The National Highway Safety Traffic Administration reports that 3 million vehicle accidents with injuries occur annually in Texas and across the country. Some injuries are mild and heal on their own while other injuries require hospitalization and potentially surgery. There are a few common injuries that a driver in Killeen should look for if they get into an accident.
Soft tissue injuries
Soft tissue injury, or acute injury, causes damage to the muscles and tendons from the impact of a crash. Bruising or contusion of the abdominal tissue can occur from the driver or passenger contacting the seat belt.
Another common soft tissue injury from motor vehicle accidents is whiplash, even at low speeds. The impact causes the neck to jerk back and forth, causing pain and stiffness, decreased range of motion and headaches. The symptoms may not appear for several days after the accident, so the driver initially thinks they didn’t get injured.
Traumatic brain injuries
Traumatic brain injury, or TBI, occurs from severe trauma to the brain, ranging from mild to severe. An example of a mild TBI is a concussion, which commonly causes headaches, dizziness, nausea, vomiting and fatigue.
A concussion may not always cause loss of consciousness, and it usually heals on its own with treatment. A more serious TBI is diffuse axonal injury, resulting from the brain moving around in the skull.
The spine helps the body stand erect and protects the back, so any injury to the spinal column can impact bodily function. A common injury is a herniated disk, which damages the soft, protective gel structures between vertebrae.
A flexion fracture commonly causes the front of the spine to collapse while the back part remains in place. A burst fracture causes the vertebrae to split in different directions, sometimes damaging the spinal cord.
A driver who has been in a vehicle accident should seek medical attention even if they don’t feel injured. Waiting too long may make it harder to prove the injury in an insurance claim or settlement.