There is a staggering average of 188 accidents a day in Houston. While some of these accidents may be minor enough for all parties to walk away without injury, some will be more serious. At the Law Office of Beverly R. Caruthers, our team works with victims of car accidents to ensure they are being fairly compensated for the pain and suffering they have endured. Adequate compensation should include medical expenses, property damages, loss of income, pain and suffering, and more. Working with an experienced attorney will help you to recover the money you deserve after your accident.
Common Injuries Following A Car Accident
Soft Tissue Injuries and Car Accidents
A soft tissue injury is damage to the body’s connective tissue (muscles, ligaments, and tendons). This is the most common type of injury resulting from a car accident. Soft tissue injuries can take many forms.
A “whiplash” type injury to the neck and upper back is a form of soft tissue injury. A whiplash injury occurs when muscles and ligaments are stretched due to sudden movements of the head and neck during a collision. The same forces can cause soft tissue injuries in other areas of the body such as the back. Car accidents often cause mid-back and low-back muscle sprains, and sometimes more serious back injuries because of the impact force against the spine.
Scrapes and Cuts
In a car accident, any loose objects inside the car immediately become projectiles thrown about the car’s interior. This includes things like cell phones, coffee mugs, eyeglasses, purses, books, and dash-mounted GPS systems. If any of these items hit your body, they can easily cut your skin or cause other injuries.
Most scrapes and cuts are relatively minor and require no medical treatment. More serious injuries might require stitches.
Airbags can also cause cuts and scrapes when they deploy in a collision.
Head Injuries and Car Accidents
Head injuries can take a range of forms from relatively minor to quite severe. A car’s unexpected stop or change in direction can cause the heads of drivers and passengers to move in sudden and unnatural ways. These movements can result in muscle strains and sprains in the neck and back (as discussed above). But the head itself can also be injured. A person’s head can be cut or bruised when it hits a side window or the steering wheel. A severe head collision can cause a closed head injury that results in bruising and tearing of the brain tissue and blood vessels. Most closed head injuries result in concussions, but more severe impacts can cause lasting brain damage.
Chest injuries are also common after car accidents. Chest injuries range from painful bruises to broken ribs and internal injuries. Drivers often experience chest injuries when they collide with the steering wheel. Seatbelts and dashboards can also cause chest injuries.
Arm and Leg Injuries
The same forces that unexpectedly move a person’s head in car collisions act similarly on arms and legs. If your car suffers a side impact, your arms and legs might be thrown against the door. Car accidents often cause passengers’ knees to hit the dashboard or the seats in front of them. Depending on the nature of the collision, your arms and legs might be bruised, scraped, sprained, or even broken in a car accident.
Keep in mind that some injuries might not show up right after a car accident. Depending on the nature of the injury, it might take days, weeks, or even months for symptoms to appear. So if you’re in a car accident, it is best to seek medical treatment right away if you feel any level of pain or discomfort.
What If My Accident Injuries Don’t Show Up Right Away?
Car Accidents are Exciting
Not “exciting” in the fun sense, more from a physiological perspective.
Sometimes athletes get injured during a game, and they continue to play without noticing the injury until the game is over. That is because their bodies are generating adrenaline and endorphins. These two chemicals operate to super-charge our bodies and even block pain.
Most car accidents will create a similarly heightened level of excitement. Your body will generate adrenaline and endorphins, which means you feel increased energy and (possibly) a lack of pain. Just because you feel fine immediately following a car accident, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you are fine. Once the release of those chemicals subsides, the pain from any car accident injuries could start to set in.
Soft Tissue Injuries After a Car Accident
A soft tissue injury refers to damage done to parts of the body other than bone. Muscles, tendons, and ligaments are considered “soft tissue.”
Car accidents, even low-speed ones, generate a lot of force. Drivers and passengers often come to a sudden stop right along with the vehicle in a car accidents; or they may get thrown around the passenger area. This places a lot of stress on joints and other vulnerable areas of the body.
Perhaps the most common — if not the most recognized — type of soft-tissue injury is “whiplash.” This refers to an injury to the neck muscles when the head is suddenly, and forcefully, thrown forward and then back.
Soft tissue injuries typically result in pain, swelling, and reduced mobility, but these symptoms may not show up immediately. They can take days, even weeks, to manifest. In addition, soft tissue injuries are not visible on an X-ray. This makes them more challenging to diagnose and document. Getting proper medical treatment is the key first step, at or even before the first sign of pain or discomfort (more on this below).
Concussions After a Car Accident
Your brain is well-protected by your skull and the fluid inside of it. However, if you strike your head, or your body is violently jolted, your brain may strike the inside of your skull with great force. If this happens during the course of a car accident, you may sustain a concussion.
Concussions can be very serious, and the symptoms do not often show up immediately. Sometimes the symptoms are obvious (such as disorientation or even loss of consciousness), but they can also be more subtle. Here is a list of concussion symptoms:
- clouded thinking
- inability to concentrate
- difficulty remembering new information
- blurry vision
- lack of energy, and
- abnormal sleep patterns (sleeping more than usual or less than usual)
If you exhibit any of these signs following a car accident, you may have a concussion; and you should seek medical attention.
See a Doctor After a Car Accident
Following a car accident, you should see a doctor if you feel any level of pain and discomfort. It may even be a good idea to get checked out even if you feel fine. Your doctor will be in the best position to determine whether you sustained any serious injuries in the accident. Your doctor can also give you advice on monitoring symptoms of potential injuries, including the sorts of red flags to watch out for.
If you end up making any sort of injury claim after the accident, it’s crucial to be able to document the fact that you sought medical treatment within a reasonable amount of time. If you wait too long to see a doctor, the insurance adjuster is going to argue that you couldn’t have been all that injured.
Most Accidents Are Caused By Distracted Driving
When it comes to car accidents, most can be avoided with proper focus and caution. Unfortunately, we are only able to control how we are driving and not what other drivers on the road are doing. Distracted driving makes up for the majority cause of car accidents, from driving while texting, driving while eating, talking on the phone, and other activities that divide your attention. If you were injured by a distracted driver our Houston car accident attorney can help you. We work with you to speak with insurance companies, record statements, and negotiate settlement offers when filing a claim.
Do Not Wait To Speak To An Attorney
Putting off speaking with a lawyer after your accident is one of the worst mistakes you can make when it comes to collecting fair compensation. Do not waste time after you have been injured, instead contact the Law Office of Beverly R. Caruthers right away. Our team can help you to explore your options and find out more about how our team of legal professionals can help you through this difficult time. Car accident cases are rarely simple and often require professional help for the best results.
Car Crash Attorney Near Houston
If you or someone you love has suffered an injury, experienced loss of income, or are unable to work due to a car accident, you can benefit from the services of a Houston car accident expert in your personal injury case. Whether you missed work due to an injury or due to not having access to a vehicle, Attorney Beverly R. Caruthers can help you!
Our team works hard to bring the most efficient and practical solutions to your car accident case. Beverly R. Caruthers proudly serves and defends the Greater Houston area including but not limited to Baytown, Conroe, Crosby, Humble, Huntsville, Lake Jackson, Missouri City, Pasadena, Spring, Tomball.
Beverly R Caruthers Law Office
Address: 4141 Southwest Fwy, Suite 620
Houston, TX 77027