Motorists in Northeastern Pennsylvania risk their lives on the roadways every day. Even bumper-bashing accidents can cause injuries with long-term consequences. Unfortunately, even if you are one of the safest drivers, you can fall victim to negligent operators of other vehicles. The intensity of the crash, where victims sat in your vehicle and whether they wore seat belts are factors that determine the severity of car accident injuries.
A smashed windshield and other small objects in a car could cause cuts and bruises, but other serious injuries can occur. Some might be less visible, and it would be wise for you to go for a medical evaluation even if you have no visible broken bones or open wounds. Hidden injuries could turn out to be life-threatening.
Injuries to internal organs
Although large bruised areas could indicate internal bleeding, severe damage to internal organs might go unnoticed. The following injuries can be picked up during a medical examination:
- Damage caused by fractured ribs that punctured internal organs.
- Vulnerable organs include the heart, aorta, liver, spleen, lungs, kidneys and bowels.
The most frequently reported injury of this type is a torn spleen.
Injuries to the back, neck and chest
Although all the occupants in your vehicle can suffer injuries to their upper bodies, those in the front seats are most vulnerable to the following:
- Soft tissue injuries can cause neck strains, contusions, bruises to the chest, and strains and sprains to the back. Along with whiplash injuries, these are the milder forms of upper body injuries.
- More severe are those that include injuries to spinal discs and cervical bones, fractures of ribs, collarbones and spine, shoulder dislocations, and spinal cord damage that could cause paralysis.
Even the milder injuries can cause chronic pain and hamper movement, and some of the more severe injuries could cause life-long mobility problems.
Injuries to the head and brain
Some of the most common crash injuries are those to the head. You and your passengers can suffer superficial scars or bruises, skull fractures, concussions or any of the following types of traumatic brain injuries:
- Mild brain injuries could cause headaches, seizures, disturbed sleep patterns, fatigue, mood swings and depression. These often result from concussions, and the injuries could take up to one year to heal.
- Moderate brain injuries may leave the victim unable to communicate, with diminished cognitive skills and partially paralyzed. Rehabilitation therapy might lead to recovery.
- Severe brain injuries can cause permanent nerve damage, hearing or vision loss, and paralysis -- depending on the location of the brain damage.
Sometimes, the rapid whiplash movement of the head in a collision can cause the brain to smash into the wall of the skull, causing bruising or bleeding that might not be immediately evident.
Injuries to joints and extremities
When auto accidents cause crush or impact injuries, it typically affects the joints such as knees, Achilles tendon, ankles, shoulders and hips. These could range from sprains, strains and torn ligaments to fractures and dislocations.
If you were in a serious accident that caused catastrophic injuries or the loss of a loved one, it could lead to invisible injuries such as emotional distress. If undetected, it could develop into post-traumatic stress disorder.
Your car accident injuries could have long-term health consequences and create mounting medical bills and cause you to lose wages, which could cause severe financial problems. For this reason, most crash victims in Northeastern Pennsylvania seek the support and guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney to pursue financial and emotional damage recovery through the civil justice system of the state.