Even with modern safety features and anti-crash technology, car accidents can still lead to serious injuries. Apart from internal bleeding or crush injuries, the most severe injuries often affect the head, neck, and spine. Injuries to these areas can cause pain, permanent disabilities, and emotional trauma. Because of the nature of head, neck, or spine injuries, victims may be at risk for missed work and loss of future income. If you were injured in a car accident caused by the negligence of another party, you should speak to a personal injury attorney to determine your options for pursuing a claim. Some of the common types of head, neck, and spine injuries that occur in car accidents include:
Even a seemingly mild bump to the head can cause bruising and swelling in the brain. The most common head injuries include:
- Concussions: These are categorized as grade 1, 2, or 3 depending on the severity of the damage. Victims may or may not lose consciousness, and the effects of a concussion can be long-lasting.
- Hematoma: Also known as a blood clot, a large hematoma can cause problems, especially if it puts pressure on the victim’s brain, which increases the risk of irreversible brain damage.
- Hemorrhage: Also known as uncontrolled bleeding, a brain hemorrhage is a serious injury. Hemorrhage creates too much free-floating blood, which can put pressure on the brain and increase the risk of death due to blood loss.
- Edema: Also known as swelling, edema in the brain is problematic because it increases pressure in the brain, increases the chance that the brain presses on the skull, and increases the risk of permanent brain damage.
- Skull fracture: Due to the force of the impact, a victim may hit his or her head on the inside of his or her vehicle. Even with proper airbags, the force and angle of impact can cause the skull to fracture. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to address these types of injuries.
The spine is made up of several vertebrae that protect the spinal cord. The jolting motion of a car accident can put tremendous strain on the back, resulting in injuries such as:
- Fractures: Fractures can occur in any of the 33 vertebrae that run from the neck down to the tailbone.
- Herniated discs: Car accidents may affect the cushions (the discs) between the vertebrae. If the inside portion of the disc bulges through the outside portion of the disc, it can press on nerves, causing pain, tingling, and even numbness.
- Spinal cord injuries: The spinal cord consists of nerves that connect the entire body to the central nervous system and the brain. Any damage to the spinal cord is serious and potentially life-threatening. Even a mild injury can result in pain, loss of sensation, or paralysis.
There are seven vertebrae in the neck, and damage to these vertebrae or the spinal cord can result in severe disability. Common neck injuries include:
- Whiplash: Perhaps the most common car accident injury, whiplash is a soft-tissue injury caused by a quick back-and-forth motion of the head during a car accident. Whiplash can lead to headaches, neck and shoulder pain, dizziness, mood changes, and forgetfulness.
- Fractures: Broken bones in the neck are very serious, especially if the nerves are also damaged.
- Muscle strain: Strains to the muscles in the neck can cause headaches and limit a victim’s ability to perform everyday tasks.
Contact an Appleton Car Accident Attorney
Head, neck, and spine injuries are unfortunately common car accident injuries, and they are often very serious. From medical treatments to long-term care expenses, these injuries can lead to significant financial difficulties. At Herrling Clark Law Firm, Ltd., our team of Green Bay personal injury lawyers have years of experience working with car accident victims, including those with head, neck, and spine injuries. To schedule a free consultation, contact our office today at 920-739-7366.