatomy of a frontal crash and the injuries you’re likely to sustain.
If you’re a driver, your seatbelt is likely positioned over your right collarbone. In a frontal collision, your collarbone will be the first bone to break. If you’re a passenger, you may experience a broken collarbone on your left side.
If a frontal crash happens at a higher impact, you will likely sustain broken ribs. This can then lead to lung damage, as a broken rib can puncture the protective area between your lungs and ribcage.
If you’re taller than average, your seatbelt may be positioned across your abdomen. The impact of a frontal crash can result in damage to internal organs – particularly your spleen, liver, or bowel.
Side impact accidents
If you are T-boned at an intersection, there is very little between you and the side of your vehicle offering protection. Your seatbelt won’t do you any good. Airbags are rendered useless, unless your vehicle is equipped with side airbags.
In a T-bone accident, common injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Serious spinal injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Severed limbs
- Pelvic injuries
- Cuts and lacerations
Such crashes can cause catastrophic injuries leading to paralysis, permanent disability, or death.
Whiplash is the most common injury sustained in rear-end accidents. It occurs when your head jerks forward and backward in a whip-like motion. The connective muscles and tendons encompassing the neck can be overstretched, or in severe cases, even torn.
You may feel fine after a rear-end accident. However, the symptoms of whiplash can take days to appear. They often include:
- Neck stiffness
- Spasms in the neck, shoulders, and upper back
- Chronic fatigue
- Mood changes
- Inability to sleep
- Blurred vision
- Tingling sensation in limbs
Get medical help and contact an attorney
No matter how minor your injuries may seem after a car wreck, it’s crucial that you always seek medical attention. Aside from identifying your injury, a medical evaluation can unveil other underlying complications that you may not be aware of.
Additionally, if you’ve been involved in a crash, you may want to file a personal injury claim. The longer you wait to seek medical attention, the more likely the insurance companies will downplay or deny your claim.