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Common Injuries from Car Accidents and Long Term Effects

iceberg1The severity of injuries suffered in car accidents ranges anywhere from minor injuries to death. Some injuries are more common than others in mild to moderate car accidents.

The long term effects of severe injuries is obvious, but there are also long term effects of brain injuries, and to the common back and neck injury. We discuss the long term effect of brain injuries here. The long term effects of neck and back injuries from car accidents have been studies and the research shows that the pain improves int he first few months but that the lingering effects last a year or longer. “Beyond six weeks, improvement slows and thereafter only small reductions in mean pain and disability are apparent up to one year.” Back pain improves in first six weeks of treatment but lingering effects at one year, from the Canadian Medical Association Journal, May 2012. Additionally, the same research also found that people with persistent low back pain “experienced moderate levels of pain and disability at one year; the typical improvement in their pain was only about 50%”. The researchers concluded that the medical field is just not taking back pain complaints seriously enough nor the research in how to reduce it beyond surgery.

The most common injuries from car accidents are:

  1. Connective Tissue Injury
  2. Neck Injury
  3. Back Injury
  4. Shoulder Injury
  5. Head Injury & Spinal Cord
  6. Upper extremity injury
  7. Lower Extremity Injuries
  8. Knee Injury
  9. Internal Organ Injury
  10. Death

1. Connective Tissue Injury

Connective tissue injuries cover what is often called “Soft Tissue” injury. These are injuries and aggravation to the joints and muscles. These injuries are often viewed as minor by most people; however, it is important to get medical attention to rule out more severe injury and to get proper treatment of the connective tissue injuries. Failure to get adequate treatment can result in permanent joint and tissue injury through muscle scar tissue that forms when the connective tissue heals improperly.

2/3. Neck and Back Injuries

I discuss these two injuries together as they both concern the spine and the common injuries to these areas are very similar, just located in different locations along the spine. Connective tissue injuries discussed above often occur in this area and the shoulders, the injuries I will be discussing below are beyond connective tissue injury.

Many people with injured necks or backs will not know the extent of the injury until they go through the typical treatment course. Usually your primary care doctor will do x-rays to rule out breaks or bone fractures and then send you to physical therapy for treatment of the pain. Unless the symptoms of a disc abnormality are very obvious, most doctors to not order MRIs or CT scans until after a few weeks of physical therapy and then after complaints of continuing pain despite the therapy.

There are many types of disc abnormalities that are caused form car accidents, the most common type are disc bulges or disc herniation. See Missouri Injury Law Article: Common Back Injuries From Car Accidents for more information about the various types of disc injuries.

4. Shoulder Injury

Common shoulder injuries from car accidents include impingement or tears of different shoulder ligaments or a torn rotator cuff. Shoulder injuries are some of the most painful to suffer and the recovery from rotator cuff surgery is often described to me by my clients as very painful and difficult. Additionally, many people never fully recover from shoulder injuries and have weight limitations in the 5-20 pound range in addition to restricted range of motion, most commonly being unable to lift your arm above the shoulder level.

5. Head Injuries and Spinal Cord

Damage to your brain or nervous system is often a permanent injury. The symptoms of the injury may improve with time, however, they often never fully heal. For detailed discussions about these types of injuries and the long term effects see:

  • Types of Brain Injuries
  • Long Term Effects of Traumatic Brain Injuries
  • Spinal Cord Injury and Paralysis

6/7. Upper & Lower Extremity Injuries

These types of injuries include injury to your arms, hands, wrists, and fingers, legs, ankles and feet. These can be breaks, sprains, severe lacerations, or even burn injuries from friction or flames.

8. Knee Injury

Knee injuries form car accidents is very common, typically caused from bracing for the impact or the knees striking the underside of the dash or other part of the care. Many client do not realize their knees are injured until several weeks after the accident. Many people write the pain off as just bruising, however, these injuries must not be overlooked as knee injury and disability plague many people their entire life, and failing to adequately treat a potential knee injury will not help the healing process and could contribute to a lifelong problem with your knees.

9. Internal Organ Injury

Not very common, but can be very severe and life threatening when it does occur. Sometimes the force of the car crash is severe enough to bruise or lacerate an internal organ, such as the liver or kidney. these injuries are extremely painful and usually not much treatment beyond rest is effective. It is important to understand the long term effects of these injuries and discuss those with your doctor or specialist.

10. Death

In the most tragic cases the driver, passenger, or a pedestrian is killed as the result of a car accident.

Why Understanding the Long Term Effect of Your Injury is so Important?

When making a claim of injury from a car accident, you are entitled to compensation for ALL the harms and losses suffered as a result of the car collision. These harms and losses include the harms and losses that you will suffer int he future. Knowing the long term symptoms and effects of your injury will help you understand the basis for the money damage claimed by your lawyer.

Good car crash lawyers know how to fully evaluate your past, present, and future injuries and symptoms. The good attorneys for a car accident will communicate with you and your doctors to make sure your injuries are fully evaluated for the benefit of your health and also to maximize the value of your claim by fully explaining the extent of your injuries and making sure those claims are supported by the medical evidence.

There is more to a car accident claim than just medical bills, for a free meeting with a lawyer about your car accident case call us at (314) 863-0500 or contact us online to set up a meeting.

Sansone, Sumner & Lauber

7777 Bonhomme Ave #2100
St Louis, MO 63105
Phone: (314)863-0500
Email: ben@missourilawyers.com
Get Directions

Sansone, Sumner & Lauber

7777 Bonhomme Ave #2100
St Louis, MO 63105
Phone: (314)863-0500
Fax: (314)677-3530
Email: ben@missourilawyers.com
Get Directions
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